The updated Photos in macOS Catalina

The updated Photos in macOS Catalina

The Photos in macOS Catalina program has been thoroughly revamped by Apple. For a lot of users it is actually the only photo editor they need!

Not everyone is a professional photographer. What the vast majority of ‘casual’ photographers mainly want is that their pictures simply look attractive. For example, to share them on the inevitable social media. Or just to print them nice and old-fashioned. Now it applies that most compact cameras and also the cameras from the better smartphones deliver great pictures without you having to do anything else. But yes, keeping things straight is something you have to pay attention to. Colors can sometimes be a bit more lively, or there is just too much noise in an evening recording. All things that you can tackle with Photos. In terms of possibilities, it seems surprisingly similar to what expensive and extensive photo editors have to offer. But don’t let that put you off, it simply works! And otherwise there is always a button to automatically optimize everything. Furthermore, it applies that Photos in the latest version in terms of organization has been overhauled. It now looks exactly like the iOS version, with albums, daily, monthly and annual overviews and more beautiful. We will not focus on that in this article, if only because this part is almost self-explanatory. We are going to focus on adapting ‘hardcore’ photos. For that it is first of all important to get some photos in Photos, if that is not yet the case. This is possible, for example, by simply dragging some photos from a folder to the Photos window. Once you have transferred some photos, the fun can begin.


More and more compact cameras have a strong zoom, combined with an optical image stabilization. Nice, but with less ambient light you have to increase the sensitivity (ISO value) a bit to get a sharp image. As an example, we open a close-up of the well-known moon here. Although (later) made in the day, there is already clear noise here. The whole thing is also ‘pale’. It is quite possible to do something about that. Open a photo by simply double-clicking on it in the overview. Then click on the button Edit in the top right of the Photos window. First of all, let’s give our somewhat pale day moon a little more body. The most convenient way is via Curves, click on the triangle for this option. Grab the line with the mouse and move the mouse while holding down the mouse button. You now see the image change. It is a matter of directing your feelings. You can ‘bend’ the curve at several points, so that you can balance it out nicely.

We bleached the moon through Curves


Our moon looks slightly healthier again. As far as we are concerned, it is possible to add a little more color, by using the control below in the panel on the right Color. More to the right produces fuller colors, more to the left, paler colors. Remains that annoying noise. For this you use the control below Suppress noise. In this more extreme example you slide the controller Quantity a long way to the right. The noise is now much less! In most cases you will not have to move the controller so much to the right to make noise virtually invisible. However, noise reduction leads to a less sharp image. To partly counteract that again, the controller intensity is below Sharper. With the controller Borders make sure you have sharper edges, which can come in handy after noise reduction. However, the noise also returns a little more when sharpening. In short: a matter of playing a little with both noise reduction and sharpening.

Use the slider under Color for more vibrant colors

Delete objects

Photos has countless options. For example, think of Retouch. This is intended for the removal of stains and other irregularities. You pick up old mottled photos with it, but you can remove (youth) spots and other irregularities just as easily. Or lunar craters. Just what you want. It works very simple. Click on the brush for the slider Size below Retouch. If necessary, adjust the size of the tool – in the form of a circle – with the controller. Then click on all parts that you want to remove. Photos is smart enough to come up with a replacement texture yourself. Often that goes amazingly well! If you are satisfied with your updated photo, click on the button Ready in the top right of the Photos window. Nice bonus: if you ever want to return to the original photo in the future, then open the edited photo again and then on Edit to click. Then click on the bottom right of the panel Reset adjustments and your photo is back again.

Get rid of stains, pimples or craters

Good to know

As stated, photos has many options. If you want to straighten a horizon, click in the top-right edit mode Cut. Also remember that all photos in Photos are stored in a database of this program. Do you want pictures Outside use the tool, then you must export it. This is possible by selecting one or more photos in the overview. Click after making the selection in the menu bar below Archive and Export on Export xxx photo (s), where xxx is the number of selected photos. Choose the file format, for example jpg. To adjust specific settings per file format, click on the downward arrow behind the file format. click on Export, choose a folder and click again Export. Your photo is now also available outside Photos.


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