Photo editing apps for mac review


Apple Mac computers (be they iMac, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air) have been the go-to machines for creatives for many a year now, with an intuitive interface conducive to getting imaginative work done quickly and effectively. When it comes to image and photo editing jobs, that’s mostly down to the superb apps available on Mac OS X. From lightweight editing apps like Simply HDR to the titans of the industry like Photoshop and Aperture, here we pick our ten favourite image and photo editing apps for Mac.

Adobe Photoshop is the program of choice for professional image editors across the globe with its layer-based workflow, and the latest CS6 Extended version is by far the best build yet. A new interface uses a darker tone to make your images the focus of the app, while the new Mercury graphics engine allows powerful tools like Liquify, Puppet Warp and Transform to make adjustments in real time. Better crop, RAW imports, task automation, video editing, blur options and text editors join headlining features like the Content-Aware Patch tool that intelligently fills the gaps in images you’ve edited, cropped or transformed. If you can imagine a transformation to apply to your image, Photoshop can deliver it.
If you buy one app on this list, Photoshop has to be it.
We’ve all been there: an otherwise excellent digital photo, marred by an intrusive landmark or random stranger who stepped into the frame at an inopportune moment. Pro users with deep pockets make short work of such problems with Photoshop, but what about average users? Snapheal introduces “three unique patented technologies” in a Mac app that makes erasing unwanted objects as easy as one, two, three. Developer MacPhun states, “It does magic to your photos.” It’s a bold claim we happen to agree with.Snapheal includes tools from six different categories: Erase, Clone & Stamp, Retouch, Adjust, Crop, and Rotate/Flip. The first is what most users will drop 20 bucks for, offering three different Eraser modes for seamlessly removing objects. Wormhole is recommended for small objects and removing skin blemishes, Shapeshift works best on large objects, and Twister tackles most everything else.Almost everything is done from the main app window, which keeps things simple and the menus sparse. iPhoto and Aperture images can be imported using a lightning-fast iLife-style browser, and Snapheal can load others from disk, including RAW, JPEG, and TIFF files. Photos can even be imported straight from an iOS device or digital camera, a nice time-saving option when you just want to do a quick fix. The process is simple: click Select, adjust your Brush size, and paint over the area you want to remove—don’t worry too much about accuracy; the app is smart enough to figure out what you’re trying to select in most cases. Choose an Eraser mode based on the criteria above and click Erase. While Snapheal is processing, you’ll be treated to a few “amazing facts”—trivia that pops up in the status bar to make the time pass more quickly, like “60 percent of statistics are made up.” (Hats off to the developer for this bit of clever coding.) Smaller objects process in seconds, but larger objects may take a minute or more.If your first attempt isn’t quite magical, simply undo and try the next Eraser mode. Some images we threw at Snapheal worked like a charm, but it ultimately depends on how much free space is around the objects you want to remove, which is how the app fills in the void left behind. If you’re satisfied, save to one of five different formats (TIFF, PNG, OpenEXR, JPEG, or JPEF-2000). Edited images can also be shared via email, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, or Twitter with ease, as well as a one-click export to iPhoto. Sadly, Aperture gets no love here.Of course, Snapheal has plenty more to offer in addition to erasing, with easy-to-use image editing tools for novice users that are also powerful enough for pros. The app takes advantage of OS X Lion niceties like full-screen mode, but strangely omits standard screen-hiding options (Command-H does nothing). We’re hoping to see additional keyboard shortcuts for power users in future versions, but Snapheal is already worth far more than its price tag.The bottom line. Snapheal will frequently seem like magic as it does the heavy lifting of moving digital bits around with minimal effort from the user. It’s also fun to use: you’ll find yourself removing objects or even people from photos simply because you can. Particularly for a version 1.0 release, Snapheal is amazingly fast, slick, and stable.

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