Do you want professional photo editing software on Mac or Windows to perfect your photos? Your beginner or pro, it is essential to edit your photos before uploading them to your photography website. In this guide, we will share the best photo editing software for photographers.
The best photo editing software helps to bring an image into focus, highlight your main points and transform an average image into something truly incredible.
But the question for most photographers is how do you choose the right editing software to complement your skills?
From well-known systems like Adobe's Photoshop and Lightroom, there are countless photo editing software options ranging from simple but effective choices to options, even some great freebies.
So, in today's post we will find out once and for all, "What is the best photo editing software for photographers?" We look:
Today's free and paid top rated software
Features of each software
How to maximize your software options
Let's get started!
Why should your photos be edited?
If you are a photographer, you can make your already stunning photos more perfect by adjusting exposure, white balance and color metrics by editing part of the photo editing job.
Also, editing your images helps reduce the size of your image files. This is especially important if you plan to post your photos online on your photography website or on a social media account. Smaller images will improve the loading speed of your WordPress sites, which in turn will improve your search engine rankings. And, small image files post faster and better quality to your social accounts.
So, photo editing is a win-win around you!
Having an intuitive and easy-to-use photo editing software can help you save your photo editing time while taking your photos to the next level.
Let's take a look at some of the best photo editing software available online today. We will evaluate this software on three basic principles:
Easy to use
Opportunity to expand
In other words, how intuitive are these programs to learn? What powers do they have as photo editors - and no -? And finally, do they offer the opportunity to increase their effectiveness through additions like plugins or presets?
Without further ado, let's see what this photo editing software has to offer!
1. Adobe Lightroom
It's impossible to ignore Adobe Lightroom when talking about the best photo editing software for photographers. In fact, after the advent of image editing software, Adobe products were considered the gold standard.
But why? What makes the lightroom so great? Let's see.
Adobe Lightroom interface
If Photoshop gets too complicated and complicated, you're sure to like Lightroom's simple, beginner-friendly interface.
A clean and simple workroom in the lightroom allows you to focus on what’s important - your image. The left-panel gives you quick access to your image library, so you can toggle between photos as you edit. In the right panel, you'll find drop-down menus for quickly adding keywords to your images and adjusting to more.
To truly access your photo editing you need to access the lightroom horizontal tabs at the top of the workspace. All your basic and advanced photo editing tools live in the development module. From there, you can manipulate your photos with lens correction, split toning, effects and other basic adjustments.
Having a central panel for all your photo editing tools separates the lightroom and makes it super intuitive to use!
And, the Lightroom on the left-hand panel of the development module puts a stroke-down labeled history of your photo edits. This way, you can easily scroll back through your image edits, change and review your edits before saving to a custom preset.
Also, you may notice that Lightroom gives you a guided walkthrough of each module when you first open the program after downloading the software. Unlike some other app-tours, the Lightroom tutorial hits all the highlights so you don’t miss a thing. With this brief introduction you will be able to start your own editing.
This program is more than just a photo editor. It is also a photo organizer. Lightroom lets you easily store and rank your images inside the program, eliminating the need for an external photo organizing program. Simply give your photos a star rating based on priority - or any other metric for the topic and get it done!
It’s clear that Adobe designed Lightroom to work for photographers at every skill level. So rest assured, the lightroom’s navigable interface doesn’t mean it’s powerful. This is what makes a lightroom even more impressive - it doesn't leave functionality for ease of use!
The main feature of the lightroom
Before and after Adobe Lightroom
Image edited with Adobe Lightroom
For most freelance photo editors, Adobe Lightroom provides all the tools you need to create stunning portraits, landscapes, real estate and other photography. Lightroom Host has great features:
Face detection for photo companies
Camera and lens-based correction
Brush and gradient adjustment
Fixing and blurring tools
Presets and professional filters
Multiple device support and sync
You can find Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop on Adobe's Creative Cloud Plan here.
Adobe Lightroom Extra
Its pre-sets offer a library of editing solutions, one of the most comprehensive photo editors on the Lightroom market. These presets have made it easier than ever to achieve a certain look in your photos. Find a preset package of your choice in the Lightroom Preset Marketplace or online, then apply it to one or more of your images for absolutely flawless editing.
Of course, presets work wonders for editing your photos at break-neck speeds. And you can even design your own custom presets, which work like editing recipes for future photo editing. You can always edit pre-made or custom presets before applying them or you can adjust their sliders for a suitable application depending on your image.
