Web-based image editor Picnik, which is now a part of Google, has long been the built-in editor for Yahoo's Flickr photo-hosting service. And if you've found yourself wishing it was just as simple to edit other images around the Web, you're in luck. A relatively new Firefox extension called "Instant Image Edit with Picnik" lets you edit any image on any site, using Picnik--all with little more than a right-click.
Apple has released a third update to its Aperture software for editing and cataloging photos, with improvements to stability and the chromatic aberration correction tool among dozens of changes.
Aperture 3 added the ability to correct chromatic aberration--a color problem caused by camera lenses--and Apple believes version 3.0.3 should give better results with less effort.
Indeed, my quick test, editing a dozen photos shot with various lenses, showed a vast improvement over the relatively weak performance in Aperture 3.0.2. It was faster and did a better job removing the color fringes.
Another change concerns geotagging. Aperture … Read more
With automatic lens corrections appearing in Photoshop CS5, it didn't take a genius to forecast Adobe Systems would add the feature to Lightroom 3.
But Adobe hadn't committed to the feature--until Tuesday.
"Below is a preview of lens correction technology that will be included in Lightroom 3 and the Camera Raw 6 plug-in that's part of Photoshop CS5...The easiest application of lens correction is to apply the lens profile technology that encompasses geometric distortion (barrel and pincushion distortion), chromatic aberration, and lens vignetting characteristics," Lightroom Product Manager Tom Hogarty said in a blog post. Chromatic aberration, caused by the different paths that different colors of light take through a lens, can produce red and blue color fringes in high-contrast areas; distortion makes parallel lines bow inward or outward; and vignetting causes the corners of images to darken.
Lightroom 2, the current version, provides some manual controls over lens correction. The automated corrections in Lightroom 3 promises to remove some drudgery from the photographic process and illustrates a new trend: computational photography, in which computers step in to address camera weaknesses or expand their horizons. Image post-processing, whether in the camera or on a computer, is increasingly essential to the photography industry.
Lightroom, like Apple's competing Aperture, uses a nondestructive editing approach that overlays editing changes onto an unaltered original. The changes are stored as metadata that can be easily changed since the underlying original image is unaltered.
But nondestructive editing is computationally difficult as multiple adjustments are layered in. Distortions are particularly complicated: when a photographer edits an image, for example by brightening a couple faces, the computer must apply those changes not to the underlying grid of pixels, but to the mathematically warped version that the distortion correction produces.
Adobe will supply support for a "handful" of lenses, but also will let users create and share their own profiles through Lens Profile Creator tool that the company plans to post on Adobe Labs, Hogarty said. In a video demonstration, Hogarty said the company will support a number of Canon, Nikon, and Sigma lenses. The demo showed 18 Canon lenses at one point, though, so it sounds like more than a handful to me. I'd also expect the company to add more support with Lightroom updates, the same way it adds support for new proprietary raw image formats from newer cameras. … Read more
Apple got a lot of things right in iPhoto '09, and in the latest version of its higher-end, $200 Aperture software it's tried to replicate that same success. But did it work?
The short answer is yes. What might be more surprising to an iPhoto user is how similarly easy to use these features are in Aperture, despite being far more powerful.
Some of the carryovers include facial recognition, geotagging, and integration with third-party sites like Flickr, Facebook, and the company's MobileMe subscription service. Out of that bunch, facial recognition and geotagging are likely to be the most familiar. Where things get interesting are the extra features Apple has added to both of these, and a handful of other tools that can be found within iPhoto. Read on to get the details.… Read more
Specifically, the app can stream videos stored in your Photoshop.com account. It just can't upload videos the way it can snapshots.
Maybe someday. In the meantime, Adobe has taken an already impressive app and has made it better. In my informal tests, streaming worked quickly and effectively. So if you're already using Photoshop.com to house video, here's you chance to watch them on the fly.
As with photos, the app also lets … Read more
What you get with the latest version of PaintShop Pro is a midlevel photo editor with a low learning curve and some very nice editing and output features. The easily navigable interface puts photos front and center and surrounds them with tools and menus. It doesn't have all the pixel-pushing prowess of its pricier competitors, but PaintShop Pro X3 does add a few significant enhancements and new features. Support for HD video projects is the biggie here, as more users are investing in fancier digital cameras and in high-def computers and TV screens.
Shutterbugs will also appreciate the new … Read more
Bibble Labs has released the long-awaited version 5 of its software for editing and managing the raw photos higher-end cameras can take.
Also new is the price. The Pro version of Bibble 5 costs $199.95, up from $129.95 for Bibble 4 Pro; those who bought Bibble 4 Pro after September 1, 2006, however, get a free upgrade. Bibble 5 Lite hasn't been released yet, but the company said Bibble 4 … Read more
We've long been fans of Photogene, a $2.99 image editor for iPhone and iPod Touch that faces heavy rivalry from apps like the free Photoshop Mobile for iPhone. We figured it's time to take a closer look.
While Photogene offers a lot to like, there's still room for improvement. We outline the pros and cons in this First Look video.
DreamLight Photo Editor is like many image-editing tools. It adds dreamlike effects to your photos: filters like Light, Star, Amazing, and so on, and backgrounds, borders, and print options. The translated English is quirky and the support is thin, but it does what it's supposed to and seems easy enough to use. We wish it had multiple undos, but you can only undo the most recent change.
If your PC is, say, less than five years old and came with a typical software bundle, you probably already have an image editor that can do most everything DreamLight does, though … Read more
Fly Free Photo Editing & Viewer offers several standard image-altering functions and a few helpful surprises. While it's mostly nothing new, Fly Free proves a solid enough performer to make it a good alternative to costlier choices, especially since it's free.
The program's interface feels very natural to operate. Its professional-looking design is a big part of its efficient, intuitive nature. Fly Free's functions felt familiar because we'd seen them in many similar photo and image editing programs. Within the interface's sleek design lies some expanded functionality. For instance, we were able to change … Read more