Photo booth mac effects and tips

Written by starr kang
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Photo booth mac effects and tips
Mac Photo Booth lets you take pictures with your home computer. (Siri Stafford/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Photo Booth is a software application that lets you take photos and videos of yourself and friends with the built-in camera on your Mac. Photo Booth works on all Macintosh computers with a built-in camera. Photo Booth lets you add cool background effects to photos and videos. You can save these photos and videos to your hard drive and import them into other applications or e-mail them to friends and family.

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When taking shots with Photo Booth, it's best to have a clean, single-colour background and even lighting. You can take photos in your living room, as long as the light is consistent. Without strong lighting, images can appear bright or dark, blurring out your features. The background is important because the effects in Photo Booth replace your background. If the background is lit unevenly or if there is a lot of clutter, the effect may look distorted or cut across parts of your face.


Experiment with Photo Booth's built-in effects. Make it look like you are inside a fish tank, riding a roller coaster or floating in the clouds. You can try out an Andy Warhol effect "Pop Art," make yourself look animated with "Comic Book" or use "Color Pencil" to appear as if an artist sketched your image. Additionally, Apple offers a kit with over 50 effects that you can download from Apple's website, if you are running Mac OSX 10.6.2 or later. Third parties also offer add-on effect kits that you can download from the Web.

Fun Tricks

Disable flash in Photo Booth 3.0 by holding down "Shift" when you take a picture. Cut out the countdown by holding "Option." Hold down both keys to eliminate both effects. Set Photo Booth to automatically flip all future images by going to the "Edit" menu and choosing "Auto Flip New Photos," or select an image from photos you've already taken and go to "Edit" then highlight the "Flip Photo" option; images will flip along the vertical axis creating a mirror image effect. You can also drag existing photos or video clips directly into Photo Booth to add new background effects. If you have Mac Developer Tools installed, you can create background effects from scratch.


Photo Booth photos are saved in JPEG format and videos are saved in QuickTime format to a "Photo Booth" folder on your Mac. The folder is located inside the "Pictures" folder inside your home folder. Every time you take a photo or video, it is automatically saved to this location. You can use saved Photo Booth pictures as a login image, or as your iChat icon. Import photos to iPhoto or videos to iMovie, and you can edit them. If you have Mail set-up on your Mac, you can drag images directly into the body of e-mails and send them out to friends.

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