I’m always game for free software. I’ll regularly jump over to the Mac App Store and see what’s topping the charts (especially the free charts). I came across Fotor recently, which offers two primary modes for working. Turns out the app is available for several platforms including web, Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac (here’s the link — http://www.fotor.com).
- Edit mode. While there are many options on the market, Fotor offers an easy way to process TIFF, JPEG, PNG, and RAW files. A streamlined set of tools lets you adjust exposure, brightness, contrast, white balance, and saturation. The sharpen/blur, add a vignette, and crop commands are all intuitive. Easy scene modes let you quickly adjust images in a way similar to camera shooting modes. The effects are a bit over the top, but do offer a slider to back off the intensity. Several of the border effects are cheesy at best, but a few gems can be found. Support for EXIF data makes this a robust tool. The save formats are slightly limited, but with TIFF, JPEG, and PNG most users will be satisfied.
- Collage mode. The real standout is the collage mode. While it is template driven, it currently ships with 41 different templates. The templates are designed to hold up to 9 photos at a time and you can load up to 30 photos into your “photo basket” as you design. There’s also a freestyle editor to make your own designs. The tool behaves much like iPhoto or Aperture templates with simple making tools and sliders. A drawback is as you switch templates; most of the design choices you’ve made are lost. Borders can be finely controlled for color, width, roundness, and drop shadow. Photos cannot be edited within the template, so make any color and exposure adjustments first. Again, some cheesiness exists with patterns designed for overzealous scrapbookers, but a little self-control goes a long way to getting results. It’d be really nice to access some of the styling presets from within the Collage mode.
The app also has little touched that make it feel very Mac like. It’s fully optimized for retina displays and uses several standard OS level user interface elements. You’ll also find convenient sharing to Twitter and Facebook built-in (but surprisingly no Pinterest or Goggle+). Printing is controlled by the standard Mac print dialog box (which is familiar but slightly limiting).
Verdict: You get more than what you pay for. If you’re looking for an easy to use photo editor or a way to add quick borders, this is a great choice. I see myself using the collage feature to make quick combo images for social media and blog posts. Recommend as easy to use and absolutely free. Get it for other platforms here — http://www.fotor.com.
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