Here’s the problem. Our family is growing. It has something to do with marriage or a stronger than expected wine cooler. Regardless, more family means more photos.
More photos means more photo sharing with family, friends, and anyone who asks me about my kids. Since most small children look nearly as bad as their parents, I use photo enhancing apps to make them look stare worthy.
Don’t Stare At My Kid, Please
Stare-worthy photos are not easy to obtain with a camera. Some post-photo processing is required to produce family photos worthy of sharing, let alone staring.
My favorite Mac app this week is PhotoDazzle: Beautifier, a crazy name for a photo processing app that deserves some attention. Let me call it PDB, so I can avoid another episode of repetitive stress injury.
PDB takes your photos, and with a few clicks, turns them into stare-worthy, share-worth photographs.
Yes, I know there are already umpteen eleven different photo enhancement apps on the Mac App Store. Some are good, some not so much, and some are money-worthy by the Kayhill family’s resident Moneypenny Mom.
Ready? One Mac app. 25 drool-worthy features:
#25 – Precise Editing: PDB edits photos with fine grained tools, and doesn’t bludgeon them with crude point and click.
#24 – Layers: This is where the cheap editing apps are separated from the big boys. Layers good. No layers bad. Add layered enhancements for fun and profit.
#23 – Non-Destructive: No mistakes. Wait. That’s not right. If you make a mistake it won’t screw up your original photo. It’s like the Super Hero of editing functions.
#22 – Real Time: Unless your eyes are running in slow motion, PDB’s effects are visible as soon as you make them.
#21 – Stack Effects: Add as many as you can manage to remember what they do. Mix and match to make what you call creative but what others merely call, interesting.
#20 – 3D: Alright, it’s not really 3D as in 3D movies or 3D televisions, but it makes layers visible so you can see the order of effects.
#19 – The Loupe: Every Mac app that does photo effects should have one. I think it’s a high class French word for magnifier.
#18 – Eraser: Guess what this tool does? Yeah, I was stumped for awhile, too.
#17 – Compare: Switch between the original photo and the one with all your effects so you can see how messed up your photo became in just a few clicks.
#16 – Multiple Documents: You’re not limited to opening and working only on a single document. I hate apps that do that.
#15 – 64-bit: Yes, it’s better than 32-bits. Which is better than 16-bits. So, think larger images, faster effects.
#14 – Documents: This is important. Every tool and effect is well documented in the app so you can see what the heck it’s supposed to do.
#13 – Multiple Formats: PDB handles multiple photo file formats so you’re not likely to need a conversion tool before editing.
#12 – Core Image: Mac OS X comes with some guts (Core Data, Core Animation, Core Audio, Core Video, et al.) which make the image manipulation easier and faster.
#11 – Undo: My very favorite feature. It even trumps Delete. Because, well, you know, sometimes you need to undo delete.
#10 – Magic Brush: Not to be confused with the Magic Brush Off (obtainable by giving money to a politician and then asking for something in return), Magic Brush kinda sorta knows what you’re trying to do with a specific tool based upon code the developer inserted into PDB, or, maybe it’s really magic.
#9 – One Step Workflow: I don’t know how this counts as a function, but here’s what I know: editing photos with point and click is trial and error. That means multiple steps. PDB uses fewer steps. But not just one.
#8 – Fullscreen: Only Apple would make a big deal of a new feature in Mac OS X Lion that makes an app full screen. If you want, PDB can take up the whole screen.
#7 – Effects Intensity: Sliders let you change the presets of any effects, up or down, for better or worse, or until death do you… sorry. I got carried away with my razor prose.
#6 – MultiCore: Your Mac’s CPU’s are multicore, so why shouldn’t apps take advantage of all those cores?
#5 – Easy: Why is this a feature? One man’s easy is another man’s pain in the patootie, right? That said, PDB is easy to use, so long as trial and error doesn’t frustrate you into pimples.
#4 – Color Picker: Yea. I love color pickers. I have a dozen of ‘em. Some are standalone. Some, like the one in PDB, are built in to apps. They all do the same thing. Pick colors.
#3 – Controls: Sorry, PDB doesn’t use voice commands. You’ll actually have to click on tools and controls. But it’s self explanatory as you’ll see in the screen shot.
#2 – Point and Click: Hey, when you’re searching for a huge list of features and functions, it’s OK to list one that’s drop dead stupidly basic. However, this kind of point and click is unique. Select the effect, drag the pointer over it to see the changes. Sweet.
#1 – Simple Brush: With some many features it’s easy to think it’s all complicated, but simple still rules (well, actually, trial and error rules, but Simple sells better.
PhotoDazzle Beautifier is a strangely compelling photo editing app. The interface is unlike anything you’ve used before. After a few minutes it becomes highly intuitive and pleasant. Except for all those trial and error episodes. It’s even fun to use. The negatives? It’s Mac App Store only with no try-before-you-buy option. Try it anyway.