Do you want professional photo editing software on Mac or Windows so that you can perfect your photos? Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, editing your photos before uploading them to your photography website is essential. In this guide, we’ll 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.
But the question for most photographers is: how do you choose the right editing software to supplement your skills?
There are countless different photo editing software options, from better-known systems like Adobe’s Photoshop and Lightroom to simple but effective choices like Canva. There’s even some great free options, too.
So, in today’s post we’ll find out once and for all, “what is the best photo editing software for photographers?” We’ll look at
- Today’s free and paid top-rated photo editing software
- Features of each photo editing software
- How maximize your photo editing software options
It’s impossible to ignore Adobe Lightroom when talking about the best photo editing software for photographers. In fact, Adobe products are considered the gold-standard when it comes to image editing software.
For most freelance photo editors, Adobe Lightroom offers all the tools you’ll need to create stunning portrait, landscape, real estate and other photography. Lightroom’s host of fantastic features includes:
- Face detection for photo organization
- Camera and lens-based corrections
- Brush and gradient adjustments
- Fixing and blurring tools
- Presets and professional filters
- Customizable sliders
- Multiple device support and sync
Adobe Lightroom is available as a singular app, or as part of one of Adobe’s Creative Cloud packages. You can get Lightroom and Photoshop together for just $9.99/month.
Download Adobe Lightroom Software.
Skylum Luminar AI
For many reasons, Luminar has quickly grown to become one of the the most popular editing tools for professional photographers around the world. For one, you pay a one-time flat fee for the program rather than a monthly subscription like Adobe. And, Luminar offers a ton of built-in tools and accessories!
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.
Skylum Luminar Key Features
Luminar has gained popularity for its AI slider, which applies automatic quick fixes to your photos including brightening, clarifying, toning and other basic adjustments.
It also comes with a host of built-in tools to make your photo editing easier and faster. These Skylum Luminar features include:
- AI Editor
- Exclusive filters like Sunrays filter (which lets you add realistic looking sun rays to your images) and Orton filter (made famous by the Lord of the Rings and blurs parts of the image while focusing in on others)
- Adjustment Layers
- Image Layers
- Dedicated presets for DJI drone photos
If you’re liking the sounds of Skylum Luminar, you can purchase it online for a one-time fee. This purchase gives you access to Skylum Luminar for life! Plus there is a 30 day money back guaranty.
Download Luminar Software.
It’s hard to write an article about the best photo editing software for photographers without giving Adobe Photoshop a well-deserved mention. For artists, illustrators, and designers around the world, Photoshop has proven to be a capable and trustworthy editing tool.
Photoshop’s masking, retouching and layering tools are still some of the most compelling on the market. Although, it’s fair to say that these tools might not be best for basic touch-ups, which would be best left for Lightroom. Photoshop is designed for professionals who need all the bells and whistles.
Photoshop’s built-in features include
- Sophisticated touch-up and retouching
- Extensive filters and brushes
- Multi-layer editing
- 3D design functionality
- Pro editing tools
- Advanced color editing
Adobe Photoshop provides tools you simply won’t find in other photo editing software. If you’re a photo editor who works on graphic design projects or other, more layered assignments, Photoshop might be the photo editor for you.
Otherwise, if you’re looking to touch up your photos before you turn them over to clients, you’d likely be happy with a more basic program. Still, if you see your photo editing needs increasing in the future, you might want to begin learning Photoshop. That way, you’ll know how to do all of your edits in one software!