There are numerous photo editing programs available for photographers to choose from for their needs. From the Adobe Creative Cloud, (Lightroom and Photoshop) to Capture One or Luminar, and more, there is something for almost everyone. The downside usually is, these applications are relatively advanced, and require a significant up-front investment or a long-term subscription service.

Well, we recently found a new app called PhotoWorks, an automatic photo enhancer that is built for a beginner who isn’t quite on the level of “master” when it comes to Photoshop and the complex tools it offers, but who still wants access to many features from basic color correction to advanced retouching and portrait enhancement.

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For those who are used to the basic color correction sliders that many other apps offer, (indeed, from Lightroom to Instagram) PhotoWorks is offering that same user-friendly interface for basic color-correction, (Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Whites, Blacks, etc.) …with the addition of powerful automatic editing tools for everything from portraits to landscapes.

Mixing Simple with Hi-End

PhotoWorks feels like a nice balance of Lightroom’s “Develop Module” color-correcting interface, but also with some advanced, Photoshop-like retouching and other enhancement features too. In other words, it’s a bare-bones way of getting access to both the simple and highly advanced photo editing tools you might need, all in one app, without having to master advanced retouching techniques, or manage a complete catalog workflow.

Workflow in a Nutshell

It’s pretty impressive how this picture enhancer offers so many features in an all-in-one solution.

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What is it not? It’s not a high-end RAW converter, like Lightroom, Capture One, etc. If you want the absolute best RAW image conversions, you should invest the time and money into mastering Lightroom, or another high-end paid RAW software.

It’s also not a full catalog system for culling or keywording; in PhotoWorks you open images one at a time, and then have the option to jump to other images in the same folder if you click the little folder icon in the bottom-center of the interface.

You can move from image to image, or even close the app, and it will remember your adjustments to each photo, however, this instant photo enhancer is still not intended for high-volume batch editing. Note: adjustments are non-destructive, and are remembered within the app, just like other RAW workflows.

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Who is it for? It’s made for aspiring artists who just want to get familiar with both basic color correction and advanced enhancement & retouching, without spending weeks learning an interface, or paying for their software every single month. You buy PhotoWorks once, and it’s yours.

Major Features and Tools

The minimalistic interface of PhotoWorks hides quite a set of tools that range from simple and basic to really top-notch and advanced.

There are a lot of tools here we’re all pretty used to seeing in an editing app such as saturation, exposure, highlights & shadows, followed next by the colors tab, and finally, a Sharpness tab where you can enhance or add blur to your image. Under the “Tools” section you find some real power for your editing. You can add watermarks or overlays to your image with a single click using the Image Overlay button, add custom vignetting, find a useful noise reduction tool for enhancing your low light images, as well as several creative tools for adding an additional flare to your shot with 3D Luts and tone mapping. Let’s have a look at those instruments and features that are the most impressive.

One-Click Photo Enhancer

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When it comes to basic enhancements to the picture quality, such as contrast and saturation, tonal management is very simple, and just a little bit of editing will do the trick of making your images look great. If you’d rather not do things manually, however, the auto-correction feature can recognize subjects and help adjust settings perfectly with one click.

Portrait Magic – AI-Driven Beautifying Module

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One of the most difficult things to master in any photo editor is, of course, portrait retouching. You could take years worth of advanced courses, and still be learning about retouching techniques. Until now, that was the only way to get good quality retouching from your portrait photography!

Now, there are many options for automated portrait retouching, and PhotoWorks Portrait Magic feature is very impressive in its simplicity, user-friendliness, and surprisingly, professional-looking results.

Content-Aware Photo Improvement

Indeed, PhotoWorks is using different algorithms for portrait & landscape shots. This allows it to give much better results than fully automated retouching options were in the past.

Face Sculpting To Experiment With Facial Features

A very advanced technique in portrait retouching is face sculpting. Enhancing a face’s shape is a very delicate & risky change to make, and if you’re not careful you could really ruin an image. With PhotoWorks, the use of automation and facial feature recognition/identification makes it a lot harder to “mess up” a face.

Of course, in almost every case, you want to avoid going over-the-top. Thankfully, there are options for dialing back the sliders of various enhancements, either collectively or individually. Remember, try to keep retouching subtle!

Convenient ‘Change Background’ Tool

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Without having to painstakingly select a background in an image, you can quickly use the tools to get an accurate selection for things like a sky or other background that you want to replace. You can choose from their selection of provided backdrop images, or input your own.

Creative Photo Effects and Artistic Filters

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There are over 180 different quick artistic filters for you to choose from. It’s like having a whole collection of artistic presets at your disposal, including adding flare or sunburst, emulating film, converting to black and white, and many more.

Perspective & Distortion Correction

For any photo with lots of straight lines, perspective and distortion correction is a must. We miss the drag-and-drop simplicity of perspective correction in Lightroom, as well as its extensive system for automatic profile corrections, however, Photoworks still has this functionality, just not in the way some of us are used to. Under the Composition tools, there’s a subsection for Geometry where you can show a grid and then manually adjust the distortion (Barrel/Pincushion) that may be affecting your image.

3D LUT Color Correction

There are both ready-made presets, and the ability to add your own.


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While PhotoWorks is not a replacement for your complete catalog-based workflow, it’s a great tool for photo quality enhancement and basic photo editing. If your trial version has run out on whatever expensive or monthly fee software you were using, and you’re not ready to commit to big investment but you’d like to keep on editing your raw and JPEG images in a very similar interface, then PhotoWorks should offer everything you need all in one place!

Want to try PhotoWorks yourself? Then use this coupon supplied by the vendor to order this intelligent image enhancer at a special price.

Note: Some of these features are available in PhotoWorks Standard, but others are only available in PhotoWorks Deluxe or PhotoWorks Pro. These three purchase options are priced at $19.25, $29.40, and $39.20, respectively.

Other software by the makers of PhotoWorks

PhotoDiva a free portrait editor
SmartSHOW 3D slideshow software with photo video and music
PhotoWorks a photo editor for PC