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Summary:

When’s the last time you played with Photo Booth? I’m guessing you and your friends had some raucous laughs with it when you first got your Mac, and then haven’t done much with it since. Well I’m here to suggest you bring it out of mothballs […]

When’s the last time you played with Photo Booth? I’m guessing you and your friends had some raucous laughs with it when you first got your Mac, and then haven’t done much with it since. Well I’m here to suggest you bring it out of mothballs and check out a few things that you may not have known before. (Oh, and if you have kids, let them at it and it’ll keep them busy for hours!)

Secret Keys

You know when you’ve been moving your head around and trying to get that squeeze effect to look just right, and then you have to press the button to take the photo, and then hold your head still for the countdown, and you inevitably move and the shot is ruined? Yeah, that’s lame. So if you want to cut directly to the chase, hold down the OPTION key and click the red snapshot button at the same time. BAM! No countdown.

The there are some times that the screen flash may not be desirable — I particularly need little help looking pasty white in the winter months… Nix that annoying flash by holding down the SHIFT key when pressing the red snapshot button. Want an instant, no flash Photo Booth picture? Hold SHIFT and OPTION at the same time while clicking the red snapshot button.

If you’ve got dozens of pictures in the Photo Booth viewer, it can take time to click through each set of photos. If you want to get to the beginning or the end of the collection, hold down the COMMAND key while pressing either direction arrow to fly all the way to either end instantly.

Fun Effects

Photo Booth is loaded with some fun effects to begin with, and it’s got some ‘green screen’ type effects to make it look like you’re someplace you’re not. Then on the fourth effects page, there’s space for you to add your own. Here you can drag any photo you want and use it as a backdrop. But you can also use Apple’s Quartz composer effects to do other cool things like the Star Wars Hologram or the Shepard Fairey effects. But you could also use Quartz Composer to roll your own, if you’re the adventurous type.

So there you have it. If simply reminding you about the fun that’s to be had with Photo Booth wasn’t enough, these simple tricks should help to rejuvenate that experience — not to mention, impress your friends all over again!

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  1. tried shift and photo in photobooth- did nothing.
    only flash work-around , that I know , is to press ctrl-option-cmd-8 to invert screen then flash is black and then return screen to normal.
    why you say shift work but not working for me?

  2. It was fun! But the shift didn’t worked for me neither!

  3. Thank you so much for this tip!!!!!!
    I have always wanted to disable the flash in PhotoBooth!!!
    The Shift key works fine for me!!!!!

  4. Well I’m using the latest version of Leopard (10.5.6), so if you’re on an older (possibly 10.4.X?) version, the keys may not work as I outlined…

  5. Dec 25: What’s Hot on Our Network Friday, December 26, 2008

    [...] the rage these days. [NewTeeVee Station] Pundits weigh in on open source’s future. [OStatic] Mac Switchers, here are some tips for using Photo Booth. [TheAppleBlog] Taskpaper 2.0, a simple to do app for Mac that rocks. [WebWorkerDaily] Toshiba to [...]

  6. Can’t believe disabling the flash was so simple! Thanks for this.

  7. Oh Thanks Nick! It must be it. Anyways I can test it at work.

  8. When I take a Photo Booth pic, it’s in reverse. So wearing any clothing with lettering or numbers comes out looking backwards. How do you fix that?

  9. It’s simple just click command+F to flip the photo or command+shift+F to flip all photos you take. you might take a look at the edit menu for more info.

    1. That’s dumb. If it’s a camera, why would the pictures come out backwards? It doesn’t make any sense.

      But thanks for the fix anyway.

  10. Awesome. THANK YOU!

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