January 14, 2023

Photo Editing Basics in Photos on Mac

Lake Norman

For those of us who use our Mac computers to take and edit photos, the integrated Photos app is an essential tool. With it, you can do everything from cropping to color correcting, adding effects and more. Whether you’re a professional photographer or someone just starting out with their photography hobby, mastering the basics of photo editing in Photos on Mac will help improve your shots. Let’s get started!

Getting Started

The Photos app included in macOS is designed for both beginners and professionals alike. If you’re new to photo editing, the interface may seem overwhelming at first glance but don’t worry – it’s quite easy once you get the hang of it. Before beginning, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the Photos app interface and all the tools available for editing your photos.


One of the basic photo-editing functions is cropping, which allows you to remove any unwanted parts of your image, or simply change its size and shape. To crop an image in Photos on Mac:

  1. Select the photo and click on ‘Edit’ from the top menu bar.
  2. Select ‘Crop’ from the toolbar at the bottom of the window.
  3. You can manually adjust the size and proportions of your crop by dragging one of its corners or sides with your mouse cursor or using arrow keys on your keyboard.
  4. Click ‘Done’ when you are happy with the result.

How to Crop a Screenshot on Mac?

Screenshots captured on your Mac device can be easily edited in Photos just like regular images. Here’s how to crop a screenshot on Mac:

  1. Open ‘Preview’ from the Applications folder and select ‘File’ > ‘Take Screenshot’ option from the top menu bar. You can also use shortcut keys Command+Shift+3 or Command+Shift+4 to capture screenshots quickly.
  2. The screenshot will open automatically in Preview once it is taken, here you can make basic edits such as cropping, resizing and more.
  3. Select the ‘Crop’ tool from the toolbar at the top of the window and drag it over the area you wish to keep in your screenshot.
  4. Make sure that you press and hold ‘Shift’ while dragging, this will ensure that your crop maintains its original proportions.
  5. Once done, click on ‘Done’ and save your changes by selecting ‘File’ > ‘Save As..’ option from the top menu bar or use shortcut key Command+S.

Color Corrections

Making basic color corrections is an essential part of photo editing process as incorrect colors can make an otherwise good photograph look dull or unattractive. Fortunately, Photos on Mac allows you to adjust colors in your photos quickly and easily. Here’s how:

  1. Open the photo you wish to edit and click on ‘Edit’ from the top menu bar.
  2. Select ‘Adjust Color’ from the toolbar at the bottom of the window.
  3. You can now make basic color corrections such as brightness, contrast, saturation, white balance and more by adjusting each one with a slider or entering exact values manually in percentage (%) or degrees (°).
  4. Once done, click on ‘Done’ to save your changes.

Effects & Filters

The Photos app also has an extensive library of effects and filters that you can use to enhance or completely change the look of your photos. To apply an effect or filter in Photos on Mac:

  1. Select the photo you wish to edit and click on ‘Edit’ from the top menu bar.
  2. Select ‘Effects’ from the toolbar at the bottom of the window.
  3. Here, you will find various categories such as Color Filters which includes color adjustments; Image Filters which includes effects like black & white, vintage etc.; and Artistic Filters which includes textures, frames, shapes and more.
  4. Use the sliders to adjust strength of each effect/filter before applying it and when done, click on ‘Done’ to save your changes.

By following these simple steps, you can easily edit and enhance your photos or screenshots on Mac using the Photos app. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced photo editor, the Photos app is a great tool to get started with basic image editing tasks. So get out there and start editing!


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January 14, 2023