30 days of vacation and business travel means 1,500 digital photos.
For Mac users, that means photo storage in iPhoto, Apple’s Aperture, or Adobe’s Lightroom, right? What if you want more photo tools than iPhoto but don’t want to spend the money for Aperture or Lightroom?
Enter ImageWell, a handy image editor for the Mac that lets you modify digital photos (or pretty much any digital image) and then share with others, or upload to Flickr and elsewhere.
We all have similar problems with digital photos, and the number of so-called solutions can be mind numbing. You’ll spend a few hundred dollars on Aperture or Lightroom, both excellent choices for photo storage and manipulation.
Excessive manipulation of your digital photos could cost you hundreds more with Adobe’s famed Photoshop, or lesser money for the seldom update Photoshop Elements, a second cousin to the famed image application.
For the rest of us, there’s Apple’s iPhoto and anything else that lets us improve digital photos and park them where others can view them. What I like about ImageWell, besides the swell price of free, and the modest price for pro features, is that it does what I need.
Your mileage may vary, but with 1,500 new photos in iPhoto I need a way to batch manipulate in ways that iPhoto just won’t do.
For example, ImageWell resizes, rotates, crops, and flips—with precision. iPhoto can’t do that. You can also add text or graphic watermarks to protect your photos.
Text? Did I mention text? That’s something else you don’t get with iPhoto that ImageWell handles, well, quite well.
All the font and color controls are available, including drop shadow to make the text appear sharper on a photo.
Borders of all shapes and sizes can be added before sending or printing. ImageWell does text so that means talking balloons, thought clouds, and captions.
ImageWell isn’t a full-fledged drawing application thought it comes with similar tools to create lines and objects over a digital photo.
Getting started is as simple as drag and drop. Drop a photo into the “well”, or copy and past, even drag and drop from iPhoto. A screen grab automatically appears in the image well.
Wait. There’s more. I share photos with friends and family, and with 1,500 new photos of London and Scotland, and an extended family (my father is from Scotland, my mother is from Puerto Rico), I need a way to share quickly and easily. Email is fine for some. Flickr is better.
ImageWell has Flickr, SmugMug, or ImageShack export built in, so you can drop you photos to your online account, full resolution and high quality, so friends and family can download at their leisure.
If you’re a web site owner, or have a .Mac account, ImageWell sends your photos to iDisk, any WebDAV server, or SFTP or FTP to your web site.
The key to understanding the need for a photo manipulation application beyond iPhoto is to know your needs and how the tool you use fits those needs, or extends beyond your needs.
For example, I upload lots of digital photos and ImageWell creates the URL/HTML tags so they can be sent or used when you post or upload online. That’s a handy and thoughtful touch.
All that is free. $15 gets you even more, especially batch processing of many images (my favorite), placing multiple photos or images together in a single document, similar to a collage, and more drawing objects and shapes, and special gradient patterns for backgrounds.
Taking photos with today’s high quality digital cameras is fun. What you do after that is work. Xtralean’s ImageWell turns some of that work into fun. And you can’t beat the price tag.
What’s your favorite non-iPhoto, non-Photoshop, non-Apple, non-Adobe photo or image manipulation tool? Why? Share your experience in the Comment section below.