Application Edit Photo For Mac

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This Mac photo editing app has a huge army of fans because it is a full-featured image editor with open source. Others can grumble – the photo editing program requires an individual study, training new skills. But for persistent professionals and business enthusiasts, it is not a problem anymore. CyberLink PhotoDirector 365. Cyberlink PhotoDirector 365 is a photo management tool that not only. Easily edit your photos with Canva's photo editor! Add filters, frames, text, and effects with our free online photo editing tool! Not all photo editing software for Mac has these features, so it’s extremely wonderful to access them in this Mac image editor that’s perfect for professionals and amateurs alike. If you want to give this Mac photo editor a try and quickly learn how to edit photos on Mac, click the button below to try Luminar for free.

Good photo editing program for mac
  • January 02, 2020
  • 18 min to read

Most free photo editors available on the App Store are quite basic, offering just a limited number of filters and allowing you to easily and quickly liven up your photos before posting them on social media.

Application Edit Photo For Macbook

But if you’re an aspiring or professional photographer, you probably need a more powerful app with a broader set of tools to use your creativity to the fullest. Besides, you probably use your Mac for photo editing because working on a large screen makes it possible to adjust the slightest details.

1. Apple’s Photos (Built-in app)

Apple’s Photos app is included for free on all recently released Macs. It does a good job at organizing your photos, but its collection of photo enhancement tools leaves much to be desired. Hopefully, our selection of the best free programs for photo editing on Mac will help you choose the right app to suit all your creative needs.

2. Luminar (7 days trial)

Luminar is another full-featured photo editor that’s popular with both Mac and Windows users. It can work as a standalone app as well as a plugin for such popular programs as Apple Photos.

Luminar uses Artificial Intelligence to enable sophisticated yet quick photo enhancements. Among these AI features are Sky Enhancer, which adds more depth and detail to the sky in your photos while leaving other areas untouched; Accent AI, which analyzes a photo and automatically applies the best combination of different effects to enhance your image; and Sun Rays, which allows you to place an artificial sun and adjust the lighting to your liking or make the sun rays already in your photo look even more incredible.

Luminar has over 60 filters you can apply to your photos to enhance them in a moment. Luminar also provides a set of powerful tools for cropping, transforming, cloning, erasing, and stamping, along with layers, brushes, and many more incredible features. Luminar supports the Touch Bar on the latest MacBook Pro, making photo editing even more effortless and pleasing.

3. Photolemur 3 (Free Version with watermark)

Photolemur is a relative newcomer on the photo editing market but it has all the chances to win the favor of beginner photographers and hobbyists. Running on Artificial Intelligence, Photolemur is a completely automatic photo enhancer, meaning that it does all the editing for you in no time. It has the simplest interface, with only a few buttons and sliders to adjust the enhancement to your liking and view the before and after results.

All you need to do is choose a photo (or a few) that you want to improve, drag and drop or import them using the Import button, and let the program make enhancements. After it’s done, you can compare the edited version with the original image by using the before–after slider and, if you want, adjust the skin tone or even enlarge the eyes using additional sliders. Pretty easy, huh?

Photolemur also offers a number of impressive styles to touch up your photos and give them a sophisticated and professional look. With this app, you don’t need to stuff your head with photo editing nuances and terms. Just run Photolemur and watch the magic happen!

4. Aurora HDR (14 days trial)

As you probably can tell from the name, Aurora HDR is designed to help photographers enhance their HDR photos, making them even more detailed and beautiful. It’s an ideal tool for editing your photos, with an extensive collection of more than 20 tools including details, tone, mapping, color, glow, and vignette. Each tool has its unique selection of controls to adjust its effects.

Aurora HDR enables you to work with brushes, layers, and masks, and provides a number of automatic AI tools for recognizing and removing noise, enhancing colors, lighting, and details, improving clarity, and adding contrast to dull areas while leaving other areas untouched.

Aurora HDR does a great job dealing with difficult lighting situations and creating full-of-life images while being easy to use.

