It is easy to dismiss the Photos app in Windows 8 as a lightweight that doesn’t offer very much and it is true that the original wasn't that impressive, but the latest version with Windows 8.1 has more features than you might think. It has filters that enable you to apply effects to your digital camera photographs and you can age them for instance.
The filters are limited in range, but they offer a few basic photo corrections and effects to enhance your photos and you can have a bit of fun with them. Let’s take a look at how they work.
Open the photos app on the Start screen and it shows the images in the Pictures folder. You can browse the images and folders, and click the one you want to work with.
A photo is initially loaded just for viewing when it is opened, but if you click the screen, a bar is displayed at the bottom and in the bottom right corner are three buttons. Click the Edit button to open the image for editing.
A colour photograph of a steam train has been loaded and the edit button clicked. The left side of the screen has a list of tool categories and Auto-fix at the top should be automatically selected. Click it if it isn’t.
There are six filters on the right and the bottom one has been clicked, which turns the colour photo into a black and white one. You can see the original colour image in the thumbnails on the right. These show the effects of the other filters.
Only one effect can be applied at a time, so after clicking the black and white filter/thumbnail, click on the screen to show the toolbar at the bottom. There is a button to update the original, but when editing photos you should never do that and you should always keep the original untouched. You never know when you might want to go back to it. Click Save a copy.
After saving a copy, the copy can be edited again and this time the second thumbnail from the bottom on the right has been selected. This darkens the corners of the photo, which makes it look like it was taken by a cheap and old camera many years ago.
You can save another copy and apply more filters if you want, but this is probably sufficient. We now have an aged photo of a steam train that looks like it was taken 100 years ago instead of last week.