Best image editing apps from the Mac App Store
26th Nov 2011 | 12:00
A top selection of apps for editing images
Best App Store image editing apps
Manage, share and edit your photos with ease with the help of these helpful apps from the Mac App Store...
This is an app with no frills. No, really, there are NO frills. But then, if all you want to do is convert your photos from one format to another, you probably don't want an interface getting in the way.
To convert files you select the Preferences tab, and select the format you'd like to save in (JPG, PSD, TIF, PNG and so on). Then you just drop one image, a number of selected images, or an entire folder on the ImageConvert dialog box. Done!
If you've got an iPhone or iPad and like to take pictures, take a look at our video of the best iOS camera apps. You'll find apps for shooting effects and on-the-go editing suites too:
Many apps are available that quickly enable you to apply pre-set filters to photos. On first inspection, it's easy to assume that Flare is one such tool, but it offers much more.
Using an interface that makes editing photos a pleasure, you can stack multiple filters, add and remove them easily, and also save them as presets. Adjust exposure, contrast, blur, midtones, colour gradient, sharpness, texture, grain, and much more. We love Flare!
Creating painterly masterpieces from your photographs has never been easier, thanks to Sketcher. After dragging the photo you'd like to transform into the interface, you're presented with a series of sliders and drop-down menus.
First, choose whether you want pencil, watercolour, pastel, oil, paint blend, or watermix. You can then edit the properties of your image, such as brush size and stroke. Finally, choose your media (crumpled paper, canvas and so on) and you're done. It's simple to use, and the results can be mightily impressive.
Despite what you might think, the extremely popular practice of selectively adding colour to a monochrome photo is a technique that existed long before digital technology. Unfortunately, it was the devil's own job to achieve. But not any more.
Photo manipulators have been using layer masks to achieve this technique for a good few years, but Colorize makes things even easier. Add an image, have it automatically converted to black and white, and then paint over the part of the image you want in colour.
05. CameraBag Desktop
CameraBag is presented as a 'one-click photo lab', and it's a great way to add an extra level of creativity to even your most uninspiring images.
You can apply preset filters, such as mono and colour-cross, combine any two filters together, pick from a selection of borders, save presets, and even batch-process entire folders of images. And thanks to the unpredictable nature of film processing, the Reprocess button can make subtle/extreme changes with one click.
Got an iPad as well as a Mac? Check out 5 of the best FREE apps for your iOS tablet:
06. Aperture 3
If you feel that iPhoto doesn't give you enough oomph, there's another photography tool from Apple that caters to those people looking for a more professional solution: Aperture.
Aperture doesn't come cheap, but compared to the likes of Adobe's Photoshop it's a veritable bargain. Building on the ease of use and functionality of iPhoto, Aperture offers enhanced editing controls (such as selective retouching and filters); enables you to create powerful slideshows; stores multiple versions of a photo in the same file (saving space); has masses of library options; and comes with the added bonus of being able to split your library across multiple external drives (for serious snappers!).
Eternal Storms Software
It's impossible to cover photography apps for the Mac without mentioning this top tool for managing photos on the web's leading online image app, Flickr. Using Flickery, you can easily upload, manage and move your Flickr photos.
It's actually worth the cost just to be able to navigate your Flickr images in such an intuitive way, but the added functionality makes it a necessary purchase for any serious Flickr users out there.
08. Light Master
The HDR (high dynamic range) photo technique enables you to get images that really pop, providing more control over the lightest and darkest areas. The purist's approach to HDR is to take multiple images at different exposures and combine them, but the effect can be achieved in-app with just one photo.
Suited to landscapes, Light Master takes an image of your choosing, and enables you to use a slider to adjust HDR intensity.
Apple's entry-level organiser for photos is must-have software for anyone starting out with digital photography on the Mac and looking for a way to easily organise and edit files.
There's great Facebook and Flickr integration, a number of slideshow tools, and a new full-screen mode in iPhoto '11, all of which make it well worth a look.
At the time of writing, we're not entirely sure how iCloud is going to affect PhotoSync, but as things stand it's currently the best way to transfer photos from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac, without the need for cables.
The PhotoSync Mac app is free, but the companion app on iOS has a small charge. But if the ability to quickly move photos around is important to you, this is a fantastic syncing solution.
First published in MacFormat Issue 240
Liked this? Then check out 30 best free Mac programs to download
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