It’s easier than ever now to take a photograph. We do it all the time. From selfies to landscapes and from vacation snaps to family photos, we’re all busy filling our iPhones and our hard drives with folders and folders of images.
That growth in image-making gives us two challenges.
First, we have to be able to find and organize those images on our Macs. We know what we’ve taken; too often though, we just don’t know where those pictures are, or how to organize them effectively. That's especially true if we're using external hard drives to store our photos.
Second, we need to be able to make those images better because few of us ever play with the options in the camera app. We point and shoot, and we know that our pictures can be improved. Once we’ve found them, we need a quick and easy way to make those pictures look better.
For owners of Macs, the choice of photo management software is now broad.
How Do I Choose A Photo Management App?
There are dozens of programs that promise Mac users optimal management and simple image editing. When you’re assessing the best photo management software for Macs, you’re going to be looking at a number of features.
The organization of the images should be clear. You should be able to easily find the photos you want to open and edit. So the editing tools offered by the software should be straightforward and intuitive. Professional image editors might know what each icon stands for and what adjusting things like white balance can do but casual users need to be free to experiment and play. The goal for every photo management software will always be to combine powerful editing features with an easy workflow that makes improving and organizing images a breeze.
What Is the Best Photo Management Software for Mac?
One option has always been Picasa, Google’s now defunct photo service, and Mac comes with its own native photo editor which is okay as far as it goes. But there are plenty of Picasa alternatives that… let’s face it, do a much better job than Google ever did, especially for Mac owners. And Mac’s native editor only goes about as far as free software is expected to go.
One program that does manage to bring together strong editing and easy use is our own Picktorial. Now in version 3.5, Picktorial is photo organizing software for Mac that provides a single-space workflow. That means you get everything you need on one screen. You don’t lose the photo or have to battle through menus when you look for the option you want to use, whether that’s a blurring tool to soften a portrait or color adjustment to deepen a sunset.
It’s also a RAW image editor with a very simple conversion to Jpeg. That lets you work with the photo created by your camera before it’s been compressed. And the comparable editing is very neat. You can easily see how the image has changed and improved, and why all the work you’ve put into adjusting colors and changing brightness was so worthwhile. It’s beautifully done.
Additional Tips for Mac Photo Management
Picktorial is a great tool for managing photos on Macs but not just because of its easy workflow. One of the most important features of photo management software is non-destructive image editing.
Even the most talented and experienced image editors make mistakes. They don’t always know the best path to the best image, and they sometimes make changes that they regret. It’s vital that they can make all of these changes without damaging the original image. When you’re assessing photo organizing software for Mac, do make sure the program won’t be writing over the original images but will be making the changes separately. Picktorial even lets you roll back the changes out of order. That’s something even Photoshop can’t do.
Access to the metadata is important too. Every image you create will come with metadata built in. That data might include information about the speed and focal length used to take the photo—useful when you’re trying to improve your photography—but it could also include location data and date.
That’s useful information too but you might want to edit it to make it more consistent and make your pictures easier to find. Picktorial is one of the few photo management programs that allows users to edit their metadata.
When you’re assessing photo management software, make a checklist, and make sure that that check list has the following:
- Non-destructive editing
- RAW photo editing and seamless conversion
- Intuitive workflow
- Metadata editing
- Single space workflow
Those features aren’t all you’ll be looking for in photo management software for Macs. But they are a good place to begin. They’ll give you the means to find the images you’ve taken, retrieve them, and make them look as beautiful as you expected them to look when you took them. Like taking pictures itself, that’s now easier than ever to do too.