For Mac users, there are basically three ways to enhance photos. First, iPhoto or Photos. There’s not much enhancement going on with either, but tweaking a photo is easy enough and the price is right.
Second, there’s Photoshop. Whatever can be done to a photo can be done by Photoshop. The negatives, of course, are the steep learning curve just to get anything out of Photoshop, and the ongoing subscription price tag which goes forever (with apologies to Photoshop Elements which should be called Photoshop Lite).
Third, there’s a whole cottage industry of Mac Photoshop wannabes ranging from Pixelmator to Affinity Photo, Creative Kit, and dozens in between. At the low end of the scale are dozens and dozens of one-trick pony utilities that sell for a few bucks, do one or two things fast and easy and not much else.
Sketch Photo Editor fits perfectly in that segment because it does what you think it does, does it quick and easy, and has a nominal price tag (for what it’s worth, I’ve collected about a dozen of these one-trick pony photo apps so don’t get to use Photoshop as much anymore).
It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Tools are not just modest, they’re simple to bordering on simplistic but yield good results. Open a photo. Select the slider bar for exposure and contrast. Select a Sketch Color from the presets and you’re good to go.
Click Reset to change the photo back to the original. Adjustments are visible in real time.
There’s not much to the presets, either. Black and white. Some odd kind of sepia tone. A very good watercolor option; a favorite. And, my other favorite, the color pencil option. Those are presets which populate the lefthand sidebar.
Each of the non-color presets has an option to select a specific color for the sketch effect, which delivers decidedly decent black and white sketches. The color ink (watercolor-like) and color pencil use colors within the image so results vary, but considering the effort and the price tag, they’re hard to beat.
Based upon the price tag I shouldn’t quibble about missing features, but there are a few I would like to see in future versions. First, a way to change the sketch stroke. Second, numeric controls on the sliders for more precision (and a to save the presets). Otherwise, not bad for the money.
The same developer has a number of other one-trick pony photo enhancement utilities including a unique collage maker. Instead of the usual frames, Easy Collage Maker drops images into objects from another photo.
Adobe has no reason to worry about its business model which doesn’t really compete against such photo enhancement apps, but choice is good, and the Mac App Store > Photography section has plenty of these simple apps from which to choose.