When Nik Software released Snapseed for the iPad it got quite a lot of attention. I’m one of those rare people who doesn’t use an iPad for content creation. My iPad essentially serves only two purposes…

1. To show off my portfolio
2. To consume data

I wasn’t all that interested in fixing photos on my iPad. But my laptop? That’s a different story. So when I heard that Snapseed was available for my Mac laptop, I went to the App Store, plunked down my $19.95 and started playing.

While most serious photographers I know (me included) like Nik ColorEfex Pro, Snapseed is much less expensive and frankly aimed at just having a little fun. That doesn’t mean you can’t do real photo work with it. You can. It’s just that it’s not meant to be a replacement for something like Photoshop.

Here are some of the key features:

* Tune Image—Quickly correct photos shot in difficult lighting situations, create depth and vibrancy with Ambience, or adjust White Balance, Saturation, Contrast and more

*Auto Correct—Automatically analyzes your photo and adjusts color and exposure, or you can use the sliders to add or reduce the enhancements

*Control Points—Make precise selections and enhancements in seconds with Nik Software’s revolutionary U Point technology

*Tilt-Shift—Creates a narrow in-focus area designed to simulate depth of field, common in a Miniature Scene look

*Details—Enhances details with traditional sharpening as well as Nik Software’s unique
Structure control found in the professional Nik Software product line

*Crop & Straighten—Rotate or straighten with simple slider controls and select from a variety of standard aspect ratios while cropping

*Grunge—Explore styles and textures without limits and give photos a totally unique look

*Drama—Add custom effects to a photo which range from subtle enhancements of textures to wildly creative and artistic effects

*Vintage—Nine unique nostalgic films, plus controls like saturation, textures and vignettes make any photo look like a vintage color film photo from the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s

*Frames—Add unique borders to photos by choosing styles and textures

*Black and White—Give photos a classic look with this darkroom-inspired filter. Select styles, grain, vignettes, and more for a perfectly nostalgic look

*Sharing—Share photos on Facebook and Flickr, email photos, and print them using your home printer

Some of my favorite tools are Grunge, Vintage, Tilt & Shift and Drama – all of which give photos a cool look very quickly.  It is a simple workflow. You just drag your photo into Snapseed, make your adjustments, apply filters, export, etc.

One thing that would make Snapseed better is if it could export directly from Aperture or Lightroom, etc. Now you have to export the image from your editing application then drag it into Snapseed. It’s no big deal but it would be nice if it had better connection with other apps.

Snapseed supports:
• Mac OS 10.6.6 and 10.7.2
• Requires 64-bit processor (Intel Core 2 Duo or later
• JPEG, TIFF (in RGB color mode), and RAW file formats

It’s a very versatile program that is fun and easy to use. Within minutes of opening the program you’ll be an expert. Everyone from casual shutterbugs to serious shooters will enjoy Snapseed and at $19.95 it’s a no brainer.

Highly addictive and highly recommended.

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