Flare 1.0 review

Flare provides a simple, iPhone-inspired interface that makes it easy for novice photo editors to add colour effects and borders to photos.

Flare can read any file type supported by Mac OS X, which means that any image that you can open in iPhoto, Aperture or Preview will open just fine in Flare, including Raw file formats.

Once an image is imported, you get a few simple buttons below the photo to rotate or crop the picture. When you’re ready to start applying effects, there are three different editing panes to choose from: Presets, Edit, and Snapshots. The Presets view shows a collection of twelve pre-built looks, each with a small preview of how it will look with your chosen image; you can easily switch between presets to try out different looks. Additional Presets can be downloaded from the Flare website or by going to Flare > More Presets in the menu bar.

Most of Flare’s effects deliver nice results. The texture, border and vignette controls are especially good. However, the general exposure and tone-correction options are fairly weak. For example, it’s very difficult to brighten just the mid-tones in an image without also washing out the shadows.

Add effects to your photos without the need for pricey image editors

The big advantage with Flare is that you don’t need a complicated host program, like Photoshop, to access a wide array of filter effects. And beginners can go wild thanks to unlimited undos and non-destructive editing. Once you’ve finished editing, you can save your image as a JPEG, TIFF or PNG, send it as an email attachment or post it to Flickr.

OUR VERDICT

All users, from novice to expert, will find themselves easily creating some cool photo effects with Flare. And at £5.99, it’s great value for money.

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