How to choose photo editing software?

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    It doesn't matter if you're just starting out as an artist and want to make your photos stand out, if you're a blogger who wants to create awesome featured images and Pinterest pins, or if you're an experienced professional looking to streamline your workflow, photo-editing software is an absolute necessity. Software that operates at a high level of performance should be a priority for your arsenal. You will have full control over the end product while still being able to get the most out of your digital photos and make the most of their potential.

    Even though photographers put in a lot of effort to get the perfect shot, it's just not possible to control every last little thing that happens in the real world. Lighting problems, colour imbalances, and poor focus can turn an otherwise beautiful photograph into something that appears to have been done by an amateur. If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.

    The best software for editing photos will take care of all the minute adjustments you need to make. It enhances the skills you already possess and places you in the position of director. You do not need to rely on raw images to display your talents; rather, you can use software to bring your vision to life and show off your skills.

    Which Photo Software Should You Use?

    Those who are just starting out in photography will naturally require different software than professionals who work in a studio with a $52,000 Phase One IQ4 camera. We have included all levels of PC software here; if you read the reviews that are linked to, you will be able to determine which level is appropriate for you.

    There is no rule prohibiting professionals from using entry-level software on occasion, nor is there any reason to believe that prosumers won't be able to run Photoshop, the most powerful image editor available. The problem is that users at each of these levels will, in general, feel most at ease with the products that are designed specifically for them.

    Take note that the statement "more checks mean the programme is better" does not hold true for the data presented in the table below. Instead, the purpose of the table is to provide you with a concise summary of the available options.

    A product that has all of its features checked does not necessarily have the best implementation of those features, while a product that has fewer features checked may still be very capable. The photo workflow you use will determine whether or not you even need the features that are checked. For instance, DxO Photolab might not have face recognition or keyword tagging, but it does have some of the best camera- and lens-profile-based corrections available anywhere in the world. It also has the best noise reduction.

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    Best Photo Editing Software for Photographers

    The very best photo editing software has the ability to take an average photograph and transform it into something truly breathtaking, as well as to take an already impressive photograph and make it even more impressive. The best software for editing photographs allows you to make a wide variety of changes to your photographs. These changes can range from adding filters and other fun effects to making minute adjustments to the colour or saturation of the photograph.

    We have compiled a list of the top photo editing software here to save you the trouble of sifting through all of the available options (there are a lot of them), as we have already selected the best ones. Do not overlook our buying guide for the best laptops for photo editing if you are interested in observing your photographs in their full splendour.

    A few of these can only be accessed on a desktop computer, while others can be utilised in the browser, on a tablet, or even on your mobile phone. Because there is software available for every budget and skill level, it will not be difficult for you to find the programme that best suits your needs.

    Adobe Lightroom

    How to choose photo editing software?

    When discussing the most effective photo editing software for photographers, it is impossible to exclude Adobe Lightroom from the conversation. When it comes to photo editing software, Adobe products are widely regarded as the most reliable and high-quality options.

    However, why? What makes Lightroom such a wonderful programme is it? Let's take a look.

    If you find that Photoshop is too difficult to use and too cumbersome, then you are going to adore the straightforward and user-friendly layout of Lightroom's interface.

    Because Lightroom's workspace is so organised and straightforward, it enables you to concentrate on what really matters: the image. You can easily switch between photos that you are editing by using the panel on the left, which provides you with quick access to your image library. You will find drop-down menus in the panel on the right that allow you to make quick adjustments, add keywords to your images, and perform other tasks.

    You will need to access the horizontal tabs that run along the top of the workspace in Lightroom in order to get into the meat and potatoes of your photo editing. The Develop module is where you will find all of your photo editing tools, both basic and advanced. You will then be able to manipulate your photo by making adjustments such as lens correction, split-toning, effects, and other fundamental modifications.

    Lightroom stands out from other photo editing software because it has a centralised panel where all of your editing tools are located. This makes the software very easy to use.