5. Pixelmator (Trial 30 Days)

Pixelmator is a photo enhancer beloved by many Mac users, as it offers a good combination of a modern and simple interface, the ability to work on multiple layers, and powerful features that take photo editing to a whole new level. With so many editing tools, brushes, and effects, you can enhance your photos to your liking. You can choose between two versions of Pixelmator – standard and pro – depending on your needs. The standard version is great for basic photo editing with its selection of essential tools and filters, while the pro version is packed with extra brushes, tools, and effects that let you push your creativity to new boundaries. You can decide which version is suitable for you according to what features you’re looking for in a photo editing app.

6. Adobe Photoshop Elements 2020 (Trial link)

Free Photos Edit Mac

Photoshop Elements isn’t as affordable as other photo enhancers for beginner photographers. But luckily there’s a trial version available, so you can check it out before deciding whether this app is worthy of your money. Photoshop Elements acquired many powerful features from Photoshop, only Elements is simplified for amateur photographers and enthusiasts. It includes a good number of effects and filters, plus automated editing options for improving lighting, color balance, and exposure, and even opening closed eyes and reducing the effects of camera shake.

In addition to all of these awesome features, Photoshop also offers editing modes for beginners, intermediate users, and experts. Beginners will probably prefer Quick mode, as it focuses on essential tools to quickly enhance your photos by improving color, lighting, and other basic settings. Guided mode provides intermediate users with step-by-step guidance with more professional features like artistic effects, skin tone correction, and background replacement. Expert mode gives you full access to the app’s really powerful editing features and is ideal for creating stunning images.

7. Affinity Photo (Free Trial)

Affinity Photo’s interface may seem overwhelming at first, especially for novices, but when you come to grips with it you’ll find that the app is just what you’ve been looking for. Its numerous professional tools, effects, and filters encourage you to get creative with your photos. Among the coolest features Affinity Photo has to offer is a before and after view to compare the original photo with its edited version.

Affinity Photo works with 15 file types, including common ones like PDF, PSD, JPG, and GIF as well as some less popular ones. The app amazes with its abundance of basic and top-notch editing tools, allowing you to tweak your photos using all possible kinds of instruments. Affinity Photo allows you to edit HDR photos, apply artistic filters and effects, play with masks and layers, and create breathtaking compositions by combining several images in one. If you find its interface a bit much and are afraid of getting lost in all those advanced tools, you should probably look for something more suitable for your level. But Affinity Photo is worth mastering.

8. Google Photos

Google Photos is a popular cloud storage service for photos and videos. It can’t boast countless masterly tools like other photo enhancers that we review in this article, but it includes some fundamental features like filters, color adjustment sliders, and transformation tools.

Although Google Photos may not be that helpful when it comes to editing photos, it does a pretty good job at storing high-resolution images and videos with 15GB of free online storage, compared to iCloud’s mere 5GB (which you can upgrade to 50GB for a monthly fee). If you’re planning to go on a trip and take plenty of photos, then it might be smart to sign up for Google Photos to use that extra storage space when you come back.

9. PhotoScape X (Free)

A relatively new photo editing app, PhotoScape X has been gaining popularity with many Mac and PC users since its release in 2008. Its interface is simple but unconventional, with a number of tabs running along the top of the window. Each is responsible for a specific stage of editing. The Viewer tab allows you to browse and organize your photos. After you pick a photo, you can switch to the Editor tab, which includes a broad set of instruments, filters, and effects and a useful feature that enables you to compare the adjusted photo with the original.

The next tabs, including the Batch tab, mainly concentrate on editing and renaming multiple photos at once. The GIF tab allows you to easily create an animated GIF from a group of selected photos.

The downside of PhotoScape X is a lack of selection tools, so all changes are applied to the whole image rather than to a selected part.

10. Gimp (Free)

Gimp is a free open-source photo editing app that has been on the market for over 22 years and is available for Windows, Mac, and even Linux. Unlike many free apps, Gimp doesn’t have any ads or in-app purchases. Its grey interface might seem a little old-fashioned and it may be a bit sluggish when it comes to complex effects, though.

Gimp offers a vast collection of advanced tools that hardly any free photo editor can boast. It has numerous enhancement options such as clone and heal brushes, layers and channels, accurate selection tools, a number of transformation instruments, and, of course, color adjustment controls. Gimp is one of the most powerful tools for enhancing photos and is beloved by so many users for its price (free) and versatility. But if you can’t come to grips with Gimp’s interface, it may be worth paying some cash for a more user-friendly program.

