You do not need a complicated photo app to edit your snaps on your Mac (Book). With the standard Photos app from Apple there is a simple (and free) alternative available. We show how the app works.
The best Photos app tips
There are several good apps for macOS to edit your photos. Think of the fine Pixelmator , for example , but many users also opt for Photoshop. If you occasionally edit an image and you do not have all kinds of complicated options, then you better opt for the Apple Photos app.
It is standard on your Mac and so you do not have to buy separately. Most of the options you need are also available. Below are some tips for using the Mac’s Photos app.
1. Import and filter
Of course, every ‘photo-editing session’ starts with the import of a photo with which you want to get started. This is possible in the Photos app in different ways. For example, you can drag a snapshot into the app, or use ‘Menu bar> Import’ to choose a photo. Previously edited photos can be found in the start screen.
Good to know is that you see a filter option at the top right. There you can search for images on your Mac (Book) faster, for example by selecting only ‘Photos’ or by choosing a previously edited snapshot. Screenshots can also be filtered separately.
2. Start editing
If you have chosen a photo, you can in principle start editing. At the top of the screen you will find various options, for example to rotate the image, or to quickly slightly increase the contrast. However, the real editing options only appear when you click on ‘Edit’ at the top right.
Then you see the interface change into a more traditional photo app. Moreover, you will find a number of general options, on the right the more specific editing options of the application. With the slider at the top left you can easily zoom in on the image, for example if you want to look at a small detail.
3. Crop images
Many users will mainly use the Photos app to reduce or crop images. You can find these options in the top bar at ‘Cut at’. If you press here, you will see white stripes along the edges of the picture, which you drag to crop the image.
On the right you will find the option to flip the snapshot, or crop it to a specific image format such as 16 by 9, or 4 by 3. To the right of the image you see a kind of wheel, with which you zoom in and at the same time turn.
4. Simple filters for your snaps
The Photos app also has a built-in filter option, which gives your image an attractive effect in an Instagram-like way. The feature speaks for itself: tap ‘Filters’ at the top and choose an effect on the right. This way you can turn images into a black and white photo, giving them a warm or cool shade or a more cinematic effect. The options are not very extensive, but sufficient if you occasionally brighten up a picture.
In the home screen of the Mac Photos app, you will also see options on the right to adjust the colors of a photo. By using sliders you can adjust the light balance, enhance the colors or apply a black and white effect. You determine the intensity of these options yourself.
Are you not completely satisfied and want more options, then tap the arrow at ‘Options’. Then you see features like ‘Neutral gamma’, ‘Tint’ and ‘Grain’. The latter is useful, for example, if you want a picture to look a little ‘rougher’.
6. Many other options
For the more demanding user, the Photos app really comes into its own when you start using the options at the bottom right. There you see, for example, the possibility to adjust the white balance, to blur certain parts, to remove red-eye or to suppress noise. All important options are actually present.
The nice thing is that the Photos app is never very complicated, even if you have multiple effects and options open at the same time. It is always clear where you are and you can always undo edits. Also handy: if you have ruined a picture and want to start all over again, click on ‘Set adjustments again’ below.
7. Save and share images
When you have finished editing and want to save your creation, click on ‘Archive> Export’ in the menu bar and choose a filename, format and place where you want to save the image. It is also possible to share the image directly from the Photos app with the familiar icon at the top. This can be done via AirDrop, Facebook and Twitter.