As a professional photographer having a good command of photo editing software is essential. In the days of film the photographer would often send the completed shoot off to the lab and that was it. Now with the advent of digital photography post processing has become an essential component to any shoot. I could and still do argue that the better a photographer is in camera, the better the final result, but this article is not about that.
Photoshop is still the king when it comes to photo editing. Adobe consisting does a great job with "upping" their "photo editing skills. The amount that can be done in photoshop is down right amazing. From simple processes, to complex steps with hundreds of actions, photoshop is a powerful tool that should not be ignored.
I strongly encourage all photographers and amateurs alike to get comfortable creating their own actions. This tool is powerful and literally will save you hours if not days in your workflows.
Adobe Photoshop CC, or creative cloud, is the latest version. Because the product is now delivered electronically there is a steady stream of updates and new technologies.
Unless you work in the photographic industry, you are probably not familiar with Adobe Bridge. Bridge is a raw file editor and photo management tool. As a professional photographer you will usually dump your files into bridge and then take them to photoshop from there. I generally spend more time in Bridge these days than I do in photoshop. My photography work has evolved to a place where I am more focused on the reality of the scene or circumstance than I am of a hyper edited finished photo. What better than reality I say?
Capture One by Phase One is a probably completely unknown if you don't work in the industry. If you shoot medium format digital cameras it is your standard. Capture One is basically Phase One's version of lightroom. It is a great Raw processor that can give phenomenal results to the commercial photographer. The only problem is that for some reason I find it very temperamental with my landscape photography work. Sometimes I get great results other times, not so much...
Capture One is famed for it's life-like skin tones, and this is true. I notice a better gradation and even colours in skin when using the program.
Ah, lightroom. You either love this program or not so much. I tend to lean a little to the right on Lightroom, it's a great program but it generally does not suit my needs. I think it is more so just a matter of style. I was trained on bridge, and I really like it. I also tend to go against the grain in life and in my photography work. For instance, I prefer PCs over Macs, I use Nikon over Canon, I don't like taking cell phone pictures, and quite time in nature makes me whole, compared to being a social butterfly.
Now Lightroom is a great program, though, and it is very useful and I still do use it on regular occasion. The tethering capabilities of lightroom, in my opinion, are best in class. It's mostly the importing / exporting requirement that I tend to despise. If that was archived (or thrown away) I would probably use lightroom every day.
Here we have some programs and online resources that make editing fun and easy. They are better suited to the photo enthusiast, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking pictures for fun. I reiterate, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH TAKING PHOTOS FOR FUN.
Instagram took over the world with their photo filters. It has influenced the whole industry and is worth a look if you just want to get something out there.
Gimp is a free open source photo editing program. If you are an enthusiast it is worth a look.
This is an extremely light version of photoshop for mobile devices. It is worth a look if most of your photos come from a mobile device.
Check out some additional photo editing software right here.
Have anything to add? Am I completely wrong or right on point? Leave a comment below.