Best Mac Photo Editors: Unveiling the Power of Built-in & Advanced Photo Editing

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Macs are incredibly versatile when it comes to tasks like photo editing, creating visuals for marketing campaigns, or making presentations. And the best part is, you don’t even need external software to edit your pictures on a Mac. The built-in Photos and Preview apps have got you covered for basic editing tasks. However, there are many merits to using more advanced editing software like Luminar.

In this article, we’ll explore how you can edit pictures on your Mac using these apps. We’ll also discuss third-party toolkits that can be useful for your photo editing needs. Whether you’re looking to quickly tweak and enhance your photos or easily create stunning visuals, there’s a solution out there for you.

So let’s jump right in and discover the world of photo editing on Mac!

Is there a Mac photo editing software from third parties?

Yes, there is. When it comes to choosing the best photo editor for your Mac, it ultimately depends on the tools and features you need. While the built-in Photos and Preview apps offer basic editing capabilities, third-party options like Luminar Neo provide more advanced functionality including comple AI features that turn hours of Photoshop work into a simple slider movement. For example, you can use Luminar AI feature to change sky, add sunrays, edit atmosphere visibility, remove background and many more that go far beyond standard Mac photo editor.

Edit pictures on Mac with the Photos app

If you’re interested in editing photos on your Mac using the pre-installed Photos app, it’s a straightforward process. You can start by launching the app either from your dock or by navigating to Finder > Applications and then dragging and dropping your chosen image into the application window.

Once your image is loaded into the editor, you can access basic editing tools that can significantly enhance your pictures. Let’s delve into some of these commonly used photo editing features that you might find useful.

The first feature we’ll explore is how to crop, straighten, rotate, and flip an image. To begin cropping an image in the Photos app on your Mac, click the Edit button at the top right corner of your Photos app window. This action will switch you into editing mode. After this, open up the Crop tab at the center of your Photos window. A cropping frame will appear over your image; drag its corners to select the portion of the picture you want to keep.

When satisfied with how much of the picture you’ve selected for cropping, click Done to finalize it.

In addition to cropping, there’s also a handy tool for straightening any tilted horizons in your images. On the right side of your image, a dial allows you to adjust until everything looks just right.

Flipping an image is another simple task within this app. All it takes is clicking the Flip icon on the right side of the Photos app window.

Lastly, if you need to rotate an image, simply click the rotate icon at the top right corner of your Photos app window.

Adjust lighting and exposure

There are instances when your camera’s lighting or exposure settings don’t quite capture what you’re seeing in real life. Perhaps the final image is too bright or too dark and doesn’t accurately represent the scene you were trying to photograph. In such cases, adjustments need to be made.

With the Photos app, you can easily tweak the light and exposure of your images. When editing an image within the app, navigate to the Adjust tab. Here, you’ll find a Light slider that you can manipulate by dragging its thumb along.

For more detailed adjustments, an Options menu under Light provides access to additional tools. These include Brilliance, Exposure, Highlights, Shadows, Brightness, Contrast, and Black Point. These tools can significantly enhance your image by optimizing the balance between light and shadow. To use them effectively, we suggest moving each slider’s thumb until you discover the perfect combination for your specific image.

If you have multiple images that require similar light and color enhancements, consider using CameraBag Pro. This software extends beyond single-image editing on Macs by allowing users to save their presets for application on other images. After editing an image to your liking with CameraBag Pro, simply go to the Presets tab and click ‘Save Preset…’.

In addition to this feature, CameraBag Pro offers a wide range of photo editing tools, including watermarking capabilities for your pictures.

Modify the light intensity and exposure settings.

There are instances when the camera’s lighting and exposure settings fail to accurately capture what your eyes perceive. This can result in images that are either too bright or too dark, necessitating some adjustments.

If you’re using the Photos app, you can easily tweak the light and exposure of your image. To do this, navigate to the Adjust tab while editing your photo within the app. From there, you’ll see a Light slider that you can manipulate by dragging its thumb.

For more detailed adjustments, click on the Options menu located under Light. Here, you’ll find various tools, including Brilliance, Exposure, Highlights, Shadows, Brightness, Contrast, and Black Point. Each tool is designed to help optimize the balance between light and shadow in your image. We suggest experimenting with each slider until you achieve a combination that best suits your photo.

If you have multiple photos requiring similar light and color enhancements, CameraBag Pro might be a useful tool for you. Unlike editing single images on Mac through the Photos app, CameraBag Pro allows users to save their presets for future use on other photos. After editing an image according to your preference, head to the Presets tab and select Save Preset…

In addition to this feature, CameraBag Pro also offers a wide range of photo editing tools, including watermarking capabilities for your pictures.

Fix red-eyes in Photos

If you’re looking to enhance your photos, the Photos app has a handy Adjust menu that includes tools for retouching and correcting red eye. To use these features, simply click on the brush icon located next to the respective tool in the menu. You can then adjust your brush size by moving your thumb along the slider before applying it directly onto your photo.

However, suppose you frequently need to remove unwanted elements from your images, such as cropping or blurring out specific items. In that case, you may use Luminar to not only remove red eye effect but also to edit eye collor, enlarge eyes, remove dark circles or improve eyebrows with a simple built in slider. AI will do all the heavy lifting for you. It’s worth exploring if you often need more advanced editing options for your photos.

Enhance the clarity of your images and minimize graininess.

