Power House Editing Tools From Macphun Now Available For Apple Photos

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Power House Editing Tools Now Available For Apple Photos

The Macphun Creative Kit home page is shown.
If you are an Apple Photos user Macphun's Creative Kit 2015 put a powerhouse suite of tools in your hands.

Full disclosure: I am spoiled. When you have Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Affinity Photo and Aurora HDR Pro available to you, editing photos in Apple’s Photos application is not exactly something that has crossed my mind. Though the ability to edit photos is there in Apple Photos the tools seem to be rather weak when stacked up against those power house applications. Then again, there are a lot of you out there who either find those applications to be either confusing or intimidating. This is also why, I suspect, there are a lot of mobile apps out there like Aviary, Instagram and so on that offer a a one-tap solution to common image tasks. Thus you can imagine my lack of enthusiasm when I was made aware of Macphun’s Creative Kit 2016.

More full disclosure: Boy, was I wrong!

The Creative Kit is a suite of six tools that offer a rather powerful image editing capability to those of you who have Macs and have Apple Photos installed in El Capitan. Each application performs a specific task and they can be installed as Plug Ins for Photoshop and Lightoom as well as Extensions to Apple Photos. Though they are not what I regard as “Pro-Grade” tools, they will appeal to a rather sizable proportion of Mac users looking to do more than enhance their photos using the editing tools in Photos.

Let’s take a look at a few of them.

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How To Install Macphun’s Creative Kit 2016 As Apple Photos Extensions

The Photos System Extensions dialog box is open showing the apss addfed as extensions to Apple Photos.
Installing the Creative Kit 2016 as extensions to Apple Photos is actually quite painless.

Obviously you have to purchase the Kit. You can download a Demo version but be aware that you can’t save the images once the effect has been applied. Once the installer has been downloaded and you have installed the apps in the Creative kit, open Photos. When Photos opens, select Image>Show Edit Tools. Over on the right is an Extensions button. Click it and then click More. This will open the Extensions System Preferences

To add the individual Tools as Photos Extensions, navigate to your applications folder and open one of the tools. It will appear in the list. Click the check box and the app is added to Photos and ready for use.

When you are finished, close the dialog box.

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How To Use The Macphun Snapheal Application

The object to be removed is painted over in red.
Snaspheal adds the functionality of a Healing Brush to Apple Photos.

Think of this tool as a Healing Brush designed to remove artifacts and other objects from the image.

To start I open an image in Photos, click Extensions and select Snapheal CK. The plan is to remove the person walking along the board walk. I first zoomed in on the image and selected Erase from the buttons at the top of the interface. I then dragged the cursor over the object and adjusted the brush size by pressing either [ –  (Left Square Bracket) – or ] – (Rght Square Bracket)  . I can also set the precision of the effect by selecting one of the options at the bottom of the panel. Due to the fact the object is so small, I selected High.

I then painted over the object and a small portion of the boardwalk. To refine the selection, I then selected the Eraser tool beside the Brush and painted over what didn’t need to be removed. With the selection made I clicked the Erase button and the object was gone. This is a great tool for removing image artifacts, such a lens dust, as well.

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How To Use Macphun’s FX PhotoStudio CK

The Monterey effect effect in the Photo Styles is applied to the image.
The effects in this application are applied much like those found in Snapchat, Instagram and other mobile editing applications.

Think of this app as handing you the ability to create some rather interesting photo effects without a deep knowledge of imaging. In many respects the effects in this application are applied much like those found in Snapchat, Instagram and other mobile editing applications. If you are new to these effects my advice is to apply them sparingly. Using these effects is more about mastering the art of subtlety than anything else.

To start select a photo and select FX Photostudio CK from the Extension list. When the application opens you will see a collection of thumbnails showing the effect along the bottom of the interface. To choose a particular set click the Effects pop up. In this case I chose Photo Styles. The one that appealed to me was the Monterey effect which applies an HDR effect to the image. If the effect is too strong, you can adjust it by using the Intensity slider on the right side of the interface.

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How To Use Macphun’s Tonality CK

Forgotten Glory is selected in the Tonality CK Dramatic category.
Where this application really shines is you are given the opportunity to further “tweak” the image by adjusting the Image Properties.

I have to admit, this application is one of my favorites though you need to be aware the image will lose a lot of its color detail because the effect concentrates on color tone, not the colours themselves.

To start, select a photo and select Tonality CK from the Extensions list. When the application opens you are presented with a lot of choices. For example , if you click the Presets button at the bottom of the Properties panel you can choose among 10 preset categories. In this case I chose Dramatic. To choose one of the Presets, you simple scroll through them to see which effect best suits your intention. In this case I settled on Forgotten Glory in the Dramatic category. When you select a preset, the thumbnail will sport a slider which allows you to “tone down” the effect.

Where this application really shines is you are given the opportunity to further “tweak” the image by adjusting the Image Properties. In the case of this image, I “tweaked” the Exposure, Contrast, Clarity and the Vignette.

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How To Use Macphun’s Intensity CK

The Dreamy category is selected in Intensity CK
In many respects this application is the "Everything Bagel" of the Creative Kit.

In a word, “Intensity CK” is definitely intense. In many respects I regard it as the “Everything Bagel” of the Creative Kit. When you launch it a couple dozen effects in seven categories appear in the panel on the left. They each have a specific purpose. In the case of this image I settled on Dreamy in the Creative category. Again, to tone it down I adjusted the effect using the slider. For more granular control, you can click the Adjust button above the slider or at the top of the panel to adjust various properties in the image.