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How-to use Skylum apps as Photos extensions.

October 08

6 min. to read

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The best thing about El Capitan OS is the possibility to use extensions with Photos.

With OS X El Capitan, you can install 3rd party software as Photos extensions. And finally make Photos the most amazing photo editing tool on your Mac. We've already written that Skylum's Tonality, Intensify, Snapheal and Noiseless can now run as Photos extensions. 

Here is a shortlist of Skylum apps, which can be used as Photos extensions or standalone apps:

  • Luminar - latest photo editor released by Skylum, capable of doing all the most popular image edits;
  • Aurora HDR - HDR software for creating unique and dramatic HDR looks;
  • FX Photo Studio - with more than 170 photo effects & filters, this extension can easily improve the look of your photos;
  • Snapheal - remove any unnecessary objects and details from your pictures using this app;
  • Noiseless - noise reducing tool created for clean and effective noise clean up;
  • Tonality - best tool for dramatic B&W conversions, with a lot of adjustments, effects and presets;
  • Intensify - image enhancement extension, with detailed contrast, clarity and sharpening adjustments;
  • Focus - create creative blur effects, imitate bokeh and tilt shift photo look.

Here are 3 simple steps to launch and use extensions, as well as TOP reasons when you need each of Skylum tools. 

First, go to preferences on your Mac and click extensions. Choose Photos in the left sidebar and pick the extensions you like. 

Now launch Photos, pick an image you want to edit and double-click on it. Go to the bottom of the right sidebar and click Extensions. Next, launch the extension you like. 

Here is a shortlist of Skylum apps, which can be used as Photos extensions or standalone apps:

You can combine multiple extensions by jumping from one to another. To do so, simply edit the photo in one extension, click "Save photo" and then launch another one. Keep in mind, that when you save changes, Photos doesn't create a copy of your image, but saves the changes in the original. 

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As a general rule, we recommend you use Skylum Photos extensions for all your photo editing needs. However, if you need some example of when to use each app, here are our TOP 5 for Filters for Photos, Intensify, Tonality, Noiseless and Snapheal. 

Enhance your photos in a moment with Filters for Photos:

  • Add vintage, old paint or other effects with one click;
  • Share your photos to social networks without any extra editing;
  • This software is absolutely free;
  •  It's versatile, powerful and very easy to use!

Get Filters for Photos right now!

Want more detail and drama in your images? Use the Intensify extension.

1. Easily bring up structure and details on your photos to accentuate every pixel.  2. Boost colors in your landscapes, street photos and architecture shots.  3. Add dramatic, detailed looks and develop your own styles.  4. Quickly fix practically any image to make it more crisp and clear. 5. Sharpen your photos without extra noise and halos.

Want more detail and drama in your images? Use the Intensify extension.

Need to remove imperfections? Use the Snapheal extension. 

The Spot healing brush in Photos leaves a lot to be desired. Here are 3 main reasons why you want to use Snapheal: 

1. You want to remove unwanted objects and strangers from a photo. 2. You have a scanned photo and you want to restore it, using digital retouching tools.  3. You want to fix imperfections on skin, like spots and wrinkles. 

Need to remove imperfections? Use the Snapheal extension.

Use the Tonality extension for monochrome masterpieces. 

1. Access over 150 one-click presets for one-click magic. 2. Get dramatic results with advanced clarity, detail and structure controls. 3. Experiment with authentic film grain emulation, grain and split-toning to create epic vintage looks. 4. Selectively color your B&W images for extra impact. 5. Add depth using layers & power brushes. That's right, with Tonality, your Photos gets layers.Use the Tonality extension for monochrome masterpieces.

Tired of pesky noise and grain? Use the Noiseless noise reduction extension to rescue low-light photos

1. Use one-click presets to easily save low-light twilight shots where ISO is cranked up.

2. Salvage smartphone images, especially those that were shot while zoomed in.

3. Make indoor photos look great, even without a flash.

4. Recover details and preserve edge structure to get natural-looking images.

5. Retain noise selectively to ensure "photo-like" results.Tired of pesky noise and grain? Use the Noiselessnoise reduction extensionto rescue low-light photos

This is how noise reduction in Photos for Mac worked. Unless, we are doing something wrong, it didn't work at all. Any suggestions?Tired of pesky noise and grain? Use the Noiselessnoise reduction extensionto rescue low-light photos(2)

Tired of pesky noise and grain? Use the Noiselessnoise reduction extensionto rescue low-light photos(3)

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Written by

Team Skylum


Our team of passionate photography enthusiasts at Skylum has been committed to assisting you in discovering the world through your lens for over a decade. We're dedicated to providing photographers like you with easy-to-use tools and valuable resources to help you capture your vision and produce beautiful photos. Our articles are filled with friendly tips, industry insights, and inspiring stories from other creative individuals in photography. Together, we can help you grow your photography skills to new heights. Join us on this exciting journey of exploration, creativity, and growth.

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