There’s a buzz growing over Apple’s forthcoming release of 10.6 (Snow Leopard). It turns out that the upgrade is a fairly big deal and many applications won’t work on it initially. Nothing really stands out on the list that I use on a daily basis apart from Photoshop Elements 6. Now, I have no need for the expense of the full Creative Suite package so I picked up a copy of PSE 6 a few months back as it is perfect for light lifting and post processing photographs. However, there is no definitive answer from Adobe whether or not PSE 6 actually does work and if it does not if they will release a patch. Quite rightly they have stated that they’d rather concentrate on moving forward and not patching ‘old’ software. Admirable; but it still leaves me with a dead application and no way to upgrade.
On my Google journey for answers to this dilemma, I saw a link for Pixelmator. Despite its tag line of “Image editing for the rest of us” it’s actually a very capable editor. Indeed, a quick glance down the tech spec page shows that it compares almost directly with PSE. A quick scan of the ‘learn‘ page which has many tutorials shows that it is capable of some very nice effects.
Highlights include: being able to open and save PSDs. Full layer support with opacity, full brush support, filter support, 16 tools for colour correction (brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, levels, exposure, etc). It has a very familiar layout for anyone used to Photoshop. Indeed, the toolbar is virtually replicated tool for tool – a wise move considering how ubiquitous Photoshop is.
The interface is very unobtrusive and a full screen mode effectively replaces your desktop with the image which is great. You can also load directly from your iPhoto library without faffing around exporting and loading up. Indeed, for anyone like me who takes a lot of photos and has a need to post process to correct exposure and colour or just enjoys tweaking them stylistically then this is a very capable application that streamlines your workflow.
The best bit is the price. Just $59. And they even offer a fully working demo bar a watermarked save function.