People love photos. We are more visual now than ever. With most of us using smartphones and digital cameras to share with the world everything from what we had for dinner to holiday and birthday memories. We snap, share and print more than ever before.

All of this makes our choice of editing tools something worth thinking about. If you asked any Mac user what they use their computer for, editing photos would come near the top of the list.There are, of course, many tools you can use to edit photos on a Mac, including Apple's own Photos.

Photos is a useful tool, with numerous features that make it easy to resize and retouch an image, or even a batch of images. But it is quite basic, compared to some of the other tools on the market. At the other end of the spectrum is the heavy-duty suite of Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) tools, such as Lightroom and Photoshop. However, not everyone needs something so robust, or has the time to learn. Not every Mac can handle the system requirements either.

A happy medium is to look into a range of photo editing apps. We have included and cover several in this article, connecting them to various aspects of the photo editing process. This way, you get a feel how an app performs when undertaking something you do often when editing, or something you know you need help with. However, Setapp includes all best tools to take your photo editing to the next level photo. Discover some of the best apps in the market, with mentions throughout of strengths and weaknesses.

How to edit pictures on macOS?

You can make your photos look better without diving into any third-party software. Apple’s native Photos and Preview apps have the basic functionality that could save you lots of trouble. You can take a picture and instantly enhance it in Photos – crop, adjust color, or apply filters.

The Preview app has an in-built Markup toolbox with some solid photo editing capabilities. If you need to remove image background or do some color adjustment, this could be your perfect go-to instrument.

But before entrusting photos to a default tool, define what has to be done. The chances are, Apple’s native software might fall short of meeting your needs.

#1: Improve composition: Crop, straighten, rotate, and flip

Getting pictures ready for the web often means cropping and straightening. If you need to get a whole group ready, and the changes are simple and easy to do, the native Mac Photos app can do this.

To crop an image automatically or manually with Photos, open the photo and click Edit > Crop. Choose Auto for automatic cropping or customize aspect ratio if you want to crop a specific area. To manually straighten your photo, click Crop > Dial, and then adjust the area by dragging up and down.

Also, look no further if your task is to rotate or flip an image. Once you launch Photos, choose Image in the top menu bar, and click Rotate clockwise/counterclockwise or Flip vertical/horizontal to apply desired changes.

PhotoBulk gives you the advantage of real-time previewing for all photos in the set you are working on, giving you the ability to automatically edit, crop, watermark and straighten a whole folder of images in minutes.


To crop your photos with CameraBag Pro click the Crop button in the right-hand toolbar (second from bottom).

  • To straighten your image, drag the dial up or down.
  • To crop the photo, drag one corner inwards, then drag the box around the image until its positioned the way you want it.

Batch resize photos in Preview app

Let’s say you want to set custom dimensions for 20 images. It’s very likely, your eyes might betray you if you go through them one by one.

In the Preview app, you can batch resize any number of photos without even opening all of them. Drag images onto Preview icon in your dock and select thumbnails for all by clicking Edit > Select All. Set any dimensions and press OK to see your photos in the new shape.

#2: Adjust lighting and exposure

Back when print film was the only option, waiting for and chasing the light was a challenge every photographer had to struggle with. You could make some changes after a picture was taken, when they were being printed. But you had to be careful. Print film was expensive and you couldn't afford to take dozens of the same shot.

Now you can do a lot more with pictures after they're taken. Editing software won't turn a poor picture into a Pulitzer prize winner, but various apps can be used to improve and enhance the lighting of a picture. Within Photos, for example – Apple's native images app – you can make some changes to the light levels and overall warmth of an image. To quickly fix exposure, brightness, and other lighting values, click Edit and start adjusting by moving sliders to the right or to the left.

Other apps that are good at adjusting the light levels and exposure within an image include the following - and each comes with numerous other handy features:

TouchRetouch - Includes a range of tools for selecting areas you want to erase. TouchRetouch is also great at making color adjustments to your photos to ensure that your final edited work looks the way it should, which includes lighting changes.

PhotoBulk - Mentioned earlier in this article. It can apply lighting adjustments to a whole folder of images in only a few clicks, taking a matter of minutes. Useful if you're someone who regularly needs to make simple, quick adjustments to large numbers of pictures with a short turnaround to think about.

