A photographer’s job isn’t done after they’ve taken their last photo of the day. There’s still more work to be done once you have taken your camera home. It’s time to edit your photos! Choosing the right photo editing software is about finding a product that the right tools for your skill level and fits in your budget. Here are some of the most popular photo editing software applications available.
Photoshop is the one of the original Adobe photo editing products. It coined the phrase “photoshopped” in our daily conversations. So it’s a good place to start our list. Photoshop has a wide variety of photo editing tools but also tends to be the most expensive.
Adobe Lightroom is extremely similar to Photoshop but it’s equipped for more professional photographers. It has many of the same photo editing abilities as Photoshop does but what really makes Lightroom a great tool is that it makes it easier to organize and categorize a large amount of photos. If you plan on taking more photos over time, Lightroom could be a great investment for you. You can actually get an annual subscription to both Photoshop and Lightroom for $10/month.
Adobe Elements is a great “beginner” version of Photoshop. It has many of the same features of Photoshop but lacks some of the more advanced features. One of the biggest pros of Adobe Elements is the price. It’s $80 for a license, which costs less than an annual subscription to Photoshop or Lightroom.
Affinity was designed for Macs and it can be a happy medium between the extensive Photoshop and Elements, at an excellent price. It has powerful tools, RAW processing and an easy to use interface at a great price. However it does not have the organizational features that Lightroom has.
PhaseOne is another high-end tool that is similar to Lightroom and includes the ability to organize and store your photos in a searchable database. In Capture One, you don’t directly modify your changes so they are only permanent when you export, which is helpful if you need to go back and change an edit.
Corel is another program that’s ideal for beginners. It’s very versatile and easy to use. Similar to Elements, Paintshop costs $99.
If you’re just starting out, you may still be using free tools like Apple photos. This is a good way to get started with editing but if you really want to improve your photos to a professional level quality, investing in one of these software programs can help!