Enhancing Apple Photos with Extensions

Photos, the app that comes with every Mac has come a long way from its iPhoto beginnings. While not as flexible as Aperture (which has been discontinued), it’s an easier to use and learn application that has plenty of powerful features for your organizing and editing tasks.

While the Edit tools in Photos can accomplish much of what you might want to do with your images, Photos makes it easy to access even more powerful features via the Extensions option.
There are a couple of ways to edit your images in applications other than Photos. The most obvious would be right clicking on the photo or selecting Edit > Edit With. This will send your image to the selected application, but may not show the updates when you’re done. In my experience, Photoshop is about the only application that reliably works with Edit With.
A much better approach is to use the Extensions option in Photos.

When you select an image in Photos and choose Edit, you’ll see a … icon in the toolbar

Click on this icon and you’ll see any compatible extensions that are available to you

Not seeing anything? The App Store link will take you directly to many of the options available. In my case, I have both Pixelmator and Affinity Photo installed as replacements for Adobe Photoshop. I also use RAW Power as a more powerful raw editing tool.

Selecting one of the options here will open your image in that extension. In the example below, I’ve selected RAW Power to make adjustments to my image. When you do your edits with an extension, you’ll be taken into that application with all the features normally available if the app was launched and the image opened directly. However, the title bar of the app will be different – you’ll see Photos along with the name of the app you opened. More importantly, you’ll see Cancel and Save Changes buttons. Click on Save Changes and your adjustments will be applied and your image returned to Photos.

Choosing this method also means that you can back out of changes made later by choosing the Revert to Original option in Edit mode.

While Photos is an easy to use application, it’s a surprisingly powerful application that can be made even more useful through Extensions. And by using Extensions, you can avoid the headache of keeping your library updated, and having multiple copies of your images clogging up space. You’ll find Extensions available for HDR, black and white conversion, compositing images, creating text, and just about anything else you might want to do.


-BPSOP Instructor: Jon Canfield

Jon Teaches:

Mastering Apple Photos


Best of Photographing Flora – student’s work [part 2.]

We have more images! Part 2

Our first PHOTOGRAPHING FLORA course at BPSOP just finished and it was a blast! We have enjoyed creative work of our students so much, that it would be a shame not to share their fantastic pictures with the rest of the world. As image speaks for the thousands words, we will let you enjoy their work and their feedback below.

We are opening next PHOTOGRAPHING FLORA course in November, please join us here and learn how to take creative shots of flora too.


We are looking forward to meeting you in class!

Patrik and Monika Banas


Maureen Rogers


Virginia Winblad


Sunny Marker


Sabeen Mapara


Stanley Auspitz


Sarah Herman


Sarah Herman


Sabeen Mapara


Ruthie Kelly

Rene Little


Maurizio Zanchi


Leann Stella


Leann Stella


Ken Hastings

Best of Photographing Flora – student’s work [part 1.]

Our first PHOTOGRAPHING FLORA course at BPSOP just finished and it was a blast! We have enjoyed creative work of our students so much, that it would be a shame not to share their fantastic pictures with the rest of the world. As image speaks for the thousands words, we will let you enjoy their work and their feedback below.

We are opening next PHOTOGRAPHING FLORA course in November, please join us here and learn how to take creative shots of flora too.


We are looking forward to meeting you in class!

Patrik and Monika Banas

Alyda Gilmore

John Klingel


Ann Fitzsimmons


Benita Clarke

Thank you so much for such a fun course!  I really had fun and learned a lot.
Benita C.

Beverly Burke

I thoroughly enjoyed the lessons and the opportunity to try new creative techniques and experimenting with flora photography. I know that I will continue to use many of the new techniques presented in this class.  I feel the instructor’s critiques were very thorough and thoughtful.
Beverly B.

Carole de Beer

Dawn Schmitt

Debbie Lieske

Dina Damon

Doreen Mank


Francine Sreca

Thank you both so much. I learned a lot from you and really enjoyed the class. I still have many techniques to try and you’ve given me a lot to think about. I’ve certainly learned that flora photography is not as easy as many people might think. I thank you for your honest feedback. It has helped me grow as a photographer.
Francine S.

Jacques Wood

Jan Cafaro


Karl Gilmore

Thanks Patrik and Monika, I really enjoyed the class. I have taken other BPSOP classes, and admit that I was most nervous about taking this class. I learned a lot and it helped build up my confidence when taking flora pictures. Unfortunately, I’m thinking that, over the next few weeks, our house will no longer resemble a plant nursery like it has over the last four weeks 😉
Karl G.


