There is always a lot of controversy surrounding digital manipulation of photos, but whether you are for or against it, it is a fact of life. Almost every professional image you have ever seen, going well back into the era of film cameras, has been manipulated in some way. With that in mind, I am always on the lookout for software that can help get reasonable results without taking hours or costing me my children’s college tuition.
One of the recent tools I came across was Imagic Photo Enhancer [affiliate link].
How this photo went from drab to fab in about 20 seconds.
Now, of course, the first thing I did was to go out and take some very average photos in poor conditions so I could put this software through its paces. The photos here are all taken at about midday on a particularly sunny day so there were all sorts of problems with exposure as you can see.
Even so, I think I managed to save them without making them look overdone.
Here’s another one:
Now bear in mind, I have only been playing around with this software for less than an hour so I am not exactly an expert at it yet. But I am still kind of impressed that Imagic managed to drastically improve the quality of the colour in these shots.
So how is it to use?
Let me start by saying, I am not a technical guy. I have massive problems getting Photoshop to do the things I want to without detailed written instructions to guide me.
That’s why IMagic’s interface was a pleasant surprise. There are really only 7 controls that you can alter.
Here’s what they do:
Adjust toward the left for sharper lighting, and toward the right for softer lighting.
Adjusts the amount of lighting effect. Also adjusts the amount of the ‘color filters'.
Increase or decrease the exposure. This darkens or lightens the highlight values.
Increase or decrease the overall lightness of the image.
Removes or adds the overall amount of color.
Use to fine tune the tone of the image. Slide left to remove blue color cast, or slide right to remove yellow color cast.
Here’s how the whole program looks:
Now obviously there are a lot of functions that hard core technophiles might miss in a piece of software like this. It is certainly no Photoshop and the image manipulation is constrained to altering aspects of the colour, tone and exposure of the entire image.
On the other hand, this is an incredibly fast and simple piece of software that does exactly what it says it will. It is unpretentious and effective.
Most importantly, it has a free trial so you can decide for yourself!
Here are a few other before and after results from images that weren't quite as bad to start with: