I am a firm believer in everything is a remix— a philosophy where old begets new but there’s not much difference between the two. Macs, PCs, and iPads improve nominally every couple of years. iPhones improve nominally every year. Nothing is really new or fantastically better than last year’s model, iterative improvements notwithstanding.
So it is with photography. Most smartphones shoot very good digital photos these days. Most Mac, iPhone, and iPad photo enhancement tools display most of the same list of filters and effects. Is there nothing new under the sun? Yes. There. Is. It’s called Circular Studio.
Photo filter and effects apps are a dime a dozen on the iPhone, and perhaps a bit more expensive for Mac users, but they all have one thing in common. Simple and straightforward application of filters and effects. Circular Studio is somewhat descriptive of what you get in a drop dead simple-to-use Mac app.
Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words (or, a few hundred or so).
Whoa. Wait. What is that? Look. Up in the sky. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a super duper fisheye lens! No. Not quite. Actually, not at all. It’s a super filter and effects app called Circular Studio.
With a few clicks you can take any ordinary photo and turn it into something entirely different than run of the mill effects and filters– with sky objects, centers, clouds, flares and more.
Straightforward controls let you adjust the image, change the rotation, set an invert-mode, even add filters and lens textures to an image.
EXIF data remains intact and images are edited and altered in real time. Simply select the Sky Objects, Centers, Clouds or Lens Flares you wish to apply to a photo.
Alakazam! Voila! Done.
If you can handle point and click and move a slider bar, you can use Circular Studio on your photos. Each effect can be edited, too, and that gives you an infinite variety of options, perfect for sophisticated special effects or simply to add a unique look to a mundane photo.
Effects can be layered, too, adding to the infinite variety. Simple tool bar controls let you zoom in or out and move the image on the screen. Slider bars also give you controls over zoom, rotate, invert, flip either Y or X axis, adjust the aspect ratio of Y and X, even change melt, blocks, spiral, and tunnel.
It’s like a digital kaleidoscope for photos.
Wait. There’s more.
Circular Studio wouldn’t live up to its name if it couldn’t handle 360-degree photos. Now it does and that gives you perfectly seamless circular photos with an infinite array of effects and filters. Standard sharing options are built in, and finished photos can be saved or exported as PNG, TFF and JPG file formats.
One of my Photoshop buddies says he can create exactly the same kinds of effects– but not in a few clicks. Hours maybe.
Circular Studio is priced about right, and available in the Mac App Store and the developer’s website, but oddly enough, without a try-before-you-buy option.