I’m always on the lookout for new, powerful editing software for editing photos. Not just for myself, but also to share with the photography communities I run who have a diverse range of people at all levels of their photography and processing journey. I came across PhotoWorks on the internet, and knew it would be one that could be useful to many people!
What is PhotoWorks?
PhotoWorks is a fantastic photo editor, billed as the “intelligent photo editor”. It is capable of some complex operations, and all while being offline (unlike some software you use). Compared to other software for editing photos, PhotoWorks is suitable for beginners with its easy to use UI, while being more than capable for intermediate users and beyond.
From the outset, you’ll realise that PhotoWorks is the best of all worlds, taking the best features from various other pieces of software, making them accessible and all the while being very responsive.
And that is the key to why you’ll enjoy PhotoWorks, it has no delay when you’re making alterations, you move the slider, and things happen! You can’t say that for a lot of other software.
PhotoWorks is quite feature packed, and considering its amazing price, there really is nothing that comes close.
One click content aware AI enhancements – for many users, having a great starting point can go a long way to speeding up workflow and getting the job done. When you load up an image, you’ll have the option to choose from a preset to give you a starting point should you want to.
Easy change background removal (using layers) – it’s all the rage these days to offer things like sky replacement at the click of the button. While PhotoWorks doesn’t offer this, it does give you the ability to remove backgrounds very simply by using the technique of painting green roughly on areas you want to keep, and red on areas you want to remove. The AI then does a great job of removing areas, which you can fine tune as you go. It’s a bit more hands on than single click removal or replace, but it works just as well, and you feel like you’re actually doing something.
Retouching of portraits – Portrait retouching couldn’t be easier with PhotoWorks portrait retouch options. You can alter people’s torsos plus retouch features on their face and even curve the size of body parts. It’s quick, simple and just works. This is truly a great feature, just watch you don’t overdo things!
Remove objects – There are two ways in which you can remove objects from your images, using the healing brush and the clone stamp. I found the healing brush quite effective most of the time, however you get far more control with the clone stamp and generally better results.
Stylish effects – There are a host of one click effects you can use in your images in PhotoWorks in order to give them a different look. You’ll find everything from film filters, to 3D LUT support to change the look of your images.
Restore old photos with smart tools – Using the clone and heal features, along with the effects and retouch portrait features you can easily edit old and damaged photographs and make them look as good as new.
PhotoWorks is super responsive, a small install size and has a very user-friendly user interface. Anyone who has used an editing program in the last decade will have no reason not to understand how to use PhotoWorks, and you’ll be at home with it straight away.
It has a wealth of features that you can find on far more expensive programs, and everything just works out of the box. For the price that is asked, you’re getting a huge amount of control at your fingertips.
In my time with PhotoWorks, there is nothing that is glaringly bad with its editing abilities.
There are things I would like to see come to PhotoWorks in future updates. The first feature would allow you to be able to select a default folder for the browser, so you don’t have to keep opening an image on first load up. A simple thing, but will make a huge difference.
I would also like to see a couple of extra functions to make it even more competitive, such as the ability to draw a line to straighten an image (very important for landscape photography), the ability to move the vignette to a different position other than just the centre and a dehaze function!
Overall though, it’s nothing that can prevent you from getting the job done, and done well.
I’ve been specifically using PhotoWorks 10 as my primary editing package for a while now and have edited many photos with it. Once you familiarise yourself with its UI and understand what it can do, you realise that it is a powerful piece of software and has the tools you need to post-process your images.
I did encounter a bug/feature which is annoying. If you click on the “Batch load” option, you cannot simply come back into the photo you were editing, and you have to load that image back into the software. Just be aware not to hit that button until it’s fixed.
You pay for PhotoWorks either yearly for the Standard or Pro options or you can buy the Ultimate and have a lifetime license. All current pricing can be found on the PhotoWorks website.
If you are tired of monthly subscriptions, tired of high costs of yearly updates or just want something that’s simple but effective, then you can’t go wrong with PhotoWorks. Head on over to their website and give the free trial a go, you’ve nothing to lose!
* Please note: I am not affiliated in any way with PhotoWorks or it’s owners. I was provided with the software to review and I have reviewed it honestly. I make no money from you clicking on the links to their website.