    In addition, a drop-down menu titled History can be found in the left-hand panel of the Develop module in Lightroom. This menu displays a record of all of the changes you have made to your photos. Before saving your image edits as a custom preset, you will be able to easily scroll back through the image edits you have made, make changes to those edits, and review those edits.

    When you first open the programme after downloading the software, Lightroom may also provide you with a guided walkthrough of each module. This is something that you should keep an eye out for. The Lightroom tutorial, in contrast to some other in-app tours, covers all the essentials in depth, ensuring that you learn everything there is to know about the programme. You will be able to get started on your own edits even with just this introductory paragraph to get you started.

    Lightroom Key Features

    Adobe Lightroom offers all the tools you’ll need to create a stunning portrait, landscape, real estate, and other photography for most freelance photo editors. Lightroom’s host of fantastic features includes:

    • Face detection for photo organisation
    • Camera and lens-based corrections
    • Brush and gradient adjustments
    • Fixing and blurring tools
    • Presets and professional filters
    • Customisable sliders
    • Multiple device support and sync


    Adobe Lightroom is available as a singular app or as part of one of Adobe’s Creative Cloud packages. You can get Lightroom and Photoshop together for just $9.99/month.

    Adobe Photoshop 

    It would be difficult to write an article about the best photo editing software for photographers and not include Adobe Photoshop in the discussion at some point, as it is so deserving of recognition. Artists, illustrators, and designers from all over the world have found Photoshop to be an effective and reliable editing tool over the course of its history.

    We won't sugarcoat it; Photoshop is not exactly known for its ease of use. If you've heard anything at all about Photoshop's interface, the first thing that probably came to mind was how difficult it is to navigate! It's a well-known fact that Photoshop isn't the software with the simplest learning curve. Instead, it requires a bit of patience, just like the majority of worthwhile things to do in life.

    Because it has such a vast array of editing tools, Photoshop can be difficult to navigate for beginners who are just starting out in photo editing. However, you should be aware that Photoshop makes an effort to reduce the learning curve by providing organised workspaces. We'll go into more detail about all of the amazing things you can achieve with Photoshop later on in this lesson.

    Photoshop provides a number of different preset workspaces, each of which is designed to remove any unnecessary tools that you may not require for your current project. These workspaces can be found in the top menu bar, under the section labelled Window >> Workspace. You'll find there options for predefined workspaces applicable to Essentials editing, 3D, Graphics and Web, and even Photography!

    Because they highlight the tools that are most appropriate for the task at hand, these workspace presets make for an excellent introduction to Photoshop. For example, Photoshop's brush, histogram panel, and selection tools are all conveniently located in the Photography workspace. On the other hand, the 3D workspace places a higher emphasis on Photoshop's 3D panel as well as the 3D Material Dropper.

    Naturally, as you become more accustomed to Photoshop and determine which image editing tools you prefer to use, you will be able to design and save your very own personalised workspace. Your ability to edit faster and complete tasks more efficiently can benefit greatly from the creation of a personalised workspace that contains only the tools you find most useful.

    However, despite the fact that Photoshop may be challenging to master, the programme is not necessarily challenging to learn. Learning how to use the programme is made easier by features such as pre-made workspaces, in-app tool descriptions, and icons that are easy to understand. Don't make the mistake of trying to jump in all at once! An approach that takes Photoshop one step at a time is likely to be the most fruitful course of action.

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    Key Features of Photoshop

    The tools for masking, retouching, and layering that are included in Photoshop continue to be some of the most compelling available. Although it is fair to say that these tools might not be the best for basic touch-ups, which would be best handled by Lightroom, it is fair to say that these tools might not be the best for basic touch-ups. Adobe Photoshop is geared towards professionals who require access to all of the program's features.

