Professor Franklin's Instant Photo Effects
Reviewed: Geetesh Bajaj
Suddenly, there are photographs everywhere! While this flood of photographic abundance can be primarily attributed to the popularity of digital cameras, other factors like falling scanner prices and availability of free pictures on the Internet has helped. Also, many stock photo websites allow you to download unlimited phptographs for a fixed subsciption fee. Not all photographs can be used in their raw state - most of them need basic image editing and photo effects.
Now let's look at photo effects. Does your office need some special effect capabilities for a PowerPoint presentation or do you want to add cool frames and edges to your family photographs? Look at Professor Franklin's Instant Photo Effects! That's a very long name - so we'll just call it Instant Photo Effects for the rest of this review.
Instant Photo Effects is not a professional image editor like Adobe Photoshop - it would be funny to compare them both since Photoshop costs ten times as much and has a learning curve. You need to know that Instant Photo Effects cannot perform advanced Photoshop-style image editing tasks like adjusting levels and curves, although stuff like adjusting brightness, contrast, focus and colour correction can be done using the available Darkroom effects.
Instant Photo Effects is from Streetwise Software, a company based just outside Los Angeles in Santa Monica, CA, United States. They make several other easy-to-use programs - visit their site for more info:
Streetwise also runs the pictureBUZZ online print design centre.
My contact at Streetwise was Geoff - I wish to thank him for helping me with this review.
Installing Instant Photo Effects is a quick affair - just place the provided CD which shall autoplay in autorun enabled systems. The installation creates a program group in the Start Menu.
When you launch Instant Photo Effects, it asks you if you want to open a photo from disk or a stock photo from the Instant Photo Effects CD. You can also scan or acquire a photo from any TWAIN sources like some digital cameras and webcams.
Instant Photo Effects allows you to add six types of effects - Accents, Photography, Artistic, Edges, Frames and Darkroom.
Rather than explain every effect that Instant Photo Effects is capable of, here are a few visuals:
Accents: Page Curl, Lighting Effects, Spherize, Add Shadow, Mural Texture, Pattern Texture
Photography: Antique, Stylize, Duotone, Color Quadrants, Digitize
Artistic: Impressionism, Painting, Drawing, Painting on Canvas, Lithograph Etching, Emboss
Edges: Artistic Edges, Brush Strokes, Vignette Edges, Object Edges, Frame Edges
Frames: Object Borders, Artistic Borders, Frame Borders, Media
Darkroom: Auto Correct, Brightness/Contrast, Focus, Colour Correction, Negative
There's more to this review than just trying out Instant Photo Effects - I wanted to find a program that I could recommend to people who need some sort of picture editing and effects for PowerPoint. Thankfully, Instant Photo Effects performs admirably.
I have a separate tutorial on this site that show you how one can create PowerPoint backgrounds with Instant Photo Effects in less than five minutes - read it here...
Instant Photo Effects also includes the Photo Courier - this allows you to insert your edited images into many applications including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Although the Photo Courier interface lists Word 97, Excel 97 and PowerPoint 97, my system with version 2002 of these programs had no problem in integrating with Instant Photo Effects.
Instant Photo Effects can do more than what I have covered in this review - I haven't covered the Internet Intellisave options or the text features in the program. Many effects can be customized as well.
Streetwise retails Instant Photo Effects for US$ 39.99 and the product provides exceptional value for that price point. Probably nothing compares to it for the speed and ease with which you can conjure special effects for your visual content.