Posted March 20th, 2005 @ 11:39am by Erik J. Barzeski
iPhoto's "Enhance" just plain sucks. So much so, I'm not sure why it's even there - a great stage demo, perhaps? I realize it's intended to be a one-click solution for those who don't know enough to adjust things manually, but it doesn't even seem to be good at that. It destroys pictures more than it helps them.
Here's an example. I realize it may not be representative, but in my experience, the results seen here are pretty common:
Shadow detail? Nah, no need for that! The originals were a bit washed out, as my Rebel XT seems to shoot washed out pictures. That's "A Good Thing™" as it prevents blowouts and blackouts - loss of detail in highlights and shadows - because you adjust things in in post-processing.
iPhoto's "Enhance" button, on the other hand, isn't "A Good Thing™" as it routinely destroys pictures. Yes, in the comparison below, the after photo has a bit more "pop" and contrast, but it's phony. Please, people, spend sixty seconds (or, at most, three minutes) with iPhoto's sliders. You'll get a picture ten times better than just clicking "Enhance."
Until Camera Raw 2.5 (or later!) comes out with support for my Canon Digital Rebel XT, and while I'm still learning, I'm just shooting in JPEG and storing some pictures in iPhoto. I tweak in iPhoto too, using the minimalist set of sliders and whatnot.
When Camera Raw supports my XT, I'll shoot in RAW + JPEG mode and probably work almost exclusively with the RAW files. I am not sure how my workflow will go at that point, but it's safe to say it won't include iPhoto (except to store JPEGs of my finished work), and it sure as hell won't involve "Enhance."