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Photo Editing Apps? Edit entire albums? PhotoGene?


iPF Noob
May 11, 2011
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Sorry if this has been asked before - I've done some searching on the forum and generally out there, and so far can't quite seem to find what I'm looking for.

I'm a photographer and I currently use Microsoft Windows Live Essentials Photo Gallery on my PC as my one-stop workflow for organizing and editing big albums (approx 100-500) of photos. I still use Photoshop and other advanced tools for more complicated jobs where I need finer control and detailed work. But for 99% of my general quick editing and organizing, the new MS tools are the quickest and easiest way to get the job done.

I'm not looking for a batch-editing tool. Most of my edits are a simple crop (keeping original aspect ratio) and then perhaps a quick exposure/contrast/color correction - but each photo might be slightly different, so I don't just apply a single set of batch corrections to the entire album. I need the most efficient possible way to flip through every individual photo in the album, review it, decide to keep or reject it, do some quick adjustments, and then possibly dive deeper into some more advanced touch up on just a few of the photos in the album. Ideally I can do this all from a single tool, scanning through the album just once, making my workflow as quick and easy as possible.

I've been thinking of moving to the iPad to do this kind of work, mainly because it would be better in terms of portability. But I don't want to lose out too much on functionality. I've had a look at some of the photo editing apps for iPad out there - some seem to offer all the core features and a lot of extras beyond what the MS tools offer. The best comparable app seems to be PhotoGene, and it does seem to offer a lot more, but still be as easy to use for the most part.

But from what I have seen so far, this app and all the other similar apps I have tried seem to suffer from one fatal flaw. In the MS app I can simply start at the first photo in my album, do a quick crop/edit, and then click right-arrow, and go to the next photo, and so on. There is a counter on the window which tells me that I am at (1/100...2/100...etc). I can also hit delete to quickly remove that photo from my album, so in this way I can also do rejection as part of a single scan through my album. I would expect that the iPad apps would have something similar such as a finger-swipe to switch to the next photo, and perhaps a command to remove a photo. But so far it is not clear to me that PhotoGene or any of the other alternatives out there really has this. So it seems that in all the available apps, I need to edit a photo, save my changes, and then go back to the album, and (visually) select the next photo to edit from a set of thumbnails. This is fine when I have an album of 20 or so photos, but when I have literally hundreds, and within that, there may be a series of 10 photos that look quite similar - it is very difficult to visually select the "next" one in the series by just looking at thumbnails, and it's a real pain to do that over and over a few hundred times, just to flip through and clean up an entire album.

The other key feature that I use in the MS tool is the touch up feature, which is simply dragging a box around an area to be touched up (such as a blemish) and the tool automatically figures out how to clean it up for me, and it works perfectly almost all the time. I guess the "clone" tools are the best way to accomplish this in PhotoGene, but they are slightly more difficult, which could be a pain when I need to do 10 small touch ups on a photo.

So I guess what I am looking for is really the most comparable app to the Windows Live Essentials Photo Gallery, specifically with the features for moving back and forward between the album (doesn't this seem like it would be the most natural feature on an iPad, since it is a simple gesture, and is already offered by the "photo viewing" apps?), and for removing photos from the album - and perhaps with a simpler touch up feature as well. Then of course, if I can get all the more advanced features offered by something like PhotoGene, without cluttering things up and making the core features much harder to use, then thats a big bonus too.

Any advice on what app might meet my needs? Or if there is no app quite like this yet, what would it take to submit the feature request to the developers of PhotoGene, for example, and what might the turnaround be on getting a new version with these features?

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