You can’t spell retouch without “ouch” and there’s a good reason for it. The retouching process has always been a pain in the neck for both seasoned pros and yellow-beaked newbies – tedious, complicated, time-consuming. The reason is simple – people still turn to mammoths like Photoshop or Lightroom, unaware of some game-changing software popping up here and there and ushering a new era of easy and quick retouching. One of such heralds of this new age is photo retouching software called PhotoWorks.
A newcomer and somewhat of an underdog, this photo editor seems to mean business – it claims to bring a Photoshop-level result minus the hard work. Sounds intriguing. Let’s see if PhotoWork can deliver on the promise.
Quick Overview: Getting Acquainted
All in all, the first impression this photo editor makes is fairly nice. PhotoWorks sports a slick dark interface with big buttons that are refreshingly easy to read (looking at you and your tiny icons, Photoshop!). All the tools and features hide under the tabs, and the sidebar on the right invites you to start with enhancing your picture quality first. For those who are curious to see the result, there is a Before/After mode. For a more convenient navigation, PhotoWorks provides a panel to preview all the photos in your current folder.
But since we are not here for sightseeing, let’s switch to the tab we came to review – the Retouch tab – and learn how to retouch photos with it. The first thing that you notice is a small number of actual tools which can raise a few eyebrows. But before you jump to conclusions, let’s have a look at each tool in turn.
Portrait Magic: Retouching Photos in a Click
This is a whole module dedicated to retouching the face in your pictures with a set of beautifying effects. As the names of the presets suggest, you can smooth skin, remove face shine, whiten teeth, add a light tan and more. The effects are stupidly easy to apply – a single click – and the results are, well, kind of impressive. Thanks to its neural network, the software avoids rendering pictures too plastic – the changes are quite delicate.
For those of you who prefer to micromanage the changes, PhotoWorks offers sliders for manual control of the effects. This way it is a lot easier to avoid any unnaturally looking results.
Face Sculpt: Fighting Camera Injustice
This feature, driven by a content-aware AI (sounds only semi-menacing), is able to correct face shape and change facial features. It might seem like an unnecessary feature, but pro photographers shouldn’t shrug it off. Such small tweaks of eyes, nose, and lips can be very useful if your model’s facial features have been warped due to bad lighting or an unflattering shooting angle. With Face Sculpt, you can slightly change the size and shape of eyes, lips, chin just by dragging a slider. Pretty neat.
Healing Brush: Erasing Minor Blemishes
No matter how efficient and easy to use Portrait Magic is, still nothing can beat old-fashioned manual retouch, right? Well, PhotoWorks takes a cue from the industry’s best and also provides users with a retouching tool appropriately named the Healing Brush. A nifty tool to touch up smaller blemishes, this brush might be not as high-end and responsive as its counterparts within more popular software, but it still get the job done pretty smoothly. Coupled with the Portrait Magic module, the Healing Brush can perfect even the worse headshots.
Clone Stamp: Getting Rid of Distractions
The Clone Stamp tool is somewhat of the last resorts for those pictures that you consider unsalvageable.With it, you can get rid of huge blemishes like scars, moles, face tattoos, and whatnot. The Clone Stamp works decently, covering all unsightly elements with pixels from a donor area. Its use goes beyond simple portrait retouching and can also help users to get rid of odd objects in the background. A couple of clicks and so long, pesky photobomber!
Adjustment Brush: Retouching Certain Parts
This tool allows you to change certain parts of your picture without affecting the rest. Easy to use – this seems to be the pattern with this photo retouching software – and efficient, the Adjustment Brush lets you adjust (duh!) the hue, saturation, tone, and sharpness of a certain part of your picture by dragging a few sliders. Digital makeup, anyone?
Tools for Days: Looking Deeper
PhotoWorks’ list of tools for retouching photos is certainly not limited to the ones listed above. You can also remove the red-eye effect in a click and use the Radial filter to highlight a certain part of you photo. And yet, it’s not all PhotoWorks is capable of, not by a long shot. This photo editor is packed with fairly powerful tools including, but not limited to:
- Content-aware auto correction of landscape photos
- Cropping grids for improved composition
- Lens and perspective distortions correction
- Essential tools for photo montage
- Color grading with 3D LUT, tone-mapping, and curves
- Digital noise reduction
- Support of 450+ RAW formats
- 150+ photo effects and more.
Conclusion: Why Should You Turn to PhotoWorks
At the end of the day, PhotoWorks did pretty well. Some might argue that the result of the retouch is subpar compared to the likes of Photoshop, but hey! – at least we didn’t spend hours to achieve it. All the changes were done in a click or a slider drag without tedious selection and fiddling with brushes, layers, and masks. And for that alone, PhotoWork can be praised heartily.
PhotoWorks is definitely not here to overthrow Photoshop – who is, actually? – but rather to provide an alternative for those who struggle with retouching their photos. Unlike popular Adobe programs, PhotoWorks sticks to a clean and understandable interface and a simple yet effective set of tools and features. Besides, this photo retouching software is considerably less demanding hardware-wise and does not require a steep learning curve. And of course, a one-time payment with a lifelong license is PhotoWorks’ undeniable benefit.
If you want to retouch your pictures with ease without sacrificing the result, give PhotoWorks a try. Here’s a discount coupon provided by the developer to get you up and running. Enjoy effortless retouching with PhotoWorks.
Editor’s Note: This is a Sponsored blog post from PhotoWorks.