Have you ever captured an amazing moment only to look upon the image later with disappointment? As Xennials, a term coined by Sarah Stankorb in 2014 to represent those of us born between 1977 and 1983, we were born into an analog film-based world, yet we grew into a digital one. We watched as film went the way of the dodo, as smartphones became commonplace and when our hand-held-computers largely replaced our photography and video recording gear. Now, most of us use our iPhone/Samsung en lieu of an expensive DSLR. Whether you run a website/blog, sell items on eBay, capture family memories or use any number of social media Apps like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc., sometimes our Smartphone pictures are not enough. Perhaps you want better lighting, more crisp images, to blur a background, to remove red-eye, to crop the image, or to make many other filter changes/color changes/edits, etc. There are numerous Apps on the market to improve our images, but many of them are overly complicated and time-consuming. Luckily there is an App like PhotoLemur 3, which automatically improves the quality of our photos, without a lot of time investment. It may be so easy that a caveman could do it.
The PhotoLemur 3 App was released on September 14, 2018, updating the previous PhotoLemur 2.3. Since this was a paid upgrade, previous users needed to pay $15 to obtain the new features: facial retouch, eye enlarger, batch processing, Export options, and Styles. One of the neat features of this program is that you only buy the software once. If a newer version becomes available, you can choose to upgrade or to maintain the previous software options. PhotoLemur does not require us to upgrade; we pay once for the software, and we can choose to upgrade when convenient. For new users, PhotoLemur 3 is currently available for download from the PhotoLemur website for $39.99 (5 devices) or the MacOS APP store for the price of $29.99. The website/App have an unlimited free trial, which allows you to use/learn the software but you cannot batch edit photos, and they place a watermark on your image. There are currently only seven reviews of the App on the App Store and all, but one of them gave four or more stars. The sole negative review discussed issues with the MacOS App vs. Website versions and the limitations of Mac OS Apps to serve as plugins for Lightroom. Thus, if you are interested in using plugins, you would likely want to download Photolemur 3 from their website. It is convenient to have the MacOS App Store, but it does not make sense that you have to pay the same amount for a lesser product. Once you choose which option is best for you, download the App and enter the key that was emailed to you. The App currently supports a plethora of cameras, and this list is much too long to list (Camera Support).
With the App downloaded (I chose the Web version), I navigated to LaunchPad and double tapped the Peeping-Lemur icon. If you have ever seen the Madagascar movies, the icon may remind you of a playful King Julien. A 3 1/8 inches square black panel will open in the middle of your screen and you can drag photos into the panel. The App will go through a series of geometric line drawings and will use the embedded technology algorithms to adjust/analyze the image. According to the website, the App adjusts for the following features:
- Color Recovery brings back bright, vivid colors of real life
- Sky Enhancement automatically detects & enhances sky
- Exposure Compensation makes dark images brighter & vice versa
- Smart Dehaze protects your images from haziness or fog
- Natural Light Correction keeps the appropriate warm or cool tones
- Foliage Enhancer compensates the lost colors on greenery
- Smart Denoise automatically eliminates noise on low-light photos
- Mobile Fix dramatically enhances photos shot with smartphones
- Tint perfection deliver the right tint, • Face Retouching detects the face and fixes imperfections
- JPG Fix corrects mistakes on the JPG images & eliminates artifacts
- Auto lens correction automatically fixes distortion as well as chromatic aberration and vignetting to make your image looks naturally
- RAW Converter makes your Raw shots look their best.
Version 2.3.1 proved to be useful and simple, especially when compared to Apps like Photoshop and Affinity. When the image analysis was complete, I was able to grab the vertical slider and move it towards the left. You can visually see the difference between the “before” and “after” changes as you move the slider. If you are not interested in using the slider, or you want a more incremental adjustment, simply touch the paintbrush icon along the bottom of the screen. When you have your final image, select “Export” toward your bottom right and send to Disk, FLICKR, EMAIL, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or SNAPHEAL. If interested, you can use PhotoLemur as an extension to Photos. To make this adjustment, navigate to “System Preferences,” “Extensions” and make sure PhotoLemur was selected.
Since I downloaded 2.3.1, PhotoLemur 3.0 has become available. The icon remained the same, and when I opened the App, the intro box was also unchanged. I used the same picture of my daughter riding her Gator and played with the styles: Apollo, Fall, Noble, Spirited, Mono and Evolve. More styles are scheduled for release as well, which was an added benefit. When I touched the paintbrush within PhotoLemur 3.0, I was able to toggle on/off face enhancement and eye enlargement as well. These features provide some added enhancement features over the 2.3.1 App. If you are looking for a method to upgrade your images without complex, time-consuming Apps/programs, PhotoLemur will work perfectly for you. If you are looking for more advanced software and editing options, this software may not be what you are looking for. Cropping, editing, changing to sepia/black and white and many other photoshop options are simply not available. I would argue that this is more of a photo retouch/enhancement tool than an editor. Do not misinterpret my statement, as this is not a demerit against PhotoLemur. Rather, it was simply a description of what the App could and could not do. This App improved the images better than the native photo enhance feature, providing more vibrant colors, facial smoothing, enhanced greenery, enhanced sky/clouds, etc. In effect, this software automatically improved multiple aspects of my images, from behind the scenes. I do not know if there is a faster or easier way to enhance my photos. If you are looking for a quick pick-me-up, this App may just be up your alley.