Got photos? Of course you do. Thanks to a decade of iPhone, the demise of film and prints, most of us have thousands to tens of thousands of digital photos stored in the Mac’s Photos app. Here’s an inexpensive way to add three kinds of focus.
Apple made a big deal out of iPhone’s ability to handle portrait photos. No, not just photos as portraits. That’s easy. What takes some work is to turn those photos into traditional portraits where the person is in focus and everything behind is slight out of focus. PicFocus does that and more.
Hocus Pocus Focus
This cleverly designed 99-cent Mac app improves photos by giving you simple tools to add focus, blur backgrounds, and run a few filters to enhance the image. In this case, a couple of photos are worth a few hundred words.
In the top image, PicFocus lets you define a specific edge in the image. Everything in the background can be affected by other tools– black and white, blurred focus, etc.
The secret sauce here is the smart edge-preserving tool that lets you put an object in the photo front and foremost in view. Standard slider bars give you more granular controls over each option– blue, highlights, color saturation and warmth, for background. Sharpness, clarity, and vividness for the foreground.
There is nothing to not like here. It’s fast. It’s simple. The results are impressive and there is no learning curve.
Trial and error is your friend. Despite the friendly interface and easy adjustments of all parameters, it takes some effort to get the changes you want. Practice.
Otherwise, not much could be more simple. Drag and drop an image onto PicFocus– or, click to open a photo. Select the tool and outline the image you want in the foreground. PicFocus knows that everything else goes into the background. The Saturation slider bar controls color depth.
Oddly, the Warmth control slides left for more color warmth, but right for cooler color. PicFocus is a fascinating way to adjust focus and color with little effort. Just don’t get lost in trial and error.
Nicely done and a bargain at 99-cents. As always, I would like to see a PicFocus version for iPhone and iPad.