Back in the days of yesteryear, when good photos required an expensive DSLR, and a camera bag full of lenses, filters, a light meter and other photo accoutrements of the trade, photography was a complicated and somewhat expensive endeavor. That was the effort to get the photo taken, which then needed to be coupled to film processing and printing.
These days, very good photos and movies are taken with nothing more than the latest cell phone model, and a multitude of effects can be applied to a photo within seconds or minutes after capture. For Mac users who store tens of thousands of photos in iPhoto or Aperture, many dozens of high quality photo enhancement apps are available for nothing or next to nothing.
Here are two you must have on your Mac. Both are great values. One is free.
First on the list is CameraBag 2, a suite of photo enhancements, effects, filters, and other photo tools.
Nearly 200 adjustable tools let you apply fast image processing with nothing more than a few clicks. Because CameraBag 2 works with layers you can create hundreds of filters and effects, and save them for use later as presets. The tab-based interface makes choosing filters and effects mere clicks for any style you can dream of.
Setup CameraBag 2 for a side-by-side comparison of the original photo vs. the enhanced photo. Do instant film or a complete artistic change with a click. Everything is built in and accessible from one window– and it’s all non-destructive. With this inexpensive utility trial and error is your friend because the possibilities are endless.
For Mac users ready to move beyond iPhoto to apps with more controls, tools, and possibilities, I have not trouble recommending CameraBag 2. It’s easy to setup and use right away and the price tag is modest. Likewise, I have no trouble recommending Fotor for the Mac. Fotor is much like CameraBag Lite.
Fotor comes with a point and click slider bar toolset to adjust, crop, add effects and even tilt-shift a photo. There are 80 collage templates that hold up to nine photos and come with 20 unique backgrounds.
Photo enhancements comes with more than a dozen one click settings to apply to a photo– darken, cloudy, shade, sunset, night, flash, fluorescent, portrait, outdoor, landscape, theatre and food closeup. Fotor even lets you drop in effects, borders, and text.
Fotor even does batch processing so you can apply specific effects on dozens of photos at the same time. Use ghost reduction technology to correct the problem of coming images in HDR photos. In other words, Fotor is feature packed and free. I reviewed Fotor more extensively back in December, but since then new features have been added including clip art and photo cards. If you can only have one additional photo enhancement utility and you’re flat broke, this is the one to get.