Why so many? First, taking a photo with an iPhone is as fast and convenient as photography can get. Second, there are so many photo enhancement apps available that it’s child’s play to turn an average photo into something artistically deserving. If you’re a Mac user, too, then all you need is Photoshop and the sky is the limit, right? No. There’s something better and less expensive.
The Kit Of Six
The past week or so I’ve been using a set of Mac photo apps called Creative Kit that, individually and collectively do much of what Photoshop can do but for less, and thanks to a pleasantly surprising learning curve, far easier.
Over the next few weeks I’ll review each of the six photo apps that make up Creative Kit, some I’ve used for a couple of years, others are relative newcomers that fill in and make the Kit a worthwhile investment.
Here’s the mini-review of each.
Intensify – This standalone app is like a massive Ehance button for photos. It has presets which turn a mundane photo into a Kodachrome-like (yes, I’m that old) image that’s actually an improvement on the original. Extra controls give you options for structure, detail, sharpness and more.
Tonality – Think artistic black and white photos that would make Ansel Adams proud. Tonality comes with hundreds of presets, multiple layers, granular image controls which produce stunning results that go far beyond merely striping color from an image.
Snapheal – This is an oldie but a goodie, somewhat modeled from a Photoshop enhancement a few years back that made it easy to remove unwanted objects from within a photo– poles, people, lines, rocks, clouds, whatever– by erasing the object. Snapheal intelligently fills in the empty hole with the nearby background.
FX Photo Studio – This is one of my favorite Mac photo enhancement apps because it blends hundreds of effects into an easy-to-use point and click setting. FX PS has been around a few years but is a go to utility to turn a boring photo into something special thanks to hundreds of effects which can be combined to truly unique images.
Focus – This is a relative newcomer app which gives you more controls over the focus of an image after you’ve taken the photo. No need for expensive lens and camera. Just drop in a photo and adjust the focus where you want.
Noiseless – This may be the coolest feature app ever for iPhone users who struggle to get good photos from low light situations. Noiseless has one function in life. Reduce noise. Photos in low light can gather artifacts faster than politicians can generate lies. Noiseless smooths out those artifacts and creates an image that is smooth and crisp; as if taken by an expensive camera with manual focus, shutter, and exposure controls.
That’s the preview.
Next week I’ll choose one of the six apps in Creative Kit and go a bit more in-depth with features and how to. If Photoshop just isn’t your game, thanks to the pay-per-month forever subscription model, and the steep learning curve, you’ll appreciate how all these apps work together to give you a digital darkroom of effects, filters, and features– all of which have easy-to-use presets to get started.
For most Mac users I would recommend the Complete Kit, all six apps in one package, but you can try-before-you-buy and test each one for your needs and workflow.