We use the free Google Picasa photo editor to touch up photos taken with our phone’s camera. It’s nice that it’s free, but sometimes a free program isn’t enough. With that in mind, we tried the new Photo Commander 14, $60 from ashampoo.com. It has a 30-day free trial. (Ashampoo? Odd name. Explanation later.)
One problem with using Picasa is we usually can’t find the photo we want without going to the File menu and then selecting which file to “add to Picasa.” In Photo Commander 14, your list of folders is to the left on the screen, just as in Windows Explorer (or File Explorer in Windows 10). This makes it much easier to browse for what you want.
Photo Commander comes with some fun stuff. You can cut someone out of a photo and place them in a new background – perhaps the Taj Mahal, the White House or the moon. This kind of cut-and-paste special effect has been around for many years and in many programs, but this one was easy and looked good. We took ourselves out of a Christmas tree background and onto a beach. At first it looked like the beach was made of quicksand and we were sinking into it, but with some tweaking, it turned out great.
The program comes with a calendar maker, slideshows, photo cards and a duplicate photo finder. The duplicate finder worked well, flushing out over a couple dozen duplicates on Joy’s machine. Unfortunately, you have to delete the duplicates one by one. The photo card creator is wild and fun. Put your face on a movie marquee, for example, or the side of a tall glass building.
(Name explanation now. Ashampoo is a German outfit and their first product was a general tune-up utility for Windows. A reviewer back then said it cleaned Windows “like a shampoo.” So they decided to call their company “Ashampoo.”)
Filed under: photos