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Polarr – awesome free photo editing app will make your boring shots look amazing all the time, seriously [Editors Choice]

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Every so often we get hit in the face with a corker of a product, and we know within seconds this is something we’re going to use a lot from now on. It’s hard to explain what makes those products so compelling, but if we had to dissect it, we would put it down to a) a clearly great implementation of a core function and b) the ability to get it to do what you want instantly, without having to read instructions. So it is with Polarr, a brand new online image editing app.

They call it ‘elegant photo editing‘, which basically means it can turn any photo into an instant Instagram type shot, which is fine, but really there are a ton of apps and programs out there that can do that. No, the really interesting thing about Polarr is not the soft tones and retro temperatures, it’s the fact that you can tweak the heck out of any image you have, and make it come alive in your browser in seconds.

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Most photo editing packages nowadays give you basic editing tools and then offer up a range of filters to let you turn your boring shot of grandma into something that looks decent. The trouble with these products is you’re stuck with the filter, and even if you can do editing, it’s often hard to get a decent result because you’re flying in the dark.

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Polarr on the other hand is opinionated. What that means is it gives you results that it believes are cool enough to impress, and then let’s you refine and use the changes if you want to tweak things to your total satisfaction. It’s a really important distinction because most of us have the artistic abilities of a horsefly, so any help we can get from people who clearly know what they’re doing, is welcome, right?

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And here’s where the final piece of the puzzle fits in. Because the user interface is so easy to grasp, and actually use, you can get great results with just a little bit of tinkering. You’ve got all the important features available, including exposure, contrast, vibrance etc, but they’re all subtly tweakable in seconds, and you get fine grained control through the use of the arrow keys and mouse wheel. It’s brilliant, and such a pleasure to use.

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We anticipate lots of people are going to spend time playing around with old shots in this app, just to see what they can produce with a bit of work, and the final cool bit is your creations can be shared with social networks (of course), and also you can save your favorite styles for later use on other shots. And did we mention it’s free? Lovely app. It’s not the kind of thing you will use on every single image, because sometimes a plain photo is all you need, but boy it promises a whole heap of fun for the rest.

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Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


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