Previous 1 2 Next 22 Replies Latest reply: Nov 29, 2013 8:07 PM by LarryHN
Reuben Feffer Level 2 Level 2

Has anyone tried editing (adjusting) their photos in iPhoto 9.3.1? I just tried it, and the sliders (e.g. white point, highlights, shadows) are giving really weird results. I'm starting to wonder if it's an incompatability between iPhoto 9.3.1 and the graphics card (ATI Radeon HD 5670 512 MB) in my iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2010).


Here are two screenshot, showing what I see when I adjust the black and white point sliders. Look how unnatural the photo looks. This definitely wasn't the behaviour of these controls in iPhoto '09.


iPhoto 9.3.1 - Black Point 45%.png

iPhoto 9.3.1 - White Point 55%.png

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.2), iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2010) 12GB RAM
  • Reuben Feffer Level 2 Level 2

    You can download the original photo here: Download full-resolution photo (it's one of Apple's).


    Try importing it into your iPhoto 9.3.1 library and see if adjusting the white and black point sliders gives you the same results as me.

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10
    Photos for Mac

    You're messing with the histogram of color levels of the image, not the black and white aspect of the photo.  That's natural what you get when you move those sliders that way.  I downloaded the original file and tried it in iPhoto with the same results that you got. I also tried the same adjustment in Photoshop with the same results.


    If you want to play with black and white use the Saturation slider.


    This is one description of what the histogram/levels adjustments do (from Photoshop)

    Levels overview

    You use the Levels dialog box to correct the tonal range and color balance of an image by adjusting intensity levels of image shadows, midtones, and highlights. The Levels histogram is a visual guide for adjusting the image key tones.



  • Reuben Feffer Level 2 Level 2

    I think you misunderstood my question.


    Something has definitely changed in iPhoto 9.3.1 with the Adjust controls. I'm surprised that more people haven't noticed it. Using the Levels controls is creating an unnatural posterization effect, which never used to happen with previous versions of iPhoto.

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10
    Photos for Mac

    I get exactly the same effect when I apply the same histogram manipulation in Photoshop as we get in iPhoto.  It can't be an iPhoto issue.


    This is what I get in iPhoto 8 (09):




    I don't see any difference from that you posted by iPhoto 9 (11) except maybe a bitt more posterized.


    What previous version of iPhoto are you relating to? 

  • Reuben Feffer Level 2 Level 2

    Your screenshots prove that Apple have definitely changed the algorithms used in iPhoto's Adjust controls. Our two edited photos should look identical, but they're actually quite different.


    It seems that with iPhoto 9.3.1 Apple have made the Levels controls more aggressive, and made the Highlights and Shadows controls less agressive. The Shadows control now seems to make EVERYTHING lighter, not just the shadows.


    I used to love editing photos in iPhoto, but now with iPhoto 9.3.1 I hate it.

  • whitewave081175 Level 1 Level 1

    I completely agree Reuben. A simple adjustment of photos in iPhoto used to be a quick easy and effective process. Now I have to find a new program to use as it just doesn't produce the same results. It's horrible. I wish I could roll back to the old version. What happened Apple??

  • Reuben Feffer Level 2 Level 2

    Out of the 70+ million Mac users around the world, I'm really surprised that only two of us have noticed this massive bug. It makes me think that no-one actually Adjusts photos in iPhoto.

  • John McInnes Level 1 Level 1

    Make that 3 out of 70000000!

    I had 8.1.2 on the macbook 13".  The shadow adjustment slider used to work like a charm.  It now (in 9.3.2) lifts everything: watch the whole histogram move to the right when you use the shadow slider.  Apple has really bollocksed this one up, and what for?  If it ain't broke don't fix it.  I've sent a bug report to Apple because i agree, Reuben, this is a massive bug.  Apple, are you listening?

  • Reuben Feffer Level 2 Level 2

    Hi John. I'm glad that you noticed this bug too. And yes, it really is a massive bug. As you said, the shadows slider now lightens everything, and the highlights slider does very little.


    Apple, please fix this.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10

    Apple, please fix this.


    Please tell Apple you want it fixed.


    iPhoto menu -> Provide iPhoto Feedback

  • Reuben Feffer Level 2 Level 2

    I've already told them (Apple), several times.


    The latest version of iPhoto (9.4.1) still has this problem. It's such a shame, because otherwise iPhoto is a very good app.

  • K. Houser Level 1 Level 1

    Just to keep this discussion alive, I want to say that I agree.  The old "adjust" histogram was great..easy to use with great results; now it is useless.  I wish they would go back to the old tools.


    I still have time to back down to a previous version of iPhoto, though it will take me a while. 

  • Reuben Feffer Level 2 Level 2

    I had this change explained to me. Basically, in iPhoto 9.3 the ranges of the Adjust sliders were extended to match their behaviour in Aperture. So, to get the same results, you now just need to move the sliders less.


    That said, I still find that I can't get as attractive results using the Adjust sliders in iPhoto 9.3 (and higher).

  • John McInnes Level 1 Level 1

    I read that somewhere too, and it put me off getting Aperture.  The old version of Aperture allowed you to adjust the behaviour of the shadow and highlight tools but now it has been "simplified".  Getting back to iPhoto, there is no doubt that the new shadow tool causes much worse loss of contrast than the old one.


    The first image set below shows the old shadow adjustment effect as settings 0, 11, 50, and 100.  The effect I wanted was at 11: just a little shadow detail without losing the brooding look of the scene.  For comparison I also snapped screenshots at 50 and 100.  Even the weird HDR look at 100 retains some punch.  Note that the right side of the histogram stays put.

    Shadow adjustment comparison.jpg

    Shadow adjustment comparison2.jpg

    The above is the new behaviour, also at 0, 11, 50, and 100.    The new version of the tool is washing it out.  The old settings are not numerically equivalent to the new, and so using the new tool the effect I wanted was at about 50.  They may not look that different when downsized but the new tool is causing loss of contrast.


    The effect is best illustrated when it is exaggerated, so compare old 50 with new 100 (which are roughly equivalent to my eye).

    old 50.jpg

    new 100.jpg

    So there you have it, what was once good is now mediocre.

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