With Lightroom Presets you have the opportunity to constantly expand the editing capabilities of the software.
Not to mention, many third-party plugins and applications have been integrated with Lightroom to make the program easier. Envira Gallery, for example, includes WordPress integration with Adobe Lightroom that lets you easily sync your Lightroom photo gallery with your photography website.
Adobe Lightroom is available as a standalone application or as part of one of Adobe's Creative Cloud packages. You can get Lightroom and Photoshop together for only $ 9.99 / month.
2. Skylium luminaire
Skylim luminaire 4
For a variety of reasons, the luminaire has quickly become one of the most popular editing tools for professional photographers worldwide. For one, you pay a one-time flat fee for the program rather than a monthly subscription like Adobe. And, a ton of luminaire built-in tools and accessories available!
Lumina is a one stop shop for photo editing that you can use manually or as a plugin with Lightroom, Photoshop and even Apple Photos.
Skylim luminaire interface
Believe it or not, Skylim Lumina uses the same keyboard shortcuts as Adobe Lightroom. This is especially helpful if you are already familiar with the Lightroom interface. If this is true for you, you will find switching on the luminaire easy by getting compatible keyboard shortcuts between the two software.
And, like Lightroom, you can use the luminaire as both a photo editor and a photo organizer. Again, this means you can upload your images to your Luminaire Library so that all your photo editing workflows are centralized in one place!
Like Lightroom you can sort, tag and categorize your images inside the Lumina Library to make it easier to find. Many find the luminaire library simpler and more intuitive than the lightroom library.
Where the luminaire exceeds the lightroom, its preset workspace options provide a specially designed preset workspace with each edit in mind. For example, luminaire preset workspaces include:
Fast and great
Taking pictures from the sky
Black and white
In addition to these presets, you can create your own workspace by storing the tools you use most often in an empty workspace.
If this feature seems familiar, it is because Photoshop provides a predefined workspace. However, you will notice that Luminaire's preset workspace options are much wider and cover a larger number of photography-specific requirements. Something to stream your photo editing!
Skylim's luminaire provides more editing tools than Lightroom but less than Photoshop. Having more editing tools is both an advantage and a disadvantage - they make running the program more challenging, but they allow you to do more with your photos.
Here's what we like about Lumina's editing tools:
Key features of Skylium Luminaire
Before and after with Skylium Lumina
Image edited with Skylim Lumina 4
Lumina has gained popularity for its AI slider that applies automated quick solutions including brightening, clarifying, toning and other basic adjustments to your photos.
It comes with a host of built-in tools to make your photo editing easier and faster. Features of this Skylium Lumina include:
Exclusive filters like Sunrise filters (which allow you to add more sunlight to your images than real) and Orton filters (famous by The Lord of the Rings and blurring parts of the image when focused on others)
Dedicated presets for DJI drone photos
Skylium lumina additions ras
Gallery of Skylim Lumina NV
What we like most about Skylim Luminaire is the expanded gallery of luminaire looks. These looks are a set of editing solutions, much like lightroom presets. However, luminaire looks are much easier to use and have a lot more to offer!
Skylim’s extensive luminaire looks collection makes it easier than ever to acquire specific, stylized photos. And, when Skylium comes pre-packaged with its own high quality sets, you can find them all over the internet for free. Some of these have been created by freelance photographers, while others have been created by popular, professional photographers so that you can achieve your desired look towards their work.
Once you apply a luminaire look to your image, you can remove the editing intensity and fine-tune it to fit your photo. You can also create and save your own luminaire looks, which saves you long-term editing time.
If you like the sound of Skylim Luminaire, you can buy it online for a one-time fee. This purchase gives you access to Skylim Luminaire for life! There is also a 30 day money back guarantee.
Get 25 25 now from Luminaire.
3. Adobe Photoshop
The best photo editing software for photographers
It's hard to write an article about the best photo editing software for photographers without mentioning Adobe Photoshop properly. Photoshop has proven to be a capable and reliable editing tool for artists, illustrators and designers around the world.
Adobe Photoshop interface
We will be truthful, not known for the simplicity of Photoshop. In fact, if you've ever heard of the Photoshop interface, how difficult it is to navigate and it's true - to learn Photoshop
4. DxO PhotoLab 4
best photo editing software for photographers dxo photolab
DxO PhotoLab is a solid alternative photo editor. It converts your RAW images to JPG very smoothly, and it works great with both Mac and Windows operating systems.
