Digital Photography Tips, Tutorials and Resources
Are you looking for professional photo editing software for your photos? Editing your photos before uploading on your photography website is essential. In this guide, we will share the best photo editing software for photographers.
The best photo editing software can help to bring focus to an image, highlight your key subjects and transform an average picture into something truly incredible.
The question for most photographers is how do they choose the right editing software to supplement their skills. There are countless different options out there to choose from, from better-known systems like Photoshop and Adobe to simple but effective choices like Canva. There’s even some great free options.
In today’s post we’re going to answer the question “What is the best photo editing software for photographers?” by looking at:
- The top-rated software on the market
- The features of each tool
- How you can use the software
Let’s get started!
Why Should You Edit Your Photos?
Having an intuitive and easy to use photo editing software can help you edit your photos quickly and take them to the next level.
Let’s take a look at some of the best photo editing software available online.
1. Adobe Lightroom
Adobe is truly the gold-standard when it comes to image editing software. If Photoshop comes off as too complex and cumbersome, then you’re sure to love all the incredible things that you can accomplish with Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom allows you to edit your pics with a host of fantastic features, including:
- Fixing and blurring tools
- Presets and professional filters
- Customizable sliders
- Multiple device support and sync
PicMonkey is a complete graphic design package that allows you to edit photos, make collages, touch up, crop and more. It will help you develop your design skills and bring out your creativity to easily edit the images.
With a free trial, you can test out all the features of PicMonkey before you buy anything, which includes options to edit your photos using specific templates or arrange your images into a college.
- Basic Filters
- Collage effects
- Blank canvas design
- Automatic sizing for social media
You can also print photos, cards, canvases and more from PicMonkey directly.
GIMP is a free professional photo editing software. It is easy to download and install on your computer. GIMP has multiple features which help you with retouching photos, photo composition, picture enhancement, and includes a built-in file manager. You can also create image authority with GIMP.
Many photographers regard GIMP to be a great alternative to Photoshop, as it comes with a range of features that help with things like photo composition and image retouching.
- Photo enhancements like corrective mode and vignette
- File management and optimization modes
- Digital Retouching
- Clone and touch-up tools
- Support for multiple plugins
It works great on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. You can edit photos of all formats using GIMP.
Canva is a simple graphic design software with a large number of users online. It comes with multiple photo editing tools and products.
You can also download Canva on your mobile phone and edit instant photos. The Canva Marketplace has tons of templates, photos, cards and icons that make your life easy in creating the visual content of your site or blog.
With Canva, you can adjust various elements of your images with a simple drag-and-drop editor, add fonts and templates to your pictures if you want to use them on your website, and more.
- 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
5. Adobe Photoshop
It’s hard to write an article about the best photo editing software for photographers without giving Adobe Photoshop a well-deserved mention. Photoshop is the go-to tool for illustrators, designers, and artists around the world. Photoshop’s masking, retouching and layering tools are still some of the most compelling on the market, though it’s fair to say that this tool might not be best for the odd “basic” touchup. Photoshop is designed for painstaking work on your portfolios.
- Touch-up and retouch features
- Multi-layer editing
- Enhanced pro features
- Available on desktop or mobile
- Best-known photography software
Confused between, Photoshop or Lightroom? Check out our guide: Lightroom vs Photoshop: Which is the Best Solution
6. Skylum Luminar
Luminar has quickly grown to become of the the most popular editing tool for professional photographers around the world for many reasons. For one, you pay a one time flat fee – there are no monthly subscriptions which has become the norm for Adobe and other software companies.
Luminar is a one stop shop for photo editing that can be used by itself or as a plugin in with Lightroom, Photoshop and even Apple Photos. Its also gained popularity for its AI slider, which does an automatic quick fix for everything from brightening, clarity, toning and other basic adjustments.
- AI Editor/Slider
- Exclusive filters like Sunrays filter (which lets your add realistic sun rays to shine in your images), top and bottom lighting filter, Orton filter (made famous by the Lord of the Rings, blurs some parts of the image and focus on others)
- Adjustment Layers
- Image Layers
- Dedicated presets for DJI drone photos
Fotor is a famous cloud-based photo editing software. You can use its free desktop version with the all the features that are available on its online photo editing version.
You can check the effects on your photos with scalable editing option. It has a simple to use interface which allows you to open RAW files and combine images in layers.
The cloud-based software allows you to save the incomplete designs for future editing, so you can start from where you left the work. All you need to do is upload your images onto the website and you can start editing, creating designs and more.
