FROM LEFT TO RIGH T:
image, an image
and an image
able to accentuate
the texture in
Photolemur 2. 2
PROS: Streamlined UI and workflow;
extremely easy to use; before/after view.
CONS: Lacks ability to customize
PRICE: $30 (Single License, Activation
on One Device); $49 (Family License,
Activation on Five Devices).
LEF T: After
25 minutes to finish correcting, processing and
We tested the software on a range of JPEGs
and RAW files from Fujifilm, Olympus, Canon,
Nikon and Sony cameras. We also fed it JPEGs
from an iPhone 6s Plus. The only RAW files it
couldn’t read were Sony a7R III files.
We often found Photolemur’s fixes surprisingly
good. The software seemed particularly strong
managing very colorful images, making somewhat
muted colors really pop without looking overly
processed or artificial. The software doesn’t overdo
the color saturation but can on occasion crank
up contrast a bit, sometimes introducing false or
slightly unnatural-looking colors into an image,
though this was the exception. For images with
a lot of noise, Photolemur definitely errs on the
side of retaining detail vs. scrubbing out noise
and smoothing away details.
We also tested Photolemur against another
one-click wizard, Athentech’s Perfectly Clear.
The latter has vastly more tools for tweaking
images so it’s not quite an apples-to-apples
comparison, but Perfectly Clear is known for its
algorithmic quick passes on images so we thought
it made sense to see how they compared.
Perfectly Clear was much quicker with
single image exports (roughly half the time
it took Photolemur) but it exported a much
smaller JPEG. On balance, we felt Photolemur
offered the better one-click fixes. This was
particularly evident in over-exposed images
though, again, Perfectly Clear gives you several
options beyond its “intelligent auto” mode to
choose from. The one area where Perfectly
Clear occasionally edged out Photolemur was
on images with high noise. There, Perfectly
Clear would smooth away some detail and
noise, while Photolemur tended to keep both.
Photolemur is not a substitute for Photoshop,
Lightroom or similar programs. We mean this
in two ways. First, it’s not a tool for expressing
human creativity through software. The look
of your image is entirely at the mercy of the
machine. Second, because it lacks any tools for
post-enhancement tweaking, it can’t match the
level of improvements you can make with more
feature-rich programs. It does a good job, but it’s
generically good—optimizing your photo based
on what its algorithms think is the right look.
But that’s not the point, really. Photolemur
is a tool for those who don’t want to labor over
the Wacom tablet just to tweak and process
RAW images—and it’s a pretty remarkable one
at that. In minutes, you can process and improve
dozens of RAW files for sharing on social media.
Or, dump a batch of smartphone images into
Photolemur and on the other end you’ll almost
certainly have something better—with literally
no work on your part. Score one for the machine.
The following are excerpted
from news stories posted on
PDNOnline and PDNPulse.
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Splashes in Product
Photographer Dustin Dolby walks
you through the use of speedlights
and Photoshop blend modes to
create engaging product images.
Four Steps You Can Take to
Avoid the “Digital Dark Age”
Scientists are warning that we’ve
entered a digital “dark age” that will
see all of our digital content vanish at
the hands of changing file formats and
storage technologies, leaving future
humans without historical records of
our era. But photographers can protect
themselves by following these steps.
How to Make Your
Colors Pop in Photoshop
Get a guided tour through five
Photoshop tools that will help you bring
some zest to your image’s colors.