Gone are the days when photography was only about loading some film into a camera and taking a photo. With the vast improvements in technology, photo editing is a key part of the photography process.
Even an ideal photo needs some editing, and professional photographers need to have editing skills. But you need more than skill to edit a photo properly. You also need a high-quality professional photo editor. While there are plenty of editors to choose from, they are not all up to snuff.
Today we are going to introduce a list of the best professional photo editors for pro users, covering desktop software and Android apps.
What Makes For A Quality Professional Photo Editor?
When it comes to photo editing, everyone has their own preferences. It is impossible to say which is the best photo editing software because the best one for you might not be the best one for another photographer. However, there are a few key traits that you can look for in your professional photo editor.
It is not often that a photographer only has a few photos saved to his SD card. In most types of photography, there are hundreds of photos to sort through. Wedding photographers have the difficult task of going through multiple images until they find the perfect shot. Meanwhile, sports photographers have to look at bursts of photos to find that one front-page image.
No matter what type of photography you prefer, you need software that will allow you to move from one image to the next easily. You need to be able to search through photos by tags, ratings, and facial recognition. Otherwise, finding the images you want to edit can be very time-consuming.
Most professional photographers export their photos. Whether you export to a blog or photo hosting site, having a professional photo editor that easily exports your photo can make your life easier. Some programs offer you the opportunity to automatically export images to your blog or website. If you often post to social media, you might want an editor that has templates for social media posts.
When you edit a photograph, you do it with your own flair. That flair is a pattern in all your edited photos- one that a good editing program can pick up. Some programs notice your actions and record them. When you upload a photo, it can automatically make your usual pattern of changes to your photo. Instead of spending hours repeating the same processes on photo after photo, the editing software can do it for you. While it may not be perfect at first, there will be fewer steps to perfection
If you taught yourself how to use Photoshop, you know that it is not easy to learn. And while that does not make Photoshop a bad program, it might make it the wrong program for you. If you need to learn how to edit your photos quickly, there are some photo editors that do not have steep learning curves. An easy-to-learn professional photo editor has a built-in tutorial and walks you through the workflow. After a quick tutorial, you can learn the tools on your first photo upload, and it is smooth sailing from then on.
For a more complex editor, you need to take the time to learn the software. Look up youtube videos and walk-thru guides on your editor of choice.
The Top 5 Professional Photo Editing Software Programs
Perhaps the most talked about professional photo editor, Photoshop has a lot to offer. Photoshop offers all of the features a professional photographer would need to edit a photo. In fact, it offers so many features that you probably will not know how to use them all. It has just about any editing tool that you can imagine, including layering. It can record your actions to make future edits automatic and has the option for plugins.
With all of Photoshop’s features comes a drawback- it is difficult to learn. Photoshop is not the type of software that you can play around with for an hour and then call yourself an expert. It requires tutorials, YouTube videos, and practice. But, because the program is so popular, there is an abundance of resources out there. With a little education, you can unlock the mysteries of Photoshop.
Photoshop is more an editing tool than it is an organizational tool. However, Lightroom (if you opt for a joint subscription with Photoshop) is an excellent organizational tool, and it works well with Photoshop. And the same is true for sharing your images to social media. Although Photoshop is not set up for that, Lightroom is.
Even if Lightroom is not in your budget, Photoshop is the King of editing features. If you are looking for a program that is all about editing tools and features, Photoshop is a smart option.
Unlike Photoshop, Serif PhotoPlus doubles as a photo organizer. The program allows you to organize images by ratings and tags. However, while other organizers allow you to sort by facial recognition or flagging, PhotoPlus does not have that option. Organization is not this program’s strong suit, but its editing ability is more impressive.
PhotoPlus has some very useful editing features. You can do lens correction adjustment, work with layers, and remove blemishes on portraits. Additionally, you can apply a variety of filter effects. The split-screen option allows you to see an image before and after your selected effects. And the program is very forgiving; you can crop to a certain aspect ratio, but later change back to the original ratio without losing everything else.
While PhotoPlus does have some great features, it does not offer as many features as some of the more expensive options. There are no lens and body profiles, and there are no automatic processes.
There are some useful photo sharing options built-in to this professional photo editor. You can share to both Flickr and Facebook. If you are interested in the global scale of things, you can geotag your images and see them on a global map.
