Getting crea tive
Go wild with filters and effects
All the apps on test provide at least some one-shot filters and effects you can apply to your images. Even GIMP, the least userfriendly package here, has a Filter menu filled with options. What it doesn’t provide is any indication of what your image might look like with the filter applied, so a hand on ç+Z can come in handy. PhotoDirector’s Presets palette alters a thumbnail of your image as you mouse over its list, while iPhoto displays a grid of filtered thumbnails and Photoshop Elements offers a Filter Gallery option to give a preview of what you’ll get, and Pixelmator’s Effects Browser shows thumbnails of every effect on images of flowers. AfterShot, with its emphasis on slider-based editing, doesn’t preview its presets. Hats have to come off to PhotoDirector for its number of built-in options, complemented by user-created and downloadable ones, but Pixelmator is no slouch either, the position of your pointer on the effect icon in its browser determining the strength of the effect.