Are you interested in photography, or have seen a photo that’s just plain amazing? Do you wonder how they do it, is it a setting on the phone/camera itself? Well, sometimes it is, but usually, the photo is retouched after it gets transferred to a PC. Explaining how to get the desired effect is really hard, as there are tons of settings to be tweaked to your liking, but what we can do is present you with some of the best software for editing photos right on your computer.
How to choose the best photo editing software?
While choosing the perfect photo editing tool, you should be aware of all of its features, pricing, and many more. These are the things you should consider before choosing a photo editor –
- If you are a professional in the field of photo editing, make sure that you choose a premium tool.
- Be aware of all the features that the selected software offers and make sure that it meets your requirements.
- Choose an all-one tool instead of paying separately for separate features.
- Read the reviews of the photo editing tool in question and make sure that the customers are satisfied.
- Pick the perfect tool based on the types of photography you are doing.
- If you need cloud storage for photos, go for tools that have integrated cloud options.
These are 12 of the best photo editing software –
1. Adobe Photoshop CC
Right at the start is, of course, the king, and definitely the most popular software around. Even if you haven’t given it a try, as it’s not free, you must’ve heard about it from social media, and the trend of adding brightness, contrast, changing colors, and manipulating your photos in many ways. It’s not as simple to use as applying a filter, though, but it’s not an expert-only program either. Because it’s worldwide used, there is a crazy amount of tutorials around, and many of them are in your language too – making things easier.
2. Adobe Lightroom Classic CC
The second place is taken by another Adobe product, and rightfully so. The name has changed too, and what is now Classic CC used to be called just simply – Lightroom CC. The software differentiates from Photoshop, but not by possibilities, just by the way it’s used. It is intended for professional photographers using a RAW format. If you aren’t aware, the format is not an image only, but a collection of all information your camera captured at the moment you took a picture – ISO, aperture, and all the important things. With Lightroom, you can manipulate settings right on the spot, before deciding to convert it to a picture.
You’ve heard of GIMP, we’re sure because many people around the world recommend it as a Photoshop alternative. It’s because it’s free to download and use and offers many similar photo manipulation possibilities. It’s still a professional photo editing software, allowing you to retouch your photos with ease. GIMP is compatible with all of the image formats popular today, compressed or not, for web or private usage. We’d advise you to give it a try before you decide to break your bank for a paid software, you just might fall in love with it.
Fotor is a tool we’d recommend if you aren’t tech-savvy, and looking for a straightforward option to make your social media feel look better and unique. There’s an online version, but a Desktop might be a better option, just because of its offline capabilities. It’s filled with easily scalable settings like brightness, composure, sharpness, and cropping to a square or aspect ratio. The edits are done in a filter style, just like you’d do it on Instagram or Snapchat, just choose one and manage the filter’s strength.
5. Corel Paintshop Pro
From Corel, Paintshop Pro is yet another photo editing software for any of your platforms. With all of its advanced features, it is most definitely one of the best Photoshop alternatives. The software packs a number of stunning features for image manipulation such as the ISO enhancer to restore the quality of the images, noise reduction with the AI Denoise feature, Sea-to-Sky™ allowing the perfect drone or underwater captures, and many more.
We are not saying you need professional help with your face, but why not make it as good as it can be? In the end, people make first impressions on your looks too, and if images are all they have, it might be a dealbreaker. That’s where Portrait Professional comes in, and by visiting their website you’ll see a difference. It allows for skin smoothing, fixing blemishes, acne, wrinkles, and all unwanted parts of your body. Not only will your face look refreshed, but you can also change or add lipstick, eyeshadow, and other common makeup tools.
This is a set of photo editing tools that are also open-source, so if you’re also into programming, you can find what goes behind the scenes, and try to make your own changes. It is compatible with all the commonly used operating systems, thus making it a go-to software for you. You can use everything you’d commonly do, but also clone objects, play around with calligraphy tools, as well as use effects to make your photos shine in a completely new light. Give it a try, you won’t regret it.
8. Luminar Neo
Luminar Neo is one of those easy photo editing tools that allow quick image manipulation. If you do not want to use any advanced tools for easy photo editing, this one will be the best solution. With features such as background removal, photo retouching, various noise or color removals, color adjustments, filters, effects, etc. Luminar Neo is the perfect tool for beginners for photo manipulation. It can be used a standalone app, or as a plugin with other tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, or the default Photos app on macOS.
9. ON1 Photo 10
You might’ve used one of their plug-ins from a big Photoshop collection. However, they decided to wrap them all up in the form of a standalone software for you to use and called it Photo 10. All the edits done inside are quick and easy to use, everything is on the side, allowing us to see the effect taking place immediately. But that’s not the end of it, as it has great fine-tuning possibilities for the perfectionists among users, allowing them to get it just right. It is not free to use, but you can try it free of cost, and decide if it’s for you or not.
10. The Nik Collection
You might not have heard of this one, but it’s actually a part of Google. They released it for free in 2016, however, a year later announced they would not be releasing new patches and updates. Luckily, DxO decided to pick the project up and updated it for the users recently. It has a few specific effects, targeting both lovers of old-school photography and HDR, sharp, vivid photos we see today. It is one of the simplest, yet free-to-download and use tools ever, and coming from Google, you know it’s trustworthy.
11. DxO PhotoLab
What used to be DxO OpticsPro, now has a changed name, but in terms of quality only changed for the better, if anything. We just mentioned the company after they decided to help with Google’s project, but they have a 13-year-long experience in RAW editing. That means it is intended for professional photographers looking to get the best out of their cameras. The line is blurred between the two, as they tried to integrate the best of both worlds and create a masterpiece of a software. Although it is not free, there is a free trial before you buy.
12. CyberLink PowerDirector 9
Even though the company is better known for its video editing and producing software, they’ve expanded to pictures. The software contains everything you need, whether looking to be a professional photographer or just help your family show their best face in pictures, it’s all there. On their website, you can see unique examples of travel photography, landscapes, and even portraits people captured and edited. CyberLink doesn’t specialize in one thing, they’re doing it all – for a price, of course. However, there are always sales ongoing, and you might be lucky to pick it up for 50% of the price at times.