Whether you are a beginner or a professional, editing your photos before sharing them or sending them to a client is essential. A great edit can help bring focus to an image, highlight your key subjects, and transform an average photo into something truly incredible. Through editing and making adjustments to exposure, white balance, and so much more, and make your photos even more stunning.
It is clear that editing your photos is important, but then that leaves one big question: which program should you use to edit them? There are so many options when it comes to photo editing software, and each one seems to do different things, so it can be difficult to figure out which one is going to be best for you.
If you are having trouble deciding what to use to edit your photos, look no further! We have compiled a list of some of the best photo editors, which you can use to decide which one will be best for you and your photos.
At this point, Adobe Photoshop has pretty much become synonymous with photo editing. It is one of the most popular photo editing tools on the market, and for good reason. Photoshop contains a very sophisticated suite of photo editing tools, meaning you will have everything you need to edit every single one of your photos.
Because of all these tools, though, beginners can sometimes find Photoshop intimidating. Photoshop is known for its wide selection of tools and powerful photo editing options, but not for its simplicity. Don’t let this scare you away, though! There are ways that you can make Photoshop easier to use. Photoshop offers different workspaces to help simplify your editing process. From the “Window” drop-down menu in the top bar, you will find a “Workspace” option, with different preset workspace options for Essentials, 3D, Graphics, Web, and Photography. Each of these presets displays a different set of tools that are best suited to their corresponding projects. As you become more familiar with Photoshop and the tools you need to edit your photos, you can even create your own custom workspace, so all your favourite tools are always at your disposal!
Photoshop’s masking, retouching, and layering tools are still some of the most compelling on the market. Though it may take some time to learn, Photoshop is a very powerful tool for editing photos.
Just like Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom is a very popular photo editing tool. Its interface is more streamlined and easy to use than Photoshop’s, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it isn’t powerful as well.
Lightroom is great for photographers who want a more straightforward yet capable tool for editing their images. On the left-hand panel, you have access to your library, so you can easily toggle between photos as you edit. When it comes to your editing tools, they are all stored in Lightroom’s “Develop” module. This centralized panel for all of your tools is what sets Lightroom apart and makes it so intuitive. In this panel, you have access to all the editing tools you need including lens correction, split toning, effects, and other adjustments.
Lightroom is a multi-use program, as it also helps you to organize your photo library. Within Lightroom, you can assign your photos a star or numeric rating, colour code them, or label them however you need to, meaning you no longer need an external photo organizing program. These features make sorting and culling your images quick and easy.
Perhaps one of Lightroom’s most popular features is the ability to use Lightroom editing presets. Whether you are creating your own editing presets, or you bought some from someone else, you can easily select any presets you want to use and apply them to your photo with one click. This makes the editing process much faster and streamlines your workflow.
For most freelance photo editors, Adobe Lightroom offers all the tools you will need in order to create stunning photographs.
Skylum Luminar is a program that has quickly become a very popular choice for photo editing, and can be a good alternative to Photoshop or Lightroom. Unlike Adobe products, you can buy Luminar for a one-time fee, rather than a monthly subscription.
Luminar has some truly powerful editing capabilities and provides a good blend of Lightroom and Photoshop’s tools. Just like in Photoshop, you can create your own workspace in Luminar to make it easier to access your favourite editing tools. Luminar also uses the same keyboard shortcuts as Lightroom, so if you are familiar with Lightroom, this can be helpful!
One tool that Luminar has really gained a lot of popularity for is its AI Slider. This slider applies automatic quick fixes to your photos, including brightening, clarifying, toning, and other basic adjustments. The ability to make all of these edits with just one slider is a fantastic time-saving feature!
Corel PaintShop Pro is one of the most straightforward software options, and is great for people who wan a simple but effective approach to editing their images. It is also one of the most inexpensive options available!
While it does lack the more advanced features available in a program like Photoshop, it comes with everything you need to take your images to the next level without breaking the bank. With the one-time purchase price, you gain access to dozens of textures, backgrounds, and brushes, plus the app is regularly updated with new features. The newest version even features a new Photography workspace, designed specifically for photographers.
Corel PaintShop Pro is great for beginners who want to edit their photos, but don’t necessarily need all the advanced features found in Photoshop!
ON1 Photo RAW’s workspace can be intimidating, but they offer tons of video tutorials right inside the program. The first time you open the program, you will be shown video tutorials that show you how to use all the tools, without even having to Google it! Although you may feel overwhelmed at first if you are not a practiced photo editor, ON1 Photo RAW offers a great suite of editing tools. It is an efficient tool for photographers who want to create stunning images without spending too much time on the editing table.
A key feature of ON1 Photo RAW is that you don’t actually have to import to photos to the program to be able to edit them. Simply find where your raw images are stores and select them, and then you can start editing!
This program is great for beginners because its simplified interface and tools make it user-friendly, while still providing all the tools you need in order to edit your photos properly.
Hopefully this helps you to figure out which editing software is best for your photo editing needs! There are many options available, so try out a couple and see which ones offer you the best tools and allow you to create your best photos yet!