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Chapter 4. Editing Photos > Recommended Image-Editing Programs

Recommended Image-Editing Programs

You can use any image-editing program with iPhoto. However, a few applications are particularly appropriate for use with iPhoto.

PixelNhance

Caffeine Software’s free PixelNhance is an essential addition to iPhoto’s simple editing tools. It helps you modify the brightness and contrast of your photos, adjust the levels of different colors, increase or decrease the sharpness, reduce the amount of visual noise in the image, and more (Figure 4.41).

Figure 4.41. PixelNhance provides a number of tools for editing your photos—click a tool at the top of the window, and then use the controls to modify the image in its own window (see the next screen shot).


What sets PixelNhance apart from other image editors is its ultra-easy interface. A movable bar separates two sections of the photo; one section shows how it looked originally, the other displays a preview of how your changes would affect the image (Figure 4.42). You can download a copy of the current version from www.caffeinesoft.com.

Figure 4.42. PixelNhance’s image window displays the photo, with a movable bar separating how the image looked originally from how the changes you make will affect it. Here I’ve increased the contrast of a wintry scene to make it darker and more vibrant.


As this book was about to go to press, Caffeine Software suspended operations. Watch http://iphoto.tidbits.com/ for updated news about PixelNhance’s fate.

GraphicConverter

Lemke Software’s $30 GraphicConverter is one of the most popular Mac shareware applications. Although its claim to fame is conversion of graphic files between a vast number of formats, it also offers extensive image-editing features. You can sharpen images, adjust color levels, change brightness and contrast, modify image resolution, and mirror images, among many other features. GraphicConverter’s more technical interface isn’t as straightforward as PixelNhance’s, but its power is undeniable (Figure 4.43). You can download a copy of the current version from www.lemkesoft.com.

Figure 4.43. Via a relatively technical interface, GraphicConverter offers a vast number of features, such as the Sharpen tool shown above. Here I’ve used it to increase the sharpness of a photo of hand-turned thumbtacks to bring out the wood grain.


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