Caffeine Priority: Hands-on with the hands-off photo editing software, Photolemur
posted Sunday, January 22, 2017 at 7:00 AM EDT
Wake up with IR! Here's today's cup of Caffeine Priority...
We covered Photolemur in early December. Since then, I've had the opportunity to use the MacOS software and see what it offers photographers.
To brief you on what Photolemur is, it is a piece of automated photo editing software. Claiming to be the "world's first automatic photo enhancement solution" on its website, Photolemur uses artificial intelligence to automatically enhance your photos, including adjustments to exposure, white balance, saturation, contrast and more. The software supports RAW files as well, so you can load any of your images into it.
Photo software doesn't get much easier to use than Photolemur. Once installed, you either drag your images into the application window or you manually load the files. Once you load the image, a progress bar appears at the top of the window and that's it, your image is edited. If you don't like the result, you can modify it via a slider at the bottom of the workspace. You can make the image more "realistic" or more "vivid," with the former option decreasing saturation and contrast and the latter option increasing those adjustments. Personally, I tended to enjoy the "realistic" edits more than the default or "vivid" ones, but it's a matter of personal taste.
Besides the slider, you have zero control over how Photolemur edits your images. I don't want to say that this is a positive or a negative because it is at the very core of what Photolemur is. This is a hands-off photo editor designed to save you time and allow you to quickly edit and export images. With that said, the software does tend to be a bit heavy-handed with its editing and I wish that I had some level of control over the process. For example, the software could offer the user input on the level of different adjustments that are made to images as you load them into the software. Personally, I would like the software to sharpen and saturate images less. As it stands now, the software tends to introduce sharpening halos around fine details, as you can see in the image below.
Once the image has been edited, you can resize, crop/rotate and export it via controls in the toolbar. Photolemur is also designed to improve itself over time. It does this by counting images you save or share as successes and images you don't save or share as failures. Future enhancements are based on this internal list of hits and misses.
Overall, Photolemur is a very interesting piece of photo editing software. It is interesting not so much for its results, which are good but not great, but for what it signals for the future. With a few small tweaks, Photolemur could be an excellent blend between automated simplicity and control, allowing photographers who want to use it essentially hands-off to continue to do so but also supplying some level of control to those who want to speed up their workflow without giving up all autonomy in the editing process.
Until January 31, Photolemur is available for US$29. It will cost US$49 after that date. Photolemur is available for MacOS. I was provided a copy of the software for the purposes of this review, but no compensation was received.
• Photolemur •
Caffeine Priority is a series of short photo-tidbits to ease you into your day and give us a chance to share a bit more of what life’s like here at IR. We're more like a group of friends testing and talking about cameras and lenses than the buttoned-down, big-corporation world that some of our photo-friends at other companies work in; hopefully, these little snippets will share some of that. So... grab another coffee and join in the conversation with us down below!