The 5 most used photo editing programs

If you are looking for programs to edit photos, here are my five recommendations to work on your RAWs, prepare your images to upload them to your blog or social networks, or manage your photographic library.

Digital photography radically changed the game rules before photographic editing was reserved for “artisans” who could edit photographs taken with analog cameras by hand, not by clicking. They came into play programs to edit photos, with which we could tweak, change backgrounds, add or elements or catch the head of our friends and place it on another body in a few steps. For better or for worse, editing images was within everyone’s reach. The love for photography grew exponentially until today, when we edit photos taken with the mobile by applying a filter, retouching some of the contrast, brightness, and voila, to share.

What is the best program to edit photos?

The taste of each one influences a lot when choosing an editing software. I give more importance to programs with an intuitive interface, effective image library management, that the way of editing the photos is not destructive, that is, that the original file is not altered in the edition or that the program has the option of applying adjustments by zones.

This article will recommend the best photo editing programs for me, some free; others paid through a relatively affordable subscription for the mess’s possibilities.


Edit photos with Photoshop

What to say that you have not already heard of this wonder. An intuitive interface that many of us have grown up with is not only used to remove cellulite. It may seem not very easy at first if you have not used any Adobe program, but you will enjoy its options once you understand the essential tools. The best thing about Photoshop is its scalability. It can serve both a beginner photographer and be the best option for professional photography together with Lightroom.

Its layer editing system allows you the absolute freedom to edit images, local adjustments (to be able to edit by zones without affecting the rest of the picture), layer masks, impossible cuts like your models’ hair, and many more tools to unleash your creativity to use Photoshop efficiently. It would help if you had a certain level of knowledge of the program. Still, I assure you that you can start using it today. You know that I always endorse trial and error as the best way to loosen up with a photo editing program, and Photoshop is perfect for practice.

From my point of view, Photoshop is not comfortable for me for basic editing of a photograph but for something more advanced such as erasing elements or photomontages, but this has nothing to do with editing or digital development.

The best way to get Photoshop is to pay for the Adobe “Photography” plan, and this pack includes Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, 20 GB of storage in the Creative Cloud, and Lightroom Classic CC 10$   per month (annual payment).

Adobe Lightroom for Mac and Windows

It is my favorite. I started using it because it managed the library and a fast and efficient workflow. He took a daily photograph, and of course, that doesn’t mean he only shot once. Working all the RAWs, selecting the good ones, classifying them by theme to keep order, or scoring each photograph if I ever needed to use that folder has saved me much time.

One of the options that I use the most when I develop photographs taken in the same place, time and lighting is ” copy settings “with this. We can paste the scenes of a picture that we have developed in all the ones we select. In this way, if we have several photographs taken in series, we will not have to edit them one by one. Imagine the possibilities for studio sessions in the same light, concert photos, photos taken in an interior during a wedding reception, churches, etc.

Lightroom also prepares the images for the web and self-publishes them on your social networks, so it is very convenient to manage everything from its panel with one click and not have to publish the photo one by one.

As you can see, its workflow makes it the king of this category and uses its files on PC and Mac, which is basic to me today. It would not be the first time that I have to develop on a PC or send a file to another person who does not use the Apple brand. From my point of view, it is the best program to edit Point for Lightroom!

To get it, visit the official Adobe page. You have the link just above.


A simple program to edit photos

GIMP, the best program to retouch photos for free

Gimp is a free and free photo editor, available for most platforms such as Mac OS X, Linux, or Windows. The fact that it is free means that more and more users choose to use it as their favorite editing program, especially users who are just starting and do not want to pay the Adobe program’s price.

Photoshop is a much more advanced tool, so if you are going to dedicate yourself professionally or want to go further in the world of editing and retouching, Photoshop and Lightroom are the best options.

Gimp is usually used for quick tasks if you don’t want to complicate your life, such as erasing people or objects from a photograph, preparing an image to upload to your website or social networks, and placing a watermark or cut it out.

In Gimp, you can find the most used tools in typical photo editing programs, such as layer work, adjustment brushes, gradients, selection tools, smart cutting, etc.

The function of opening PSDs (Photoshop files) was also added, so it has undoubtedly won some followers who doubted whether to leap. We will see how it unfolds in the coming years.


Photos, editing software signed by Apple

Apple’s bet for photo editing came to replace iPhoto and Aperture, the previous official Apple programs for editing images. Photos have been integrated into OS X since Yosemite version 10.10.3. It is also available for iOS from iOS 8, but the desktop version has many more options than the mobile version.

It manages libraries with too many photos very well; it is an agile program with easy-to-use tools and intuitive design without neglecting options for the more advanced ones.

Photos allow you to create calendars, presentations, or albums from the program itself, as well as intelligently search your library by date, place, or keywords, among others.

Lightroom’s biggest rival, and although they share many options, the fact that there is only a Mac version means that many do not think of it as an option. Also, once you have gotten used to the possibilities of Lightroom, it is difficult to switch to other software no matter how similar it is.

It makes use of the “Shared” function as in iOS, where you can share your activity, photos with other contacts and have them add images to the catalog or comment on them.

Choosing between Photos or Lightroom is a decision of tastes and needs. Only you will know which one you feel more comfortable with.


Camera RAW and Adobe Bridge

It is also very similar to Photos and Lightroom, its engine and sliders are identical, but it needs a program like Adobe Bridge to manage the image library. Those who use it defend that Camera Raw does not create an additional file like Lightroom does to save the development settings. In this way, even if the brand stopped supporting or updating the program, you would still have the photos edited. If it happened in Adobe, you would have to continue using Lightroom to recover the development settings.

In summary

The best photo editing programs for me are Lightroom and Photoshop. I think they complement each other perfectly. You can use Lightroom for developing and editing and Photoshop for photo retouching.

The two are connected so that you can send a photo from Lightroom to Photoshop at any time. Imagine you are editing an image, and there is something you want to remove with Photoshop’s clone stamp. You would right-click on your vision and export to Photoshop, where you delete the part you want, and when you click to save it directly, it will appear modified in Lightroom, creating an alternative file of the original version.