    Photoshop’s built-in features include:

    • Sophisticated touch-up and retouching
    • Extensive filters and brushes
    • Multi-layer editing
    • 3D design functionality
    • Pro editing tools
    • Advanced colour editing

    Adobe Photoshop includes a number of unique tools that are not available in any other editing software. It's possible that Photoshop is the best photo editor for you if you're a photo editor who works on graphic design projects or other assignments that involve more layering.

    Alternately, if you want to touch up your photos before handing them over to clients, you would probably be satisfied with a more basic programme. However, if you anticipate an increase in the need to edit photos in the near future, you should probably start getting familiar with Photoshop. In this way, you'll be able to make all of your edits using just a single piece of software!

    Cost of Photoshop

    Another wonderful aspect of Adobe Photoshop is that it is available to be purchased as part of Adobe's Photography Plan, which also includes Adobe Lightroom as a companion product. That translates into you getting not one, but two highly effective photo editors for the low, low price of just $9.99 per month!

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    How to choose photo editing software?

    Canva is an easy-to-use piece of graphic design software that has amassed a significant following. It utilises a freemium business model and includes a variety of photo editing tools and products in its base package.

    If you want to add additional fonts or templates to your pictures before uploading them to your website, you can do so with the help of the drag-and-drop editor that is provided by Canva. Additionally, you have the ability to modify various aspects of your images.

    The straightforward user interface of Canva organises elements that can be searched in a way that makes it easier for you to find what you need. To browse the available frames, shapes and lines, illustrations, and grids to add to your photo, all you need to do is click the Search button, which is located on the left-hand side of the screen.

    From the main screen of the workspace, you can also apply different layouts, text, and backgrounds to the image you're working with. It should come as no surprise that graphic designers and photo editors favour Canva, given that all of these tools are easily accessible to users.

    Key Features of Canva

    Features include:

    • Over 8,000 templates
    • Photo blur and vignette
    • Image cropping and straightening
    • Image transparency tool
    • Design grids and photo frames
    • Stickers and badges
    • Add texture
    • Speech bubble maker
    • Photo enhancer

    Canva, in contrast to some other photo editing software, can be downloaded directly onto a mobile device, allowing for immediate photo editing. When it comes to creating visual content for your website or blog, the Canva Marketplace has a large selection of pre-made templates, photos, cards, and icons that make your job much simpler.

    Your photos can easily be transformed into branded social media posts or graphic design projects with the help of the excellent Canva tool. However, as a stand-alone photo editor, it is lacking in many of the tools that are typical of editors at a more professional level. However, if you are looking for a photo editor that will assist you in creating Instagram graphics that are both quick and beautiful using your own images, Canva is the tool for you.


    Canva offers three pricing tiers:

    • Free – For quick projects, you can use Canva and 8,000 of their templates for free.
    • Pro – Their most popular tier, the Pro subscription, includes over 60,000 free templates and 60 million professional stock imagery for $9.95/user/month.
    • Enterprise – Designed for larger collaborative teams, this tier includes unlimited storage and support for $30/user/month.

    Corel PaintShop Pro

    Corel PaintShop Pro is without a doubt one of the most user-friendly photo editing software options available online for individuals who are looking for a straightforward yet efficient method to improve the quality of their images. Even though, at first glance, it might not appear to be the most sophisticated tool available on the market, it provides you with everything you require to bring your photographs to the next level without breaking your budget.

    It has a one-time fee, which starts at about $60 and is similar to what is required for other software. If you pay that amount, you will have access to dozens of different brushes, backgrounds, and textures to choose from. In addition, new features are continually being added with app updates.

    In addition, the most recent version of Corel PaintShop Pro comes with a brand-new Photography Workspace that has been developed especially for photographers. This streamlined workspace provides you with the best photo editing tools in a straightforward arrangement, thereby streamlining the editing process and saving you time. The vast majority of the tools in the Photography Workspace can be utilised with a single mouse click.

    Due to the fact that this workspace is touch-ready, it is ideal for using photo editing software on a tablet. Even the tool icons have been enlarged and improved so that they can be easily selected using a touch screen. This was done by Corel.

