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Photography 101 - What Software Do I Need to Edit My Photos?

Photography 101 - What Software Do I Need to Edit My Photos?

Photography software can give your digital images the professional sheen or splash of style you need to take your photos from good to amazing. From the casual iPhoneographer to the professional DSLR photographer, picking the right post processing software depends on the needs of the individual photographer. The following is a brief overview of the different types of photography software available on the net. We’re hoping we can give you what you really need for great post processing.

Smartphone Photography Apps

Today’s smartphone cameras are starting to sound a lot more like point and shoot cameras—with phones like the 8 MP iPhone 6, 16 MP Galaxy S6, and the 41 MP Lumia 1020 on the market, it’s no wonder that the app ecosystem is filled with camera apps to help you quickly process and post those photos to social media. Instagram filters already have a cult following, many a teen knowing them (27 and counting) by heart. Then there’s Flickr, the household brand for photo enthusiasts, which has always allowed you to retain the full resolution of your photos. In general you can cut, crop, lighting and color corrections and add filters. The mobile offerings of professional image processing suites like Lightroom and Photoshop Touch are a good place to start for the more serious photographer. There are also no shortage of apps that let you instantly slap on a nostalgia filter, draw in color, or make quick minor edits. Oggl, EyeEm and Repix are good places to start. If you just want to make collages, Pic Stitch and Picture Collage Maker are good picks as well.

Photoediting through your Browser

Sometimes you don’t want to go through the hassle of downloading photo manipulation software just to crop and overlay an image. Maybe you’re at the office and you don’t want to bug IT to install Photoshop at your desktop computer. For situations like these its great to have free online picture editors that allow you to touch up your photos in your browser. If you have a gmail account you already have access to Google+ Photos which in addition to the basics, allows you to clone and touch up using control points. Pixlr, Polarr, Photoshop Express, and Sumo Paint are all either free or have free versions available, and all give access to crop, color contrast, saturation, white balance, and other basic image editing tools. Pick the interface you like the best.

Great Photography Software for Beginners

If you actually own a digital camera, you are going to want to be able to manipulate images on your desktop. Depending on your operating system, you may already have free image editing software available. Give Windows Photo Gallery, iPhoto, Shotwell, or Picasa a try. These will allow you to post process and manage your photos in the comfort of your home desktop. If you need a lot more versatility, definitely grab yourself a copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe’s enthusiast level offering of its prized photo editing software. In addition to the basics, you’ll gain access to High Dynamic Range (HDR) brushes, support for raw camera files (a must for DSLR owners), object removal, layers and other powerful tools.

Professional Post Processing Software

The word “photoshopped” didn’t get added to the dictionary for no reason—Adobe Photoshop CC is the de facto image manipulation software of choice for professional photographers. On top of HDR, layering, and other photography software essentials, you’ll also find camera shake reduction, 3D image manipulation, and superior layer-based image manipulation. Adobe Photoshop CC is currently available with the photo workflow software Lightroom for a monthly subscription of $9.99.  Lightroom will make the whole process of managing your raw image files and photography workflow much easier than you could with photoshop by itself, making this combined suite a must for any serious photographer. Hopefully this post gives you an idea of where (and how) to get started post-processing your images! Do you have a favorite software you like to use that we didn't mention? Share it in the comments!  
PHOTOGRAPHY 101: What Software Do I Need to Edit My Photos? - Beach Camera Blog
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