Give your photos some soul. Thats all we ever want to do with a photo really isn't it? To capture a moment in time that can best portray what was happening, what you were feeling, who you were with. However, when we take our cameras on a day out, knowing that there will be some moments that we will want to remember, not all the images we capture really turn out quite the way we wanted. Well thats exactly what Analog is for. With some snappy decisions and a few clicks of the mouse, any photo can be transformed into a work of art in its own right. Analog combines great looking filters with a range of borders to do just that.
Opening an Image
Downloading and installing Analog is very simple as it available to purchase through the Mac App Store. When you first load Analog there will be a large dark workspace and a few filters over towards the right hand side, we will come back to these filters a little later. To open an image with Analog simply drag the file either from a folder, or straight from iPhoto into the large workspace area. Once Analog has opened the file its time to begin the processing stage.
Cropping and Applying Filters
When hovering over the image, a small toolbar with options to crop, rotate, share, and toggle the processing of the image on and off (allowing for easy comparison between the initial and final look of the photo) will appear. The cropping tool allows you to edit the proportions of your image, either using freeform, square, 4x3 or 16x9 aspect ratios. To crop the image, drag the corners or sides of the image until the photo looks the way you like it. If you go wrong there is a handy "Original" option which reverts the image back to its initial size. The rotate tool allows you to rotate the image 90 degrees at a time until the photo is in the correct orientation. Now the image is ready for the filters. Analog puts 20 different filters at your disposal ranging from old camera styles to color enhancements. Although this may not be a massive number of filters, they are all of high quality and vary from one another dramatically, unlike some other similar applications to Analog which boost the number of filters with cheesy rainbow and x-ray effects. As well as these 20 filters, clicking on some filter options a second time such as "Kyoto" and "Helsinki" will slightly alter the picture to highlight and enhance other areas. This is useful as you may not like the yellow streak or blue haze produced by these filters right over the subjects face for instance. It also creates unique photo effects even if you use the same filter twice. Each time you select a filter, you will hear a satisfying click to let you know that the filter has been applied. Its not often that applications similar to Analog use sound effects, its very useful sometimes, especially when using Analog to hear that "upload complete" sound.
Working With Borders
Once a filter has been chosen its time to think what border you would like surrounding your image. Borders on digital images have a similar effect to the frames on framed pictures you would hang up in your home. They can sometimes drastically change the look and feel of the photo, so it a wise decision to choose carefully. Also, when choosing a border with Analog, the image may become cropped slightly which can be a little annoying if you have spent some time cropping the image manually at a previous stage. There are two main categories of border, those which maintain a landscape or portrait look to the image, and those which make the photo a square. There are over a dozen different borders to choose from but this does include the rectangular and square counterparts of some designs.
Sharing Your Photo
Once you are happy with the way the photo has turned out its time to share it with the world (or keep it safe stored on your own machine, which ever option floats your boat). To save or share your photo, hover over the image again and click on "Share". This will reveal a menu with options to where you would like to share the photo too. With options to "Save As", "Send via Mail", or to share on CloudApp, Facebook, Flickr or Picasa. Although this covers a wide range of options and the integration of the sharing action is well carried out, it would be nice to see some Twitter integration, or even integration with Courier for those that have it. If we would like to share our image with CloudApp for example, you enter your login information within Analog, which saves you time not having to log in using a browser. Then you can choose whether you would like the image to be displayed publicly or privately. Once you have chosen where to upload the image, a small progress bar will appear next to the name of the service you chose to upload with. If you look in the dock the Analog icon will be spinning around which is a nice little addition. I will choose to share the photo publicly so you can see the uploaded image here. As you can see there is no loss of quality. This would however vary if you uploaded it to Facebook for instance which scales the image down so the quality would be greatly reduced.
So, after one of the biggest teaser campaigns seen in the world of Mac Apps, and a very long wait, its finally here. But has it lived up to the hype? Apart from the fact that there is not a massive choice of filters and it could do with a couple more sharing options, Analog is a very beautiful and refreshingly simple photo editing suite to work with that produces impressive results. With a fullscreen mode and its high quality filters, it can quickly turn an average looking photo into the one that you will want to share with friends and family, with none of the expert knowledge needed to use more advanced editing software. If you are a professional photographer looking for applications to help quickly improve the look of your photos, or just a casual camera owner looking to spice up a few of your own images, then Analog can certainly help you produce wonderful looking photos no matter what the subject. And with Analog now on sale at $7.99 there may not be a better time for you to get your hands on the latest hot offering from the Mac App Store.