Photolemur - an AI-powered photo enhancer that automates the editing process. This is the first photo enhancer that can actually think for itself. You don't need to learn what the pros know and you don't need to spend hours messing around with sliders and editing every image manually. Using 12 smart AI-powered technologies, Photolemur identifies then makes changes to images, including adjustments to lighting, colors and exposure.

To adjust the lighting and color with CameraBag Pro:

  1. Click the Adjustments tab on the right-hand toolbar (first from the top). The color adjustments are grouped at the top and the lighting adjustments are below. Drag the slider in each adjustment left or right to change its value.
  2. Scroll further down and you'll see options for adjusting hue and saturation and for using curves to adjust highlights and shadow. To use curves, click on the Curves tool, choose whether you want to apply the change to all channels or only the red, blue or green channel. Then, when the curve appears, drag the points on it up or down.

Tip: you can undo any change by pressing the Off icon in the bottom toolbar. You can also undo anything pay pressing Command-Z.

#3: Remove small and big imperfections

Imperfections spoil perfect pictures. It doesn't matter if its dirt or rainwater on a lens, or background distractions such as rubbish or graffiti, it can make it harder to get an image ready to be published or printed. Thankfully, almost every photography app comes equipped with features that make it easier to erase or clone out imperfections of any size.

Quickly retouch and correct Red-Eye in Photos

Apple's Photos app includes a healing brush and red-eye correction tools that enhance your images. To quickly retouch, click on the arrow next to the bandage icon, customize the size of your brush and apply it to a specific area in a photo. For red-eye correction, use the same logic or choose auto-correction.

There's another option, great for beginners: TouchRetouch. It comes with a wide range of easy-to-use features that help you identify and remove imperfections. Including a single click tool for blemishes, and a clone stamp to copy pixels from one part of the picture to cover an imperfection you want removed. You can also crop a section of a photo if it proves too difficult to clone pixels.

#4: Make your photos sharper and reduce noise

You can apply some basic sharpness adjustments and reduce noise in Photos. The same Edit section we’ve discussed previously comes to help here. Upload your photo and click on Noise Reduction – you can either choose auto or customize the value by moving the slider. In the Sharpen section, set custom values for Intensity, Edges, and Falloff.

CameraBag Pro is also useful for making images sharper. It comes with an adjustment tool that identifies where changes are needed within a picture, remedying them automatically.

When making changes to sharpness, you need a tool and a screen that is configured to what your eyes see. A powerful graphics card and high-resolution screen is a must if you are doing this professionally. With the right app supporting this work, they can spot imperfections that you might miss. Producing sharp images has become a necessity when everyone is equipped with smartphones that come equipped with HD screens.

Emulsion is another option for this. Built for Mac users, giving photo editors a powerful and usable creative workspace for enthusiast and professional photographers.

#5: Fix color balance

When making edits to photos, the color balance is worth reviewing to ensure some areas aren't too warm or cold, depending on the look you are aiming for. This is something you can change using Photos.

How to use Selective Color in Photos

Once you open your image with Apple’s native app, click Edit and scroll down to SelectiveColor. In the drop-down menu, you can adjust Hue, Saturation, and Luminance, as well as customize a range of colors, based on your preferences.

More conveniently, you can make changes as part of a series of edits within other photo editing apps, such as Emulsion.

Emulsion provides an immersive environment, created by photographers. Different areas of the picture can be made warmer, colder, brighter or darker - making small but necessary changes to enhance the original image to stunning effect.

#6: Photo effects and filters

Long before Instagram was popular, photographers have always been keen on using filters. Some of the most basic could apply the warmth of a sunset, or the grainy impurities of older film cameras to modern images. With the right tools, you can do amazing things to images. Even make a picture look as though it was printed on metal.

Add filters to your image with Photos

The easiest way is to apply filters in Photos. Simply click Edit > Filters and fit any of the suggested effects on your photo. The collection is pretty limited though.

Enhance photo effects with Photolemur and CameraBag Pro

Some apps are more equipped than others for applying filters and special effects.

Photolemur can also make enhancements and apply color and texture changes to single or whole batches of images. It can even enhance the color of foliage and the sky.

CameraBag Pro comes with dozens of filters, including black & white, classic photographic styles, grainy effects, mattes, vintage, numerous types of film stocks, and many more. Well worth testing out if you want to apply a range of styles to your images.

