Almost all emerging technologies today are disruptive in some way. As regards photo editing software though, there are technologies that have truly transformed what used to be held as traditional. This article examines how the advent of smartphones, social media facial recognition, artificial intelligence, and even virtual reality has impacted photo editing.
Smart Mobile Devices
Before the advent of smartphones, photo editing was done on PCs and applications like Adobe Photoshop, Corel PhotoPaint, etc. were so popular. But smartphones have become a jack of all trades and that has not excluded image editing.
Many have become amateur photographers and photo editors because a smartphone photo editor is easier and faster to operate, with features like one-touch editing and style effects. Even mainstream PC photo editing software like Photoshop are finding their way to the smartphone market.
Let’s take a look at some mobile technology innovations impacting the photography
- Snapseed is Google’s own software to edit photos. It comes with a whole lot of features, typical ones, and more innovative effects. For example, its Selective Adjust can be used to isolate an area in the image and apply effects as desired. The masking tool can also be used to create blurry bokeh backgrounds such as in pictures taken with DSLR cameras. What more? It’s totally free.
- Afterlight 2 is a top photo editing software for Android and iOS phones. It works with RAW files, which many mobile apps don’t, and has a ton of features, effects, and filters.
- Enlight Photofox won the Apple Design Award in 2017. Its features are similar to that of Photoshop and with it, you can work with multiple layers, like a pro. With it, you can edit a photo with the many photo effects and features available to choose from and it may initially look complicated. But it is actually easy to use once you’ve mastered it. There is a free option along with subscription options if you want more features.
The social media owes its popularity to smartphones. While they are primarily apps that make us able to communicate with loved ones, their scope has broadened. There are now social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat that are given to photo sharing alone.
Many photo editing software has followed suit, incorporating social media features into their apps for easier sharing and management of pictures by photographers. Many of them have become favorites of pros which include
- VSCO is a good photo editing software designed with photography aficionados in mind. Apart from its editing features, priding itself on classic filters, it features an online community where you can share photographs and learn from colleagues and photo masters. There are other apps with similar features too.
- Worthy of mention too is Instagram. Instagram is not only a photo-sharing app but also has photo editing features. Agreed, it is not huge on photo editing as do mainstream photo editing software but it does have the basic features.
- Many other photo editing software for smartphones today have share buttons to immediately upload your edits to your preferred social media platform such as Facebook or Twitter. The incorporation of social media in photo editing software has made photo sharing easier.
Facial Recognition/Face Retouching
The presence of facial/object recognition technology has been a revolution in photo editing software. It makes for more intuitive and innovative editing such as the ‘bokeh’ effect (inspired by the iPhone’s portrait mode of taking features. Facial recognition has been a blessing to photography in many ways.
- PortraitPro is an easy photo editing software that allows users to retouch faces of individuals in photos easily. Empowered by artificial intelligence, it can recognize faces in photos and determine age or gender, along with facial features like skin and hair.
- Perfect 365 image editor prides itself on being a one-tap makeover app. It can detect faces, remove blemishes, and spots and also has a wide range of makeup styles to apply.
- Pixlr, a mobile photo editing software by Autodesk has a feature called AutoFix. With it, users can quickly correct images and adjust facial features such as red-eye removal, and teeth whitening.
Artificial Intelligence has been the technology rave of the moment. Everyone is talking about it and how it’s disrupting and transforming many sectors.
There have been various ways AI has impacted photo editing. One is with regard to ease of use, as a result of editing processes being automated.
- At the rate of one dollar per image, imageedit.ai promises to edit your photos in 30 minutes with AI. It automates traditional features in photo editing software with more innovative ones. The aspects focused on editing include the clipping part, modern l retouch, garment retouch, hair masking, background, and shadows. The beauty of it all is that the AI gets smarter with each edit for better outcomes.
- Artisto, Deep Art Effects, and Prisma all have something in common: the ability to render normal images into artistic masterpieces. These photo editing software do so by applying the features and effects of one picture to another with the aid of Artificial Intelligence.
- Nvidia’s AI Playground has a really cool feature which is called the photorealistic image synthesis model. Using conditional generative adversarial networks (GAN), the AI can create photorealistic images and complete them with virtual, computer-generated backgrounds. Research is still on concerning the extent to which the proliferation of synthetic images will affect photo editing.
Virtual Reality has made it possible for us to take wide-angle photos of complete scenes in a single picture. Known as 360° images, the pictures have a panorama look.
Virtual Reality photography has raised this need for VR photo editing software too because it is unlike normal photo editing. 360° images even have their own special cameras. Some technology has given proof to VR to have impacted Photo editing.
- In 2018, Adobe Photoshop CC introduced a new feature that enables users to be able to edit a 360° image. Unlike many other software that claims to be able to edit VR images, it does it neatly and without distorting the pictures.
- Insta 360 One on Android and iOS allows users to upload VR pictures and videos and edit them. You can animate the images, apply filters, add text and stickers and play around with a couple of other basic tools.
- VeeR Editor enables users to edit 360° images and videos too. You can make slideshows, add stickers and text, use filters and make other adjustments.
It should be noted that almost all VR photo editing software still offers very basic features for editing and are not as feature-packed as mainstream photo editing software. However, improvements are expected.
Technology is never stagnant, and these days, it moves at an alarming rate. In all the regards explained above, even more, massive improvements are being planned. The area that seems most promising is artificial intelligence and we can only hope to see what it is like in photo editing in the next few years.