Kudos to Patrik & Monika for this flower course. I have been taking flower photos for around 5 yrs, and was in a rut, this course gave me so many new ideas to tryout.I can’t wait to try some of the other ideas in this course. Thanks a million for your wonderful ideas for flower photography.

Lightroom Tip to Help Your Editing

There are many hidden features in Lightroom that will help simplify your work flow and some of them are not easy to find. Here is a tip that can help you with your Lightroom editing.


The Spot Removal Tool

Are you interested in how to easily get rid of dust and scratches in Lightroom? Many digital cameras these days are magnets for dust on the lens or on the sensor. This is just something we have to deal with these days especially if you are shooting in any sort of inclement weather conditions. On our recent photo workshop to Iceland, I encountered a fair amount of dust and water spots on several images. Here is an easy way to identify and remove those marks in post processing.

On the selective editing bar in the develop module, there is the spot removal tool. You can either click on it, or use the letter Q to activate it from the Develop module. This is truly a spot removal tool, anything more, you would need to go to Photoshop and use the content aware feature to make any dramatic changes to your images. But to remove dust, hair or sensor dust, this tool does the trick.

Before Applying the Spot Removal Tool

There are some obvious spots on the image above, but if you want to get a closer view, you can active the visualize spots tool. To view any dust, dirt or hair on your image, first activate the spot removal tool and click on “Visualize spots” that shows below the center image in the Develop module. There, the image will now turn black and white. You can adjust the strength of this feature by pushing the slider back and forth. If you push the slider to the left, it will reduce the number of visible imperfections you are able to see, and if you push the slider to the right, it will increase that number of visible imperfections.

For this type of editing with the spot removal tool, I will normally set the feathering to 0 and the opacity to 100%. Adjust the spot removal brush to the size of the spot and click on it. If the spot removal doesn’t disappear or has an obvious outline, then increase the feathering until the adjustment has a softer edge and it not noticeable. Undo your last adjustment, and do it again with the new settings.

As mentioned above, this tool is really only effective for small spots and scratches. Any larger area would need to go into Photoshop for further work with content aware.

This tool can take a little bit of practice to get it right, but used correctly, it can be a time saver for these types of digital imperfections.

If you want to learn more about this amazing program for editing and organization, try my Lightroom Quickstart class. Please head on over to the class page here.

Hope to see you in the next class!


BPSOP Instructor – Holly Higbee-Jansen


Holly Higbee-Jansen is photographer, trainer, blogger, and workshop leader who enjoys teaching and the creative process. Her passions include teaching photography workshops in beautiful locations in California, Iceland, Costa Rica and the American West with her husband Mark. Holly also teaches online classes on Lightroom, Photoshop, and photographic technique. Get Holly’s Free E-Book on “Landscape Photography and the Light and find out about her newest workshops at Jansen Photo Expeditions.com.

Reach Holly by email at [email protected] and read her blog at JansenPhotoExpeditions.com/Blog

Holly Teaches:

iPhone Photography

In this class, we will introduce you to the magic of iPhone photography using several shooting and editing apps that will give you the ability to make your pictures sing in a fun and easy way.You will learn how to crop, change saturation, brightness and affect the overall look of your pictures with HDR, drama and grunge filters and other techniques. You will be amazed at the simple and effective methods.





Lightroom Quickstart


Do you want to learn to create images that show the beauty of the scene you saw when you took the photograph? Do you want to learn the other essential side of digital photography, photo editing and get up to speed quickly?

This course is designed to get you up and running FAST in this incredibly powerful program. In this two week information packed class, you will learn how to import, organize and perform simple and effective editing processes that will let you produce beautiful adjustments to your pictures.



For a complete list of Holly’s current workshops go to:

Jansen Photo Expeditions – JansenPhotoExpeditions.com

Holly’s Blog: http://jansenphotoexpeditions.com/blog

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Jansenphotoexpeditions

Instagram – http://instagram.com/photographyexplorations


  • The most important thing that I learned was the difference between "making" photos and "taking" photos. I used to spend a lot of time wandering around looking for photos to take. Now I actively think about what I want to create before I even start. I enjoyed the way Joe used his own images to explain the concepts that he was talking about. My favorite example of this was when he included the "set-up" shot for one of his images. He answered all of my questions in a timely manner, and his feedback about my images was extremely helpful. Thank you! Read More
    Sandra Smolinsky Stretching Your Frame of Mind
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