Learning PhotoPlus is not too difficult, but you might have a hard time if you try to edit an image before taking a tutorial. Features of the program are on separate windows, so finding your tools can be challenging. To make up for that, PhotoPlus offers detailed video tutorials. There is also a “help” tab that can give you answers to some common questions about the program.
PhotoPlus might not be perfect, but it is an affordable option for photo editing. It has many editing features that other budget editors lack, and gives you the opportunity to both organize and edit photos on a budget.
This editing program might be in the category of budget editors, but it still has a lot to offer. First and foremost, it does give you a way to organize your photos. In the database, you can rename photos and add text. Facial recognition allows you to associate a name with a face. You can group photos with the same faces together, and easily find the images you are looking for. By searching for a name in the database, you can pull up a folder of the related images. PhotoDirector also allows you to rate and flag photos.
This professional photo editor includes some useful automated features. You can also make the typical adjustments you might expect, including adjustments to the tone, color, and curves of the image. There are small tools that allow you to edit the more intricate details of your photo. It even gives you the ability to enhance portraits.
Although this software does not allow you to edit layers, you can turn the global features on and off similar to the way you might edit layers. When you are finished editing, you can share your photos to Facebook, Flickr, and a few other platforms directly.
PhotoDirector is not difficult to use, but there are not as many learning tools available as there are for larger, high-end photo editors. Overall, PhotoDirector is a good option for a professional photo editor that will not break the bank.
4. Acdsee Pro8
This professional photo editor lets you organize photos easily. It places batches into separate folders. In each batch, you can view thumbnails of all the images. This gives you a great overview of every photo in your batch, and makes it easier to select photos from large batches.
Acdsee is unique in its ability to work with folders and files that are already on your drive; you do n’t need to make a new database. This saves you a great deal of time when you start working on a photo. There’s no need to wait for photos to import.
The program also gives you the ability to label your photos tag them, and rate them. Once you’ve done that, you can search through your photos based on their ratings, labels, or tags. You can even search by the photo’s location.
Of course, you can make all of the edits you might expect from a typical professional photo editor. Its tools allow you to fix lens distortion, apply gradients, remove blemishes, and much more. And all of the tools are easy to use.
Much like Acdsee, Paintshop is both an image organizer and editor. It allows you to search through your photos by both ratings and tags. You can use the Smart Collections to sort your images based on certain criteria, making it easier to find groupings of photos. The organization in the program isn’t extensive, but it is functional.
The editing ability of this professional photo editor is what makes it stand out. There are many instant effects to choose from. Instead of using your chosen effect on the whole image, you can test it out on the thumbnail first. The program gives you the option to edit layers- a useful tool that isn’t always available in editing software.
Paintshop makes it easy to export photos. You can optimize photos for social media with templates for Flickr, Twitter, and Pinterest. Then, you can export them to the social media of your choice.
While using Paintshop isn’t necessarily easy, it is similar to many other photo editing tools on the market. If you have experience with other software, it shouldn’t be hard to learn Paintshop. And if you have no prior experience, the professional photo editor offers its own classes that teach you how to use the features.
The Best Mobile Photo Editing Apps
Sometimes, even professional photographers need to shoot and edit on the go. For those moments, one of these mobile editing apps can get the job done.
1. Touch Retouch
While this app may not be the most advanced in terms of editing capabilities, it is one of the simplest. It allows you to remove lines and objects from your photos with the touch of your finger. You don’t need to sit in front of a computer to remove an eyesore from your photo. Simply trace your finger over the object, and the program removes it.
This app is cutting edge. It’s the only in the world to offer a focus feature, allowing you to “focus” your photo after you’ve taken the shot (it blurs the background, which makes the subject appear sharper). It also offers imaging adjustment control, over 100 photographic effects, and an RGB spectrum curve. Through the app, you can share your photos with buyers and other photographers.
3. Beauty Plus
For on-the-go portraits, this app is a great option. It removes blemishes with the touch of your finger. The app also changes the tone of the image and lets you directly share it to your social media.
Download ： android version.
The idea of this app is to take care of the editing for you. It’s touted as an “Intelligent image correction app.” To make up for the drawbacks of a camera phone, the app applies 20 automatic processes to your photos and enhances the images.
Download ： android version.
5. Adobe Lightroom
With one tap in this app, you can use a preset edit on your photo. Adobe Lightroom is one of the most inclusive editing apps. It allows you to adjust exposure, clarity, and more on your images. The controls are easy to use, and the program connects with other Adobe apps.