Perfect the Picture-Perfect Shot
Any experienced photographer knows that shooting the perfect shot is only half of the picture. To truly make your photo shine, it never hurts to apply a few finishing touches. We picked out 5 photo editing tools that are sure to breathe life into any still.
1. Adobe Lightroom
Price: USD 9.99/month for a subscription
While Adobe has long been hailed as the golden standard for editing and design, not all of its programs are as easy to navigate, especially if you’re a beginner. Coming in both PC and mobile formats, Adobe Lightroom has been a long-time favorite of many photographer enthusiasts and professionals. Whether you’re a casual photographer or do photography for a living, its UX is one of the easiest and most intuitive in the market, with a built-in photo organizer that allows you to curate your shots with ease, as well as a sleek, simple workspace that features a centralized control panel for all your tools with plenty of plug-ins available to further enhance your Lightroom experience.
2. Skylum Luminar
Price: USD 89.00
Available in both stand-alone and Lightroom plug-in formats, Skylum Luminar is a great tool that marries Lightroom’s friendly, familiar interface, and a smaller, one-time only pricetag. Like Lightroom, Luminar functions as both a photo organizer and a photo editor, but edges it out in terms of a simpler, more intuitive interface, as well as its unique workplace presets. Luminar also has a more extensive library of ‘Looks’, much like Lightroom’s presets. However, these are much easier to tweak thank Lightroom, and can be found all over the internet from famous photographers, usually for free.
This photo editing software has been turning heads with its most famous feature: the AI slider. The AI slider is an AI assisted feature that applies automated quick fixes to your photo. If you are new to photo editing and retouching, this is an excellent choice for instant editing.
3. DxO Photolab 4
Price: USD 129.00 to USD 189.00
While its by no means a full kit like Lightroom or Luminar, DxO Photolab is still a solid photo editing option. With excellent OS compatibility with both Windows and iOS, this software also smoothly converts your raw photos into JPEG files. Equipped with a customizable interface, the DxO Photolab boasts of U Point local selection adjustment technology and a classic automatic lens and camera body-based image correction method, as well as peerless noise or grain reduction using its new DeepPrime feature—a machine-learning technology that runs your photo through two ISO stops worth of noise reduction, making for a crisp image.
No list for good photo editing tools would be complete without a free option. GIMP is not only easy on the pocket, but is also a long-time favorite of professionals and beginners alike for its comprehensive toolkit. While not as comprehensive or extensive as industry standard tools like Lightroom and Photoshop, or a pro kit like Luminar, GIMP is definitely a great entry-level photo editing tool that gets the job done with a no-frills interface equipped with the basics, especially for a budding enthusiast or a professional who is starting out.
5. Adobe Photoshop
Price: USD 9.99/month
The golden standard of digital creatives, Adobe has long been lauded as the industry authority. Whereas Lightroom has simplified and streamlined its functions to a more no-nonsense photo editing option, Photoshop remains a mainstay in any professional photographer’s digital toolkit, and proficiency with it is a workplace requirement for many creatives; and for good reason. It remains one of the most expansive toolkits available for use with its AI-powered neutral filters, and endless editing options. If you’re confident you can navigate the Photoshop interface, then this is the best option.
We hope this article helped you narrow your search for the perfect photo editing tool! If you really see yourself as more of a point and shoot photographer, or simply have no time to edit your shots yourself, explore photo editing services for photographers that deliver expert-level editing efficiently and swiftly.