Automatic Photo Editor PhotoWorks: A Refreshing Change in the Age of Subscriptions

Automatic Photo Editor PhotoWorks: A Refreshing Change in the Age of Subscriptions

Photographers nowadays have plenty of tools at our fingertips: Lightroom, Capture One, Photoshop, etc. However, all of these are either expensive, complicated, or have recurring payments (or all three). The automatic photo editor PhotoWorks is here to change that, targeting the photographer who isn't quite tech-savvy with layers, warping, and such, but wants a bit more "oomph" to their photos. 

PhotoWorks offers a few features that are not in other competitor's software while still offering broad raw support. What's surprising to me is that in a piece of software designed for people trying to take things a bit more seriously, it has a lot of advanced features, including HSL sliders that are very similar to Lightroom's. 

The biggest selling point of PhotoWorks is definitely the auto photo editing, which goes beyond just presets and really tunes the settings just to your photos. 

Convenient Layout For Productive Work

The layout for PhotoWorks is set up with five tabs. Enhancement, which is your general Saturation, Exposure, color correction, and shadow/highlight controls, as well as Sharpness and Color controls – the latter of which is similar to Lightroom’s HSL sliders giving full abilities to shift the color any which way, for example, making your blues a bit more purple.

The Tools tab has your normal things like Crop, Vignetting, and Curves, but it also has geometry tools which is great for landscapes so straighten your perspective lines, film grain effects, tone mapping, and the wonderful Change Background tool (Which I will go into in the next section).

The Retouch tab has some of the auto photo editing secret sauce in the Portrait Magic section, as well as a healing brush, a clone stamp, Red Eye removal, and more standard things like an adjustment brush, graduated filter and a radial filter.

The Effects tab is where you will find your visual presets, and the Captions tab is where you, well, add captions! I won't be using these today but it's nice that the options are there.

Do All The Hard Work With AI Photo Editor

Using artificial intelligence, the software can do a lot of very impressive things. For example, it can detect where a face is and apply things like lipstick adjustments, face-brightening, smoothing, and some one-click retouching. In the sample image here I used the auto photo editing for quick color and contrast settings.

Next I used the “Portrait Magic” settings which can quickly and easily give a one-click retouch on your images. While this isn’t going to be at a level of a high-end retoucher, it can really make your images look a lot more polished very quickly.

Just a couple of the styles available. I ended up using the “Overall Enhancement” setting on this image to give a nice simple face-brightening effect and help me out with sharpness. This photo was shot on film so I didn't want to go too overboard ad make the grain over pronounced.

In my opinion, one of the more impressive things that PhotoWorks does is the Change Background tool with quick selection of a subject and easy tools to tweak and adjust the selection. Similar to Photoshop, it uses object recognition to quickly and easily mask out your subject. 

The last feature that I will mention here is probably my favorite – the tone mapping which allows for not only color tone mapping, with a fantastic color picker, but also image tone mapping, which I used very lightly on this final image below. Essentially this allows you to quickly and easily add texture to your image, no matter how subtly.

With all the adjustments applied, the improvement between the original image and the final edit is easy to notice. 

Try Automatic Photo Editing and Save Your Time  

The tools within PhotoWorks are truly great for getting through your photos quickly. Their automatic photo editor goes beyond just presets (though it does have those too) and will analyze your photo to choose the exact adjustments needed for your specific photo. Being able to get dynamic-looking photos with just a couple of clicks is great! Though sometimes it may over adjust your photos, you can actually change just how strongly the effect is applied, allowing you to really dial things to taste.

Overall, PhotoWorks is a great alternative to some higher-end options for the budding photographer looking to dip their toes into something a bit more advanced than "brighter" or "darker." PhotoWorks is available here for $27.50 for the ​​​​​​Basic version, and $56.00 for the Pro version, and the Deluxe version right in the middle at $42.00.

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Motti Bembaron's picture

Good to know. Thank you for the review.

lee arthur's picture

What's the difference between the three versions and is the price difference worth the cost increase?

Motti Bembaron's picture

The standard is now $19.99, the Deluxe is $29.40 and the Pro is $39.20. It is a fraction of what other apps cost, I would go for the Pro.

JetCity Ninja's picture

windows only.

it's kinda humorous that a program designed for beginners has a "pro" version.

g coll's picture

Thanks for this. It's really pleasing to see the upsurge in articles about Photoshop, LR etc alternatives particularly when, IMO, Adobe have limited and restricting pricing models which work out pretty darn expensive in the long run.

Regardless of whether or not you can yet satisfactory replace Photoshop, for example, yet; I think the consumer will eventually win when one of these competitors reaches the same level of professional usability. Hopefully sooner rather than later!

Natasha Tenhave's picture

I've downloaded free trial. Well, newbies will be happy to have this software - simple interface, complete editing toolkit, decent AI portrait retouching...