Photo editing ▪ August 20

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Adobe announced almost one year ago that it had acquired the team behind the popular image editing app Aviary, and since then the iPhone app has picked up Adobe ID support for syncing editing supplies with Creative Cloud and joined the Creative SDK. Now Adobe is tying Aviary’s tools like text adding and filter adjustments to Adobe Social — which lets social media managers publish content with simple workflows — thanks to tighter Adobe Creative Cloud integration. Adobe highlights what Aviary integration with Social will mean for users: expand full story

Photo editing ▪ June 18

Even though it’s known as “black and white photography,” balanced grays are what make monochrome images striking or flat. Today, MacPhun released Tonality 1.2 ($18) and Tonality Pro 1.2 ($70), tools designed specifically for making the best possible black and white images from color photos. Both versions work with popular photo library management tools, newly including the Mac version of Apple Photos. The Pro version now plugs into Adobe’s new Lightroom CC, and adds RAW support for both new cameras and Lightroom.

Like MacPhun’s excellent noise-removing app Noiseless, Tonality uses a super-simple interface to let you preview potential changes to your images. The window’s bottom initially scrolls across 13 “Basic” presets, ranging from the intelligent “Adaptive Exposure” to the simpler “Underexposed;” 10 different categories collectively contain 150 different presets. Each preset effect starts at maximum, but can be muted using a single slider. Power users can access a right-side pane with controls for exposure, contrast, clarity, structure/micro-structure, color and tone filters, split-toning, glow, blur, vignette, and grain. Additionally, masking tools and a gradient filter let you alter specific areas of your images while leaving others untouched. The differences are so dramatic that you’ll never feel satisfied with a one-step “apply B&W filter” button again.

Tonality is currently being offered at an introductory price of $13 through the Mac App Store, with Tonality Pro at $60 through the company’s web site. Additional photo galleries of the app in action are below…

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Photo editing ▪ April 21

Following months of rumors, Adobe is today announcing Photoshop Lightroom 6 and Lightroom CC, the latest versions of its popular photo editing and organization software. Sharing the same code, design, and much of the same functionality, the two Lightroom releases are separated into purchasable (Lightroom 6) or subscription (Lightroom CC) versions, only the latter of which can sync with Adobe’s mobile applications. Apple notably recommended Lightroom as a replacement for its recently-discontinued Aperture professional photo application, and worked with Adobe to build an Aperture library importing tool to aid users during the transition.

Lightroom manages large photo libraries, while offering photographers powerful tools for RAW and JPEG image adjustment. Now solely a 64-bit application, Lightroom 6/CC promises huge speed improvements when applying prior effects to images, as well as newly added tools and brushes. As shown in the embedded video, facial recognition has been added, enabling functionality similar to Apple’s Faces feature from Aperture and iPhoto. A new HDR (high dynamic range) tool uses two images to create a composite photo with more vivid colors and detail, while brushes such as radial and graduated filters have been added. The app has also gained new slideshow options, automatic panorama stitching, video slide shows, and many other features.

Photoshop Lightroom CC can be downloaded now as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography subscription service for $9.99 per month; a prepaid year of CC Photography access is normally $119.88, and currently on sale at B&H Photo Video for $99.88. Photoshop Lightroom 6 can be ordered for $149 as a standalone download. Adobe has also released version 1.4 updates to its mobile apps Lightroom for iPad and Lightroom for iPhone with support for Lightroom CC, improved cropping, and TIFF file support. Both iOS apps are now available for free from the App Store, but require Creative Cloud subscriptions.

Photo editing ▪ April 9

Snapseed, the excellent free photo editing application, today received its first major update since Google purchased developer Nik Software back in 2012. Version 2.0 arrived in the App Store with a brand new user interface and a huge collection of new features, most notably including spot healing, lens blur effects, perspective transformation, and a non-destructive editing system that can copy edits from one image to another. The app remains universal across iOS devices, and now has a minimalist UI with Material Design influence.

While Apple’s Photos application improved considerably with the release of iOS 8, Snapseed’s unique ability to selectively fix small parts of photos — such as improving the brightness level of one dark face in an otherwise bright image — has kept it relevant as a key iOS photo editing tool for years. Snapseed 2.0 expands upon that feature, letting you apply filters and brushes selectively with a brush tool. You can also go into individual layers and make adjustments to changes that were previously applied during the editing process.

Snapseed 2.0 is available for free from the App Store now. Additional details are after the break…

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Photo editing ▪ July 11, 2014

Photo editing ▪ June 3, 2014

Instagram today released a major update to its popular photo sharing app for smartphones. The latest release, Instagram 6.0, packs in several new photo editing tools including light and dark adjustments, sharpening effects, color adjustments, filter strengths, and more.

When you go to select a filter, you’ll now see a new wrench icon. Tap it and you’ll find a tray of photo editing tools ready for you to explore. You can also now adjust how much of a filter you apply to a photo by double tapping the filter icon.

The update comes just a day after Apple previewed iOS 8 which includes its own photo editing advancements in the native Photos app similar to those found in apps like iPhoto. expand full story

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