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If you want to enhance your images’ clarity, the Photos app on your device offers a simple solution. By navigating to the Adjust menu and scrolling down, you’ll find an option labeled Sharpen. This feature allows you to adjust three parameters: Intensity, Edges, and Falloff. If you prefer not to manually tweak these settings, there’s also an AUTO function that lets the app determine the optimal combination for your image.

When your photos were taken in less than ideal lighting conditions, another tool in the Photos app can be handy – Noise Reduction. Conveniently located adjacent to the Sharpen tool, this feature enables you to reduce visual noise by simply sliding a thumb along its control slider until you achieve the desired results.

However, if manual adjustments aren’t your thing or if you’d rather have a more automated approach to enhancing your images, then Luminar Neo’s AI Enhance tool might be just what you need. You can easily locate this under the Edit section of the application.

Luminar Neo is beneficial for those who use their Macbook for photo editing tasks as it comes equipped with several advanced tools designed specifically for this purpose. These include Supersharp extension, which further enhances image sharpness beyond what’s achievable with standard sharpening tools; AI Skin enhancement and AI Body enhancement, which are great for portrait photography; and a variety of presets that can be applied to any image and adjusted according to personal preference.

Adjust color balance

One of the frequent issues photographers encounter when capturing images is dealing with inaccurate colors. This could be due to an incorrect white balance setting, limitations in your camera’s hardware or processing capabilities, or other factors. Understanding how to rectify this problem is crucial in mastering photo editing on a Mac.

When you’re modifying your picture, you can adjust its color palette and alter the white balance. These changes can help correct any discrepancies and make your image appear more true-to-life, closely resembling what you observed when taking the photograph. Alternatively, these adjustments can also be used creatively to give your image a unique, ethereal quality.

Here are detailed instructions on how to modify colors using the Photos app on a Mac:

1. Start by launching the Photos application. You can do this from Dock or through Finder > Applications.
2. Once the app is open, drag and drop your chosen photograph into it.
3. Look for an option labeled ‘Edit’ in the screen’s top right corner and click on it.
4. Navigate to ‘Color’. Here you will find a slider that allows you to manually adjust color settings as per your preference. If you’d instead not do this manually, there’s also an ‘AUTO’ option, which will automatically make changes for you.
5. As another option, you can go to ‘White Balance’. Similar to ‘Color’, a slider named ‘Warmth’ lets you manually tweak settings or use ‘AUTO’ for automatic adjustments.

By following these steps carefully, even beginners should be able to successfully edit their photos on a Mac without much difficulty!

Selective Color feature in Photos?

Selective Color is a handy feature in photo editing that allows you to make highly accurate color adjustments to your images. To access this tool, you’ll first need to open your image within the Photos app’s editing mode, as previously demonstrated. Once there, look for the Selective Colors option under the Adjust tab.

This feature provides a range of color options you can manipulate to achieve your desired effect. You control aspects such as hue, saturation, luminance, and range for each suggested color. This means you can adjust how light or dark a color appears (luminance), its intensity (saturation), and even its position on the color spectrum (hue).

But what if the color you want to adjust isn’t one of the suggested options? No problem! The Selective Colors menu also includes a tool that allows you to manually select any color present in your image. Once selected, you can then modify its hue, saturation, luminance, and range just like with the suggested colors.

In essence, this feature offers high precision when it comes to tweaking colors in your photos. Whether it’s adjusting a specific shade of blue in the sky or altering the tone of green in a field of grass, Selective Color puts detailed and precise color correction at your fingertips.

Photo effects and filters

If you’re not entirely comfortable with manually adjusting all the settings for your images in Photos, or if you simply need more time to do so, filters can be a great alternative. Filters are also an excellent way to add specific atmospheres to your photos that you might need to learn how to create using manual settings.

To apply filters in the Photos app, navigate to the Filters tab within the application window and select one that appeals to you. You can then adjust the intensity of the filter by moving the slider along its scale:

For those who want more variety when it comes to filters and effects, consider exploring sLuminar Neo, which provides Presets that can either be used as they are or modified according to your preferences. This app features numerous Presets designed for street photography, portraits, and landscapes among others. Additionally, it allows you to add effects like AI Sky Enhancer and Portrait Bokeh to enhance your images further.

Should You Switch to Luminar Neo?

Luminar AI certainly shocked its audience with its advanced AI capabilities. However, many photographers were left wanting better speed and performance. This is where Luminar NEO comes in, boasting a revamped core engine to address these concerns.

Luminar NEO operates seamlessly, applying edits swiftly. Power lines can be removed in a snap, and its outstanding AI tools allow for precise portrait enhancements. With a single click, even the background of a portrait can be eliminated.

Among photo editing platforms, Luminar NEO stands out with its superior AI features. While many brands are integrating AI into their products, most are still trailing behind Luminar NEO.

Not only are its AI functionalities smooth and precise, but they also provide real value. Skylum prioritizes its users’ feedback, ensuring that updates cater to their needs. It’s no surprise that the loyalty of Luminar NEO users is steadily growing.

Whether you’re an influencer or a seasoned photographer, Luminar NEO is bound to elevate your photo-editing journey. Give it a shot with the Luminar NEO free trial, though we believe it’s a worthy investment.

To wrap up

Editing photos on your Mac can be straightforward once you familiarize yourself with the tools at your disposal and discover what suits your needs best. Some tools can significantly streamline your workflow, turning hours of editing into few clicks. We suggest giving Luminar a try, especially because of its impeccable AI features.

Our guide offers insights on tailoring your image editing on a Mac to your unique preferences. If any of the tools piqued your interest, don’t hesitate to dive deeper.