The best and cleanest way to handle importing images into iMovie is to first import them into iPhoto. iMovie automatically connects to your iPhoto library and provides access to all of your digital images the same way it does with digital music and iTunes. The drawback to this is that even if you only want to insert an image or two into iMovie, it's best if they are added to your iPhoto library. Let's review some of the basics of working with iPhoto that were first explained in Chapter 12, "Using iPhoto."
There are two straightforward methods for getting images into iPhoto. The first is to connect a supported camera to your computer, and then follow your camera's instructions to place it in playback or transfer mode. Your computer will sense the connected camera, launch iPhoto, and present you with the Import pane, shown in Figure 16.2.
Figure 16.2. Images in iPhoto are imported directly from the digital camera.
Clicking the Import button will transfer files from your camera. Thumbnails of the transferring images appear in the image well of the Import pane along with the number of photos remaining to be transferred. When the import is complete, the new images will appear in the photo viewing area along with any other images you've imported. If the box for Erase Camera Contents After Transfer is checked, you will be asked to approve deletion of the original photo files from the camera.
Imported images are stored in groupings called "Rolls" in the Photo library. Any image, in any roll, can be added to an arbitrary "album" by first creating the album (choose New Album from the File menu), then by dragging from the Photo Library into the Album name displayed along the left side of the iPhoto window. This helps you keep track of your images, and provides a convenient means of accessing them in iMovie.
The second method of importing images assumes you already have a group of image files on your computer but not in iPhoto. In this case, you can select them in the Finder and drag them into the iPhoto library. This, once again, will create a new roll in the Photo Library, and give you access to the pictures from within iMovie ”no camera required.