You know, I just realized something. I seem to spend a lot time focusing on iOS but today, I’m going to focus on the Mac, more specifically, a photo editing application for the Mac called PhotoScape X.
I chose PhotoScape X because it’s an application that contains a boat load of features, what you might call an all-in-one desktop photo editor.
When you first open the app, you will find a menu of options along the top: Photoscape X, Viewer, Editor, Batch, Collage, Combine, CreateGif, Print, Tools, and Store. Combined, this menu comes jam-packed with a lot of functionality.
Running your cursor across the corresponding thumbnails along the bottom, you will get a glimpse of the wonderful features that come with PhotoScape X: Shape and Text, Collage, Combine, Sticker and Frame, Point Color, Cellophane, Film Effect, Light Leak, Miniature Effect, and Illusion and Reflection. This section is mainly an overview of what you can expect when you delve deeper into this amazing application.
The Viewer, simply put, is where you can view all the photos accessible on your Mac - not only what you see, but how you can view them. For example, you can view them in tile view, list view, and/or full screen. When you click on the drop down menu at the bottom right, you can organize files, alphabetically, by size, date, and so forth. You can also use the slider along the bottom to control the size of your thumbnails. The Settings icon provides some additional hidden gems. For example, you can customize your view by filling the thumbnails, or showing the file name, number, and frame. You even have the option to tilt images so they appear less uniform.
Under the Editor, you have access to your images on the left, and on the right, you have a range of menu options: Edit, Adjust, Film, Effect, Frame, Insert, and Brush. This menu is the most extensive, with a plethora of effects and alterations.
Edit is where you can make adjustments to the structure of your image, including Crop, Resize, Flip Horizontal, Flip Vertical, Rotate CW, Rotate CCW, Rotate (general), and Straighten. All of these features are pretty straightforward, but let’s take a closer look at the Crop and Resize options.
When selecting one of the aspect ratios, say 1:1 or square format, the cropping tool will automatically take on the form of a square. The same occurs when you choose 16:9. A unique option includes the ability to add a circular crop, which can then be used to add a color, pattern, or transparent background.
The resize tool enables you to increase the pixel dimension of your photo, with options to preserve the aspect ratio or to adjust the size manually by 300 percent.
The adjustment tools in PhotoScape X are what you would expect to find, the ability to control brightness, color, levels, curves, color balances, sharpen, blur, and white balance.
Color emphasis is how you can control point color. For example, you can select one of the color swatches to decide what color you want to emphasize; the rest of the photo remains neutral. For better control, you can use the eye drop tool to pull a color directly from the photo. You will notice throughout the option compare your changes to the original photo.
Still under the Editor menu is the option to add Film Effects. Here you can select a long list of thumbnails, each one representing a different film overlay; the slider along the bottom allows for further refinements. The Film Menu also includes Duotone and Light Leak options. Duotones appear monochromatic, but have hints of warm and cool colors reminiscent of different film processes. Light Leaks are quite common among photo editors, but in PhotoScape X, you can make further adjustments by using the tools below to flip and/or rotate the effects.
The Effect tab goes beyond film replications. The Effects include Miniature Effect, Bloom, Vignetting, Edge, Watercolor Pencil, Colored Pencil, Cellophane, Fisheye, Newsprint, Jitter, Crystallize, Illusion, Reflection, Dilate, and Erode.
The Miniature Effect is what is commonly referred to as “Tilt Shift.” By tilting the focus of your images, you can isolate the focus on certain parts of your photos, while blurring the rest. As you will find in common applications like Instagram, you have a radial and linear option.
Crystallize enables you to break your image into cubist abstractions, ranging from fine and minute rearticulations of the image to larger more abstract forms.
The Editor Menu also includes the ability to frame your images, with a subset of menus that include Frame, Shape, and Border. What I find most impressive is the extensive menu of options, and the ability to add colors, patterns, and transparent backgrounds.
The Editor Men also includes the ability insert stickers, Images or logos, text, and various annotation markers. Each additional element that you add to your photo can be removed by clicking the “X.” An inspector menu enables you to customize colors, opacity, and line types.
I found the brush menu to be surprising, and refreshing. For example, when you select painting at the top left, a long list of options appear, which you can brush onto your photo, including the ability to paint, add greyscale and sepia tones; brighten, deepen, darken, blur, defocus, clear skin, or apply mosaic effects. You can also correct red eye, remove mole, and/or clone sections of your photo.
PhotoScape X also comes with a Batch feature. Essentially, you can import multiple photos, and make adjustments to all of them at the same time. These adjustments include resizing, adjusting lighting, contrast, and clarity of the images, adding effects and even adding frames and shapes - all of this done to multiple photos at the same time.
Another feature that typically comes in the form of a stand-alone app is the Collage feature. Rather than provide this feature as a simple add-on, PhotoScape built in a full-fledge collage creation tool. As you can see there are so many templates at your disposal that your options are limitless. Not only do you have ten menus to choose from, but each collage comes wth the ability to customize the size of the collage, control corners and margins, adjust colors, as well as, customize backgrounds. You can also add layers in the form of stickers, images, and text. Wow!!
Combine is another menu option that is a variant on the collage feature. For example, you can import multiple photos and combine them, either in vertical and horizontal displays or in tile view. Furthermore, the combo feature comes with the same adjustment tools as the collage feature, refining the margins, rounding the corners, adding a background color, and changing the canvas size of your final export. Think of how handy this feature could be when updating header images for your social media pages or personal websites.
With PhotoScape X, you can also create Gifs. I kid you not. And the features are quite impressive. Let’s take a look. Select a group of images from your library and drag them onto the stage. On the righthand side, you will find several ways to customize your Gif. By default, each image will begin to flash at intervals of 0.50 seconds. You can easily change this by selecting “Change Time” and then “Change All Frames.” “No Effect” is selected by default, but you can change this by clicking on “Change Effect” and adding the “Slide” transitions” or “Fade” and “Zoom.” Text can also be added to your Gif, including the ability to control the size and position of the text.
Print is the next menu option. This seems pretty straight forward at first, but on closer inspection, you will notice that even this feature comes with levels of customization that you would not expect from a photo editor. From the this menu, you can select the printer, paper size, portrait or landscape, and/or print a portrait shot or thumbnails. You can choose paper or image full, even select the DPI, ranging from 72 to 1200.
I know what your thinking. Have I moved on to another application or am I still describing PhotoScape X. Trust me, I thought the same thing.
Next on the Menu bar is “Tools.” Here you can take screenshots, which can import into PhotoScape X, select a built-in color picker, and rename files in bulk. And last, but not least, the Store enables you to upgrade to the Pro version and/or buy additional stickers and photo decorations.
And that is PhotoScape X, the all-in-photo editor for the Mac. Check it out. The app is free (which is absolutely crazy), but comes with in-app purchases, if you want to upgrade to pro, and that is exactly what you should do because this app is amazing!!
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