#7: Prepare photos for web or commercial print publishing

And finally, you are going to want to make sure your images are ready for the web, commercial use, or printing. This could include watermarking them to protect your creative and intellectual property. Thankfully, photo apps often give you the ability to ensure RAW files - after edits - are turned into high resolution or web versions (where the file size needs to be much smaller) - and watermarks are applied.

Photobulk can add watermark to portrait, landscape, and cropped photos in a single batch.

That's all.

Photo Editor App For Mac

How to bring an edited image back into your Photos library

Once you’re done with editing, you can Save or Export your image from Photos to desktop. To bring it back to your Photos library, click File > Import or simply drag it into the app.

What is the best app for photo editing?


Every app we've mentioned here has several features worth recommending, including Photos. What you choose partly depends on what you need and how familiar you are with photo editing software. Here is how we would classify the apps mentioned in this article - all of them available from Setapp - alongside Photos, a Mac tool available on every macOS device.

  • Quick and simple: Photos - for a basic tool that can make a few changes, we would always recommend Photos.
  • Accelerated editing and resizing: Preview. This native app is mainly known for its Markup toolbar – an easy access to basic color adjustment, cropping, etc. Also, the app batch resizes tons of your photos lightning fast.
  • Robust, ideal for professionals: CameraBag Pro. Described as the ultimate tool for bringing both advanced adjustments and one-click filters to your photos and videos. A photographer's and filmmaker's dream. Emulsion comes a close second in this category, providing photographers and film makers with an immersive environment to work on your images, with an interface which scales from small laptops to professional 5k workstations.
  • AI-powered, smart automated editing: Photolemur is capable of taking away the strain of manual photo editing. It can produce better lighting than the original image, make quick enhancements, and keeping you in control. On the other hand, Photolemur analysis images with 12 smart technologies that can automatically make adjustments to pictures.
  • Removing imperfections: TouchRetouch is an ideal option.
  • Bulk edits: Photobulk and CameraBag Pro.

Key Takeaways: Short tips about mentioned apps

Discover all the 6 best photo editing apps, available for Setapp members - this is a quick way to weed out which app is right for you.


TouchRetouch, an app to remove unwanted objects from any photos with the absolute minimum of effort.

One-touch removal tool makes distracting lines vanish in seconds - mark only a section of a line to remove it whole (no need to be precise - the app is so smart that can remove the entire line.)

This app can remove unwanted things from any photo:

  • telephone posts and wires
  • surface scratches (straight and curved) and shadows
  • skin blemishes and pimples
  • human-made objects like garbage cans, street signs, and telephone posts
  • photobombing persons
  • and whatever you think that is spoiling your photos.

Emulsion app is a photo catalog which allows non-destructive editing, metadata manipulation, photo organization, and more:

  • it allows quick access to your collections by folder, albums, tags, places, people, or ratings
  • allows you search through all collections by name or other metadata characteristics
  • lets you edit details in EXIF metadata
  • can apply changes to one or to multiple pictures
  • can adjust exposure, gradient, texture, tones, highlights, sharpening, gamma, RGB channels, noise reduction, vibrancy, temperature/tint, and almost everything else
  • Emulsion app includes some essential tools like a clone tool, cropping, rotation, magnification, and preset filters (you can even add dust and scratches for a retro look)

CameraBag Pro is the robust editing app to apply, tweak, and compare professional filters and adjustments across your photos.

Photolemur, an AI-powered photo enhancer that automates the editing process.

This app makes almost any photo look better without manual editing, as well as allows to automatically enhance a batch of images at once with drag-and-drop simplicity. The app has 12 smart technologies ranging from color recovery and exposure compensation to smart noise reduction to automatically analyze and adjust your photos.

Photobulk, an app for batch editing: add text/image watermarks, rename, resize, compress photos, and optimize them for the web in a click.

Application Edit Photo For Mac Osx

It can be a hard choice, and different photographers - amateurs and pros will have different opinions on each app. It could be worth downloading a few from Setapp to find which you prefer, trying out different features on various aspects of photo editing.

These might also interest you:

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Meantime, prepare for all the awesome things you can do with Setapp.

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Best App To Edit Photos For Mac

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