At any time you care to look, the App Store’s Photography chart is filled with image editors. Editing, however, is only part of the digital processing workflow – nearly all of us organize, and make minor adjustments to, our images with an all-in-one library app such as Lightroom, Aperture, or Capture One, some time before any image editor gets a look-in. Yet for some reason, the range of apps available to perform this archiving role is very small, and the theme shared by all of them is a premium price-tag.
In spite of this lack of choice and the expense associated with purchasing a library app, the open source community hasn’t felt the need to develop its own alternative. Or at least that was the case until darktable arrived. Put together by a team of photographer-coders, darktable shares many features with its more expensive competitors – multiple image sorting options, tethered shooting and a suite of editing options – but is it in the same league?
There are tons of reasons you might need to make a photo collage. Maybe it’s for a work project, a presentation at school or you simply want a good way to cherish some special photos. You can always choose to print out the photos and glue them to a surface, but that’s so old-fashioned (and who even has a glue stick anymore?) If you’re looking for a digital alternative to sticky fingers and glue smudges, Choco is a newer collage making program that is perfect for a variety of uses.
In Choco you have a lot of options to choose from. You can take the easy way, importing your photos automatically into one of the more than 100 existing templates. You can work a bit more, adding images yourself and editing the basic template. For the most ambitious among us, you can even choose to make your own collage, entirely from scratch. I took Choco for a test-drive, so stick with me after the jump to learn more about the program and what kind of collages I was able to produce.
Panoramic photography has become wildly popular in recent years, due in no small part to the smartphone market getting flooded with devices that have the functionality built right in. These sorts of shots have never been a staple of professional or amateur photography, but they can help give a broad perspective on interesting scenes.
Stitcha, by Florian Denis, gives you the ability to merge several different photographs or video clips into a single wide-angle shot. This simple app aims to keep the process as straightforward as dragging and dropping.
Finding images on the Internet tends to be difficult and time-consuming. You have to switch from one search engine to another, clicking through to a separate page for advanced settings if you need specific types of images. Then, looking at a larger version takes you to another page, from which you can check out the full-size image or the website it was found on (with yet another click and page load). I hate it.
Skyscraper (formerly Pandora; renamed to avoid confusion with the popular music service) tries to solve that problem, giving you an app to search for images online from the comfort of your Mac. It has a raft of handy features that stand it as a major player in the image-search apps arena, and does a decent job of fulfilling its tagline: “Find and download images of anything.” (more…)
This debate has raged on for years in the photography community. Lightroom and Aperture are aimed at very similar audiences and they share very similar workflows that allow you to quickly browse, sort and edit your photos without the pain of opening and saving each file individually like you would with Photoshop.
Adobe fans stick to their guns that Lightroom is the most powerful solution for the professional photographer’s workflow, but others have found exactly what they’re looking for in Aperture’s awesome organizational features such as automatic face recognition.
When it boils down to it, if you were forced to pick one and only one, which would it be? Would you side with Adobe or Apple? Vote in the poll and then leave a comment below defending your answer.
Thanks to everyone who took part in the giveaway this week, and special thanks to ThinkTime Creations, the developer of Instant! I’m excited to let you know that the winners have now been chosen. If your Twitter user name is listed below, you’ll be receiving an email shortly with instructions for claiming your prize:
Congratulations to the lucky winners. Sorry to those who missed out, be sure to check back for more great competitions!
Our featured sponsor this week is Instant, an awesome app that brings the fun of Polaroid instant cameras to your desktop.
There was something great about the old instant Polaroid cameras, an allure that still lasts to this day. Instant is an officially licensed Polaroid app that seeks to bring this timelessly enjoyable experience to the Mac by mimicking the workflow of a real Polaroid camera.
You simply drag your digital photos to the big camera, choose your field of view, then hit the “Shoot” button and a Polaroid image will pop out of the camera. You can watch it develop as the image fades into existence just like in the old days! I personally own Instant and think it’s a blast to play with. It gives me a taste of the enjoyable retro photography experience without the cost of film!
Instant provides you with 8 Polaroid effect filters look ridiculously close to the real Polaroid styles and 20 other generic vintage filters that produce equally impressive results, all with the Polaroid classic border. You can even add handwriting to the images, choosing from ten different fonts. After you’re finished, you can effortlessly share your photos to Flickr.
See Instant In Action!
If you’d like to see this awesome app work its magic, check out this quick YouTube video, which walks you through the major features.
When you’re ready to join the Polaroid movement, you’ll find Instant on the Mac App Store.
Lately the world of Mac software has seen quite the surge in photo editing apps, many of which are banking on the retro photo craze that helped fuel Instagram to a huge user base and billion dollar sale. This increase in the average user’s interest in photography will surely lead to a lot of questions about how to keep all of those images nicely organized into separate libraries and/or albums.
It seems like a perfect time to take a refreshed look at what Mac owners are using to keep their photographs organized. Are you a fan of the simplicity of iPhoto or do you require the professional kick of apps like Lightroom and Aperture?
Vote in the poll and let us know about your organization process in the comments. If your favorite app isn’t listed, also be sure to let us know what it is.
Adobe has released the fourth incarnation of its popular photo editing software, Lightroom, with a wealth of new features, including improved support for video and a price tag that has been slashed in half compared to previous versions. The new version, Photoshop Lightroom 4, costs just $149 for the stand-alone version (an upgrade from Lightroom 3 costs $79, instead of $99 previously) and Adobe hopes that this lower price will coax amateur photographers who may want to start using a professional software package into buying it. Previous versions of the software were priced at $299, a steep sum for most people. The new pricing strategy may also be an attempt to compete with Apple’s Aperture, another favourite among photographers, which can be had off the Mac App Store for $79.99.
In the past two years, we’ve seen a lot of specialized photo manipulation apps enter the scene. Apps like Analog, Flare, and Instagram allow people to apply filters that recolor or add texture to photos. Focus is a photo manipulation app as well, but its specialty lies in creating unique blur effects in photos.
Cameras that have an adjustable lens allow you to change the focus of a photo, blurring objects at different distances. However, if your digital camera doesn’t have the ability to change the lens focus, or if you just took a photo without focusing it well, you might feel the need to give photos that effect manually. Read on to see what Focus has to offer.