    Key Features

    Other current features include:

    • Layers and masks
    • Refine brush for selections
    • SmartClone technology
    • AI-enhanced presets
    • 360-degree photo editing
    • Fantastic user experience
    • Graphic design tools and templates
    • Photo editing options like blur and fix
    • Learning tutorials
    • RAW image processing

    PaintShop Pro from Corel, like many other photo editing programmes, allows you to import additional plugins, brush extensions, colour palettes, and even textures to give yourself even more editing options.

    Cost of PaintShop Pro

    Corel PaintShop Pro can be purchased for an affordable price of just $79.99. If you decide after trying it out that it is not for you, they will refund your money within 30 days.

    Skylum Luminar

    Luminar has quickly become one of the most popular editing tools for professional photographers all over the world for a variety of reasons. Luminar was developed by Skylum. To start, the cost of the programme is a one-time, flat fee rather than a recurring payment, as is the case with Adobe products. And there are a tonne of built-in tools and accessories available for use with Luminar!

    Luminar is a comprehensive solution for editing photographs that can operate independently or as a plug-in for other image editing software such as Lightroom, Photoshop, or even Apple Photos.

    You won't believe it, but Skylum Luminar and Adobe's Lightroom share the same keyboard shortcuts. This will be of particular assistance to you if you are already familiar with the user interface of Lightroom. If this describes you, switching to Luminar will be a breeze for you because the keyboard shortcuts are identical between the two pieces of software.

    Luminar can also be used as a photo organiser in addition to serving as a photo editor, just like Lightroom. Once again, this indicates that you are able to upload your images to your Luminar Library in order to consolidate all of the steps involved in the photo editing workflow into a single location.

    You can then organise your images within the Luminar Library in the same way that you would in Lightroom by sorting, tagging, and categorising them to make them easier to find. The Luminar Library is considered by many to be not only easier to use but also more intuitive than Lightroom's library.

    Where Luminar excels over Lightroom is its preset workspace options. Luminar provides preset workspaces, each specifically designed with an editing task in mind. For example, Luminar’s preset workspaces include:

    • Professional
    • Quick & Awesome
    • Essentials
    • Aerial Photography
    • Black and White
    • Landscape
    • Portrait
    • Street

    In addition to these presets, you have the ability to create your own workspace by storing the tools that you utilise most frequently in a workspace that is otherwise empty.

    This feature may sound familiar because Photoshop also offers preset workspaces, which can be accessed in the same way. You'll find, however, that the preset workspace options available in Luminar are significantly more comprehensive and cater to a greater number of photography-related requirements. Anything that can help you edit your photos more quickly!

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    Skylum Luminar Key Features

    Luminar has gained popularity for its AI slider, which applies quick automatic fixes to your photos, including brightening, clarifying, toning, and other basic adjustments.

    It also comes with a host of built-in tools to make your photo editing easier and faster. These Skylum Luminar features include:

    • AI Editor
    • Exclusive filters like Sunrays filter (which lets you add realistic looking sun rays to your images) and Orton filter (made famous by the Lord of the Rings and blurs parts of the image while focusing on others)
    • Adjustment Layers
    • Image Layers
    • Dedicated presets for DJI drone photos


    If the sound of Skylum Luminar appeals to you, you can purchase the software through their website for a one-time fee. With this purchase, you will have access to Skylum Luminar for the rest of your life! In addition to that, there is a money-back guarantee for the first thirty days.

    Which photo-editing programme are you planning to test out first? If you are still unsure, try your hand at a couple of these different titles. Every programme is one of a kind and provides its own one-of-a-kind editing experience.

    Take a moment to reflect on the way in which you operate and the kinds of effects that you require. If your edits are relatively simple, you should be able to get by with a more affordable option that includes all of the fundamentals.

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    Determine what is most important to you as a photographer, and let that serve as a compass to point you in the right direction. You won't even have time to blink before you find the ideal editor that streamlines your work process and makes your photographs look better than they ever have before.

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