Have you ever spent hours and hours editing photos in Photoshop or Aperture and not quite attained the result you wanted, well then Flare for Mac is definately the app for you. Targeted towards the enthusiastic amateur photographer, Flare offers a wide variety of photo-customization opportunities and all can be carried out by a very simple process.

The application is very quick to install and much like any other app you purchase of the Mac App Store downloads and installs automatically with the handy animation of it "flying" into your Applications folder in your dock. Upon launch you are greeted with a prompt to drag and drop your photo into a box presented in the application. This simple process speeds any editing process up, as well as the fact that Flare can edit files that are saved in Photoshop, iPhoto, and even Aperture. Choose from a variety of effects when applying filters After importing your photo, there are a number of options to consider, much like any other photographer has to do. If you want, you can crop, rotate or resize the image in the first step, or simply skip to the net stage where the interesting stuff happens. There are a total of twenty six effects to apply to your photos in Flare, all with their unique qualities, and also all fully customizable to achieve the exact look that you want for your photo. They are divided into categories, the first one being the handy "Color Effects", these include:

  • Exposure
  • Midtone Brightness
  • Saturation, Brightness, Contrast
  • Tint
  • Duotone
  • Color filter
  • Color gradient
  • Black & white
  • Crossprocessing

For each effect you can customize the look by using sliders to alter the final effect such for example on the color filter, there is a slider for the opacity and also a choice of color presented in an alterable box. As well as the color effects available, there are also lens effects which basically blur the photo or make the image sharper. These effects include:

  • Gaussian blur
  • Motion blur
  • Zoom blur
  • Sharpen
  • Glow
  • Vignette

The built in presets allow for quick customization of your photos There are also more light-hearted effects available to choose from which are placed under creative effects and most provide an obvious change to the photo:

  • Grain
  • Texture
  • Lightleak
  • Frame
  • Border
  • Rounded edges
  • Barrel distortion
  • Rotation
  • Scaling
  • Halftone
  • Pixelate
  • Scanlines

By combining any of the above effects a great photo can be made better, even without the use of highly priced photo editing suites, which are only accessible to the professional or a very dedicated amateur with some spare cash.

Overall, Flare has some great features available and for the price is a really great app to complement your photos, and really to have a bit of fun when editing. With a very user-friendly interface, easy importing and exporting of images, Flare is definitely accessible to all ages and a wide range of photographer experience.