Any seasoned photographer knows that capturing the perfect photo is nearly impossible. There are many factors that make up an image, from the lighting to the subject, and it is rare that all of them cooperate at the same time. To be successful in your photography career, you must possess a wide range of skills, knowledge of lighting and composition, high-quality equipment, and enlist the help of photo editing software.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the best photo editing software available on the market, tried and tested by professional photographers and photo editors. These tools can help you to create the perfect photograph by enhancing, editing, and retouching the image to remove any faults or imperfections.
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The Best Photo Editing Software
The tools listed in this article offer a wide range of capabilities; from removing unwanted background details, to adjusting the lighting, to batch processing your photos. Below, we will take a look at the best photo editing software available, as well as the features that make them so valuable. Whether you are a real estate photographer, a product photographer, or an event photographer, these tools can help you to succeed in your career path.
Established in 1990, Adobe Photoshop continues to be the leading photo editing software across the globe, with 90% of creative professionals opting to use this tool. This software offers a vast set of photo correction and editing tools on its intuitive and user-friendly interface. Its features include AI-powered neural filters, automatic sky replacement, layer editing, and incredibly accurate selection tools, which make it an indispensable asset for photographers.
Photoshop subscriptions are currently available for around $20.99 per month, with separate plans that include more of Adobe’s tools, such as Photoshop and Lightroom, for only $9.99 per month.
Adobe Lightroom is a popular photo editing software that is often a favorite among professional photographers. Lightroom is a comprehensive software for organizing, managing, and editing large photo collections. Its simple and intuitive user interface allows you to import, adjust, and share images with relative ease, especially if you have minimal experience with editing software. Lightroom also includes some of Photoshop’s tools, such as Content-Aware Remove and masking auto-selection.
Adobe Lightroom is available on its own, or as part of one of Adobe’s Creative Cloud packages. You can get both Lightroom and Photoshop together for just $9.99 per month.
Capture One Pro
Capture One is a photo editing software designed for professional editors and photographers. Some of its most notable features include advanced RAW photo processing, adjustment tools, image cataloging, spot healing, layer-editing, and just about everything that a professional image editor would need. This editor supports over 500 different camera models, and offers a 50% discount for those who use either Fujifilm or Sony cameras.
A full-price subscription to Capture One Pro is $27,60 per month, with additional features available with higher-tier packages.
DxO PhotoLab describes itself as “the most advanced, end-to-end, RAW photo editing software”. Some of its features include photo management, optical corrections, local adjustments, an advanced denoising tool, and a plethora of other image enhancement tools. This software is excellent for improving image quality and appearance, and is an excellent choice for both seasoned and beginner photographers.
PhotoLab is available for $219 for a permanent license, with no extra or hidden costs.
Along with photo editing software, there are some additional tools that photographers can benefit from.
Photo Editing Tablet & Pen
Many of the most professional photo editors use tablets and pens for their edits, as they provide more precision and detail than a computer and mouse. The Wacom Intuos and Intuos Pro are both excellent, top-of-the-range graphics tablets that are ideal for photo editing. They are capable of running editing software such as Adobe Photoshop, and their pens make it easier to make more accurate edits.
Monitor Calibration Tools
In order to make accurate and professional-level edits, your monitor needs to be calibrated according to a set standard. Monitor calibration tools set your screen’s colors, brightness, and contrast to be as close to real-life as possible, so as not to make any mistakes when editing. An excellent monitor calibration tool for professional photographers is the Datacolor SpyderX Capture. This calibration tool has features specifically designed for photo editing, such as lens calibration and accurate RAW settings.
Photo presets are pre-made filters, or automatic settings for photo editing. Many professional editors develop unique and versatile presets that they sell for use in software such as Lightroom. One of the most popular preset websites is 123Presets, which sells thousands of filters for a variety of platforms.
If you are looking for an efficient and easy-to-use professional photo importing and browsing tool, then Photo Mechanic can give you what you’re looking for. This tool aims to streamline your workflow, and offers features such as quick importing, seamless integrations, in-app copyrighting, and metadata management. You can also export images to emails and the web directly from the platform.
There are a wide array of excellent photo editing software options for professional photographers in 2023. From the industry-leading Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom, with their powerful editing tools and seamless integration, to Capture One Pro’s advanced RAW processing capabilities, photographers have access to a range of tools tailored to their specific needs.
With various pricing options available, photographers can find the right software to suit their editing requirements and budget. Ultimately, investing in high-quality photo editing software is essential for photographers looking to elevate their images and achieve their artistic vision.