Zepheer from Mac developer Candy Square, based in Slovenia, is just one of a growing number of Mac and iOS based apps aimed at adding a creative flare to your photos. Zepheer offers dozens of pre-designed yet customisable variable effects, which produce subtle and not so subtle results. As with similar apps, it really is a mixed bag and requires a little effort to get the best results from.
Some images work better than others with different effects and filters, it really is simply a case of experimenting until you are happy with a look. Zepheer allows those effects to be tweaked using some rather small sliders to produce variations that are less likely to resemble all other images using the same filter.
Zepheer benefits from a clean and intuitive interface, with clickable previews viewable down the right hand side of the workspace that give some idea how each effect will look before you click away. If you’re overwhelmed by choice you can filter effects by type - Cameras, Artistic, Abstract, Style and Vintage or a search option to find favourite effects. The app comes with an additional built-in resources library that includes textures, scratches and frames. Happily, you can add your own files to create new textures and scratches on those effects that support them.
The app supports a wider range of image files than some alternatives, including RAW, and outputs by default as a TIFF file. You can easily adjust this to a smaller file size by selecting JPEG and thankfully most files are saved at a good quality. You can share images directly to Facebook and Flickr from within Zepheer. As a nice touch, your new file name adds the name of the effect, which is useful when you want create a similar effect later. Users can also batch process any number of images together if you want to create a selection of images with a uniformed look.
Zepheer's editing tools are currently limited to a rather basic crop function, which needs to be addressed in future updates if it hopes to compete long term with more established and better known competitors. It would also be good to see a one click randomise option, so you could preview results with even less effort and hopefully discover some cool effects by chance.
Zepheer shows enough promise to recommend to anyone who wants to add creative effects to their photos with speed and ease. GPU-accelerated rendering produces fast, real time results, which makes the process of clicking on various effects fun and effective, producing with a little tweaking, quality results.