This photo editing and organizing system comes with customizable interface options, presets, color protection and multiple export formats so that you can accomplish all your tasks in one place. Of course, those perks come alongside a host of interesting and helpful features.
before and after DxO PhotoLab
Photo edited using DxO PhotoLab
DxO PhotoLab offers a suite of processing and correction tools that meet the needs of real photographers.
Some features include:
U Point local adjustment technology
Manual and automatic mode
A multitude of optical corrections
Also, you can sign up for a free-day trial before committing to a subscription, so get DxO PhotoLab now.
5. ON1 Photo RAW
ON1 Photo RAW Extras
ON1 Photo RAW is a complete photo editing software that you can try for free. It works wonders on your photographs!
ON1 Photo RAW Interface
Not only is Photo RAW easy to download and install, but it offers a free trial! Simply follow the on-screen instructions to download the software, then use it on any major operating system, including PC and Mac OS X.
After you’ve installed and opened ON1 Photo RAW, you’ll find a selection of getting started video tutorials waiting for you! See, ON1 Photo RAW is so dedicated to saving your time during your photo edits that it even eliminated the need to search for your own tutorial videos.
Once you actually enter into the software’s workspace, you may feel a bit overwhelmed. Like most photo editors, ON1’s selection of editing tools can be a bit intimidating if you’re not a practiced photo editor.
Just take your time exploring ON1’s features, and you’ll be set!
before and after with ON1 Photo RAW
Photo edited using ON1 Photo RAW
Speaking of features, ON1 Photo RAW offers several that are unique to this software! For one, this program doesn’t require you to upload your RAW photos in order to edit them. In fact, all you have to do to edit your RAW images in ON1 Photo RAW is find your images where they’re stored on your device and select them.
Because ON1 doesn’t have to load your RAW images into the software, you’ll find that it works lightning fast — even faster than Photoshop and Lightroom!
Other ON1 Photo RAW features include:
Textures and borders
Live adjustments and previews
Available to download on any device
Selectively apply effects option
ON1 Photo RAW Extras
With ON1 Photo RAW, you’ll gain access to literally hundreds of presets, stackable filters and other solutions to enhance your pictures in no time. And, of course, you can download even more online from fellow photo editors!
Plus, ON1 Photo RAW offers an addon for Lightroom, Aperture and Photoshop! So, if you’re considering pairing photo editing software, this one works with a host of other programs.
ON1 offers three primary Photo RAW plans:
ON1 Photo RAW Software Only – Purchase for $99.99 and own ON1 Photo RAW outright for use on up to 5 computers.
Monthly Subscription (ON1 Photo RAW Software + ON1 360) – A subscription license to the software ensures you always have access to the latest updates, plus 1TB cloud storage for $15.99/month.
Yearly Subscription (ON1 Photo RAW Software + ON1 360) – Enjoy the free update benefits of a subscription to ON1 Photo RAW for just $89.99/year (comes with 200GB storage) or $179.99/year (comes with 1TB storage).
Try ON1 RAW free for 30 days.
6. Corel Paintshop Pro
Corel Paintshop Pro is easily one of the most intuitive photo editing software options online for those who want a simple but effective way to upgrade their images. While this may not be the most advanced tool on the market at first glance, your images need to be taken to the next level without breaking your bank.
Like other software, it requires a one-time fee, starting at about $ 60. For this price, you get access to dozens of textures, backgrounds and brushes to choose from. And, app updates always add new features.
The latest version of Corel PaintsPro Pro also boasts a new photography workspace, especially designed for photographers. This simplified workspace streamlines your editing workflow by providing the best photo editing tools in a simple format. In fact, you can apply most of the tools in the photography workspace with just one click!
And, because this workspace is touch-ready, it's perfect for editing photos on any tablet. Corel has even made the tool icons bigger and distinct so that they are easy to select on any touch device.
The main advantage
Before and after Paintshop Pro
Image edited using Corel Paintsop Pro
Other current features include:
Levels and masks
Refine the brush for selection
AI extended presets
360 degree photo editing
Imaginary user experience
Graphic design tools and templates
Photo editing options like Blur and Fix
RAW image processing
Like many other photo editing programs, Corel's Paintshop Pro also provides plugins, brush extensions, color palettes, and textures that you can import to give yourself more editing options.
You can own Corel Paintshop Pro for just $ 79.99. If they have a 30-day money back guarantee, if you find that it doesn't work for you.