5 Best Photo Editing Software for Photographers

By Cecilia Hwung | Last Update:

Google shows dozens of results for the "best photo editing software" query because now no one publishes photos without editing them first. In this article we have collected truly the best software for these purposes: paid and free, for pros and for novices.

Best Photo Editing Software for Photographers

1. Adobe Photoshop – Industry Standard

Adobe Photoshop

Price: Free Trial, then $9.99/month

Pros:

  • Numerous actions, overlays, textures, brushes
  • Layers are supported
  • Compatible with all file formats
  • Extensive picture enhancement toolset

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Difficult to master

Adobe Photoshop is an extremely robust professional picture editor. It is used by designers, amateurs, artists, developers of 3D graphics textures and just those who know a lot about creating photorealistic images.

There are no specific effects, you are limited only by your skills, knowledge and imagination. By combining different effects/filters, you can create something completely new.

Photoshop is a raster graphics editing software that works with layers and contains numerous tools to perform all sorts of manipulations related not only to images but also video and audio. Among these tools, we find selection, cropping, editing, drawing, coloring, as well as tools to work with text. Besides, you can use additional tools when editing photos, such as Photoshop Actions Collection, textures, brushes, overlays and fonts.

Moreover, you can download Adobe Photoshop free to find out if this picture editing software is suitable for you. Then you can purchase it via a monthly subscription.

2. Skylum Luminar – Over 100 Smart Filters and Presets

Skylum Luminar

Price: Free Trial, then from $89.00

Pros:

  • May serve as a plug-in for Lightroom and Photoshop
  • Layers are supported
  • Immediate changes with Luminar Looks
  • Remarkable color correction

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • RAW editing capabilities could be better

Skylum Luminar is a semi-professional picture editor that boasts a vast array of integrated picture editing algorithms and visual effects applied to them. This graphic editor is designed for two platforms – Windows and macOS, so it covers the widest possible range of consumers, unlike similar photo editing software.

Aside from standard functions and settings for picture post-production, including manual editing of color, light, contrast, saturation and photo dimension (including layer-by-layer), Luminar offers its users 45 smart filters and 67 advanced presets to quickly change and compare different variants of one picture.

By the way, if you don't want to waste time on editing pics, you can approach special services, for example, the FixThePhoto image editing service. They are editing all kinds of pictures and can perform any manipulations with your shots – from color correction to the restoration of old photos.

3. Adobe Lightroom – Deep Color Correction

Adobe Lightroom

Price: Free Trial, then $9.99/month

Pros:

  • Plenty of presets and brushes available
  • Batch photo editing
  • Sophisticated color correction
  • Picture organization capabilities

Cons:

  • Monthly subscription
  • Restricted number of imported files

Adobe Lightroom meets the need for photographers in a working application that lets you quickly and efficiently perform color correction of pics. With Lightroom it is possible to manage all your pictures, print them out, view them as a slideshow, and place them in interactive web galleries that are very easy to create.

The main peculiarity of Adobe Lightroom is full support for the RAW format, as well as the ability to work directly with files of this format. Besides, this image editing software fully supports the work with the JPEG format.

For your reference, RAW is what used to be called a "negative" in photography, i.e. the original digital image. Apple introduces new ProRaw photo format and offers photographers the flexibility of raw editing in new iPhone 12 Pro / iPhone 12 Max.

4. GIMP – Free Open-source Photo Editor

GIMP

Price: Free

Pros:

  • Extensive feature and toolset
  • Open-source software
  • Compatible with numerous file types
  • Customizable functionality

Cons:

  • May lag occasionally
  • Lacks batch editing capability

GIMP is a robust free, freely distributed software for creating, assembling and editing images, drawings and photos. It supports bitmap graphics and vector graphics (partially).

Use this photo editing software to create and edit digital graphics and photos, drawings and logos, resize pictures, manipulate colors, combine images using layers, erase image elements and convert images into different filetypes.

5. Fotor – For Beginners

Fotor

Price: Free limited version, Pro - $3.33/month

Pros:

  • Web, desktop and mobile versions
  • Color correction within minutes
  • Awesome effects and filters
  • Offers a social network

Cons:

  • No advanced picture retouching in free version
  • Disturbing ads

Fotor is a picture editor with options for creating collages and batch processing. It grants the user the opportunity to purchase the Pro version. Advertising banners and watermarks on images in the Free version act as factors that encourage the "upgrade".

This photo editing software includes both the common, most frequently used and primary tools – cropping, framing, color correction, brightness and contrast adjustment, as well as less widespread options, such as adding textures, borders, frames and various effects.

Fotor developers offer a separate subsection for face retouching. With its help, users can eliminate the red-eye effect in shots, add blush, whiten teeth, hide wrinkles, creases, moles and more.

About The Author

Cecilia Hwung is the marketing manager of Digiarty Software and the editor-in-chief of VideoProc team. She pursues common progress with her team and expects to share more creative content and useful information to readers. She has strong interest in copywriting and rich experience in video editing tips.

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