How to Make Pop Art Pictures in iPhoto?

by Shawn M. Tomlinson

Although Apple’s software iPhoto -- it's part of the iLife suite that comes with every Macintosh computer -- has severe limitations on its special effects, you can use some creativity with it. The application was designed primarily for organizing photos and providing limited photo editing for amateur photographers. Yet, you can use its tools to create some pop art from your photos -- in this case, the Andy Warhol-style four-image montage.

Step 1

Select the first photo you want to work with in iPhoto. In the left sidebar, click "Photos" to get a full list of your photographs, the ones you already imported into the application. Click once on the photo. Click the "Edit" button on the bottom of the iPhoto screen. Then click the "Adjust" button at the bottom right.

Step 2

Use the slider controls in the "Adjust" panel to create the kind of pop art look you want. For example, increase the "Exposure" first, then increase the "Contrast." Increase the "Saturation," as well. These control changes will give you a slightly "off" photo that you can add to with other controls.

Step 3

Use the slider controls labeled "Definition," "Shadows," "Sharpness" and "De-Noise." These will add texture to your image as well as lightening it up. Use the "Temperature" and "Tint" controls to change the overall color scheme of your image. You can use any combination you like, whether you push "Temperature" all the way to cold or "100" and "Tint" all the way toward magenta or "-100," or you reverse this, or you make both "hot" or "cold." Choose the color definition you like.

Step 4

Close the "Adjust" pane and click the "Done" button at the lower right. Repeat the process for three other images you want to combine into your pop art image.

Step 5

Create a new album by going to the "File" menu and selecting "New Album." Label it "Pop Art." Select all four images and drag them to the new Pop Art album. Click the Pop Art album and adjust the iPhoto window size with the tab at the extreme lower right corner. Increase the image viewing size with the slider control until they fill the iPhoto screen.

Use the key combination Command-Shift-3 to take a screenshot of your four pop art images. The photo will appear on your desktop. Drag the new photo into iPhoto. Select the new photo and click the "Edit" button again. Select the "Crop" tool and cut out anything you don't want in the photo by moving the corner brackets, then pressing the Return key.


  • Note that if you have a newer Mac with up-to-date Mac OS X software, you have another program called Photo Booth. This program allows you to take photos and videos with your built-in iSight camera. It has a preset special effect called "Pop Art" that creates a pop art effect on your photos.


About the Author

Shawn M. Tomlinson has been a newspaper and magazine writer for more than 28 years. He has written for a variety of publications, from "MacWEEK" and "Macintosh-Aided Design" to "Boys' Life," "Antique Week" and numerous websites. He attended several colleges, majoring in English, writing and theater, and has taught college classes about writing.

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