- Photo editing suite
- HDR effects
- Filters and image touch-ups
- Portrait Retouching
- Design templates
- Hundreds of fonts, stickers, and shapes to choose from
8. Pixlr Editor
The Pixlr Editor is another online photo editing software solution, although you can download a desktop or mobile app if you prefer. There’s even the option to upgrade to “Pixlr X” if you’re looking for a more advanced editing option. Pixlr is very similar in nature to Photoshop, as it allows you to add images to blank canvases, create unique effects, and add filters on-the-go.
- Over 2 million free effects
- Filters and overlays
- Creative editing app
- Mobile and desktop downloads or web interface
- Various Pixlr versions to choose from
9. Photo Editor by Aviary
Aviary is a free app that works like magic to edit photos swiftly.
Designed to “Make photos magic”, this application has a range of tools available to help you create amazing tools in no time – and you can access the app from your smartphone too!
- Presets to instantly enhance your images
- Over 1000 effects and filters to choose from
- Stickers and frames
- Resize, crop and rotate your photos
- Adjustments (contrast, brightness, saturation etc)
- Text and draw
- Cosmetic tools (remove red eye, whiten teeth, etc)
10. Corel Paintshop Pro
Corel PaintShop Pro is easily one of the best photo editing software options online for people who want a simple but effective approach to upgrading their images. Though it might not be the most advanced tool in the world at first glance, it comes with everything you need to take your images to the next level, without breaking the bank. There are dozens of textures, backgrounds, and brushes to choose from, and the app adds new features all the time.
- AI enhanced presets
- 360-degree photo editing
- Fantastic user experience
- Graphic design templates
- Photo editing options like blur and fix
- Learning tutorials
11. On1 Perfect Effects
On1 Effects is a complete photo editing software and you can use for free.
Not only is On1 easy to download and install, but it comes with literally hundreds of presets, stackable filters and other solutions that you can use to enhance your pictures in no time. There’s even an add-on available for Lightroom, Aperture, and Photoshop too!
- Stackable filters
- Custom presets
- Textures and borders
- Live adjustments and previews
- Available to download on any device
- Selectively apply effects option
It’s easy to download and install, and you can use it on any operating system. You will get 170 effects with photo editing, brush, and masking tool. It also has an addon available for Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture.
Snappa is an online graphics and design software available online for photographers who want to transform their images into something more. If you’re looking to convert your pictures into social media banners, or pictures for your blog, then Snappa will help you to transform your images by adding new dimensions and effects with ease. You don’t even have to download anything to get started.
- Drag and drop photo editing
- Image dimension templates
- Available stock photos
- Add graphics and texts in seconds
- Share graphics on social media
PortraitPro is a professional image editor specifically designed for photographers who specialize in portraits. The application includes everything you might need to edit skin tone, remove blemishes or wrinkles from your subject’s face, add eyeshadows and more. You can also add effects to fix things like poor lighting or get rid of sagging cheeks.
- Advanced layering options
- Skin smoothing
- Wrinkle Remover
- Makeup tools
- Award-winning editing using sliders
The other effects like lighting are really necessary for any portrait. You should also check out this guide on photography lighting.
Inkscape is another 100% free piece of editing software perfect for budding photographers. You can download it on Windows or Mac, or you can access the source code if you want to put it into your own app. Inkscape is designed to give you complete control over your images, whether you want to clone objects, add certain colors to your images, or overlay text.
There are dozens of features available, including:
- Color picker
- Multiple text formats
- Copy-paste object cloning
- Calligraphy tools
- Available extensions and add-ons
Inkscape comes with great effects to edit and brighten your photos. You should also check out this guide on best image formats and their features.
Paint.NET is a free simple old school image editing software with an intuitive interface designed for Windows users. It has options like unlimited undo to your edits, add effects, and work on layers. There’s a range of powerful tools by Paint.NET that allow you to edit photos easily.
PhotoScape is another free old school lightweight fun to use photo editing software. You can edit your photos with its simple tools. It allows you to create presets on your toolbar to edit your images faster.
PhotoScape can also create slideshows and animated GIFs for your photos. It has features like color picker, RAW to JPG converter, face finder, and more. You can also resize, combine, batch edit multiple photos, split photos into pieces and do a lot more with your images in PhotoScape.
17. DxO Optics Pro 10
DxO PhotoLab is an extraordinary photo editor. It converts your RAW images to JPG very smoothly. And it works great with both Mac and Windows operating systems. It 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
- Customized profiles
- A multitude of optical corrections
You can also sign up for a free 30-day trial before committing to a subscription.
Which Photo Editing Software is Right for You?
We hope this guide has helped you to find the best photo editing software for photographers. Let us know your experience with these picks in the comments below!