CyberLink's PhotoDirector Ultra is a great photo editing program for Mac that provides plenty of editing tools as well as an impressive set of photo organizing tools. The interface makes it especially helpful for beginners, as it divides the various tools up into sections. Experienced users will need to adjust to the layout as it is very different from traditional photo editing programs, but the tools are all there to help you make your photos look their best.
CyberLink sells this program for $99.99, though you can often find the company sporting a promotion for less than that. We were also able to find it selling on Amazon for under $50. There is a trial period that lasts for 30 days so you'll be able to use the program for a month before determining if it’s a good fit for you.
PhotoDirector isn't lacking in editing tools as it provides all of the basic tools like red eye removal, cropping, color management as well as offering more advanced tools like layer masks, filter presets, batch processing and the ability to create HDR images. This software works differently than many other photo editing programs. Instead of giving you a toolbar with tool icons, each tool is divided by category tabs. For example, if you're looking for the cloning tool, you'll find it under Skin Tools in the "Edit" section. This is easier for beginners to use but might throw off experienced photo editors who are familiar with the standard toolbar setup. If you'd prefer a more traditional setup, you might be interested in Acorn. We tested the background removal and content-aware fill tools and found that they worked beautifully in removing unwanted elements from our images.
You can stitch images together using this program to create panoramas, and if the stitching creates any distortions you can adjust them using the lens distortion correction tool. This program also makes it super easy to create HDR images. When you select the HDR option, a window opens and asks you to add two or more images. You'll also have plenty of control over the settings while using this feature.
If you're editing a lot of portraits you'll especially appreciate the "People Beautifier" section, which gives you access to blemish removers, wrinkle removers, a teeth whitening tool and a shine remover. There's also a body shaping tool. Like the name suggests, it's intended to help you manipulate images in such a way that your figures look more lean and shapely, should you want to use it.
We counted 47 presets in the program, but CyberLink also offers additional free presets on its website. So, you'll have plenty of preset options at your fingertips. This software works in layers, which means you can create layer masks and add adjustment layers to your images. This makes it so that your original image isn't damaged or changed in the process, so you can keep it safe. This software makes it easy to create and add watermarks to your images, which is an good idea if you plan on sharing them online.
PhotoDirector Ultra has some of the best organizing tools we've seen. The built-in file browser allows you to find and open files directly in the program. To make it easier to sort your library of images, the software allows you to add keyword tags, star ratings, and color coding to your images. It also lets you tag the faces of your family members and friends, so you can look them up by name. To help you further sort your images, create albums for various events. This photo organizing system allows you to view EXIF metadata, so you can see what your camera settings were at when you took your favorite images.
This program works with RAW images from a variety of cameras, so you'll be able to process the image the way you want. It is also compatible with PSD, PDF, JPEG, TIFF and PNG files. If you're planning on sharing your work on the web, the image optimization tools will help you get them formatted correctly. Should you want to share your photos with others, email them to family and friends directly within the software, or save them to a disk. This software also allows you to share your images directly to Facebook and Flickr.
In addition to its impressive repertoire of editing tools, PhotoDirector Ultra offers some of the best photo organizing options we've seen. This is a really good fit for photo editing beginners, but veterans will also find it to be a useful software despite its untraditional interface. You'll find effective advanced editing tools like the background and object removal tools, which work quickly and believably to fill in space. Overall, we were impressed with this software and its capabilities and recommend it to most Mac users.