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PhotoWand 1.62

Fun photo enhancement app for Windows 8

by Mike Williams

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Based on 0 ratings
License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 8
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 22 August 2014
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 373
Developer: Ying Games and Fun
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PhotoWand 1.62
Fun photo enhancement app for Windows 8

PhotoWand is a handy photo enhancement app for Windows 8.

It provides simple tools to improve your photos, including a crop function, sharpen filter, and adjustments for hue, saturation, brightness and contrast.

A mixed set of filters ranges from the basic (Negative, B&W, Sepia) to the more interesting (Vignette, Lomo, Sunlight).

The effects also vary in quality. "Oil Paint" is poor, but "Rain Drop" and "Snow" are better than we expected, and the pencil and sketch effects are so good they probably justify installing the app all on their own.

Whatever filter or effect you choose can be tweaked in intensity with a slider. You're able to customise an image further with frames or clipart-like "stickers". Finished images may then be saved locally, or shared on Facebook with a click.

Annoyances include a Collage button which doesn't actually lead to a Collage function, but instead opens the Windows 8 Store at an entirely different app. There's also a mildly irritating ad which changes every 20 seconds or so, although you can now pay to have this removed (around $1).

Verdict:

A genuine useful photo-tweaking app with some great effects and a good range of tools

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

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Value:
Free
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