Remember film? Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I used an SLR that required film. It was at least eight or nine years ago. Maybe less. Maybe more. How about you?
What killed film? Digital cameras.
Once DSLR’s began to capture images that rivaled film to the untrained eye, it was downhill for cameras that required film, processing, developing, and re-prints.
The advantage of a digital camera is simple. Photos are instant. And, photos are inexpensive. The cost per photo dropped through the floor when digital cameras became popular.
Now you can shoot photos by the hundreds to thousands on a vacation or with family, and the developing, processing, and print cost is zilch, zero, nada.
That’s the first big change to photography in recent years. The second is the Mac App Store. Taking a cue from the photography apps on the iTunes App Store for iPhone and iPad, Mac photo enhancement apps have become enormously popular.
A case in point is Focus. It’s an elegant Mac app that takes your photos and creates lens blur wherever you want on the photo. That means you don’t even need to compose a photo or worry about focus.
If the entire frame of the photo is in focus, then Focus can add the depth of field blur effects you want. Instantly.
In other words, the original digital photo is wide angle and everything is in focus, and Focus adds the depth of field which would normally be handled by the camera.
Focus has other tools, too, including a macro view, portrait view, tilt and shift, and options to change aspect ratio and crop the photo.
Simply drag a photo and drop it onto Focus, then select the tools to enhance the image. Focus has controls that mimic aperture adjustments and can change color saturation with a slider bar.
There’s even a built-in function which recognizes faces, so it automatically focuses on the face, and slightly blurs everything around the face.
Focus is just one of a few dozen inexpensive Mac photo enhancement apps on the Mac App Store which help to change my photography habits. In the past, I was careful about composure, lighting, and focus.
Today, I shoot a slightly wider angle photo knowing I can crop quickly on the Mac. Focus? If everything is in focus, I can add depth of field later. These are not tools a professional would use, but they can help to improve your finished photos with nothing more than a few clicks.