Photo Editing Software

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    Kazuki Maeda

    Hello, I just wanted to ask if there is any photo editing software you can recommend me.
    I just started shooting photos and never edited photos before…



    Joshua Ong

    Hi Kazuki, welcome to the forums!

    I’ve only begun editing photos recently, so I could recommend some photo editing software for you. If you are like me, you may opt for the free programs available online. I use RawTherapee and found it to be quite useful for basic photo edits (e.g. adjusting exposure, increasing saturation, etc.). You can download the version compatible with your computer’s operating system at this webpage. I was introduced to RawTherapee by a handy YouTube tutorial created by @buddingphotographer a few years ago.

    Another free program you may like to consider is GIMP, which allows you to perform corrections on a miniature level. For example, you could remove a distracting lens flare from a photo. GIMP could also be used to create a Selective Colour Effect.

    Unfortunately, my experience with photo editing is quite limited. I’m sure the other more experienced photographers on the forum could provide suggestions on software programs they’ve found helpful, like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop.

    Ernest Lloyd

    Hi, @kazuki-maeda!
    I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop when it comes to editing.
    It all depends where you are at though. A year ago I wasn’t going to spend a lot of money on editing software since it was more of a hobby.
    But if you can justify spending $10 a month for Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, I would dare to say that it is the best photo editing software available!
    One of my favorite features of Lightroom is that you can import and edit hundreds of photos at once.
    Before I had Lightroom I didn’t do much editing since it took so long to import each photo one by one… but if you are wanting a cheaper (or free) program, then you can go with something like Gimp, Affinity Photo, or another one-time payment option.
    If you are a pro Lenspiration member, then check out this video that James made on Choosing a Photo Editing Program.

    Kazuki Maeda

    Hi Joshua,
    Thanks for the helpful info! I’ll make sure to look into the webpage and the tutorial. Maybe I’ll start with a few of your recommended editing sites and choose the one that copes well with my brain. lol

    Thanks for reaching out!

    Hi Ernest,

    Thanks for the great info! I’ve actually heard about Lightroom, but I wasn’t 100% sure if it was for personal use. Thanks for clarifying.
    Being able to edit and import hundreds of photos at once seems like a sweet deal to me! I wonder if there’s like a trial period before I actually start my subscription…

    Either way, I’ll probably start exploring the free 😬sites and practice on those before I move on to the more upgraded version. I’ll keep in mind the Lightroom though. We’ll never know, I might use that software from the beginning! Thanks again for the info!


    Frazer Family

    Hi @kazuki-maeda, The software I’ve used and enjoyed the most is Darktable. It is free, and I find it very powerful. It’s available for Windows, MacOS and Linux.

    Here is a link, where someone else asked a similar question, and it was answered in some detail:

    Hope this helps!
    William Frazer

    Ernest Lloyd

    Yeah @kazuki-maeda, try out the free stuff first, and then you can make a fair decision when you do a free trial with Lightroom.
    If you are like me, It helps to use the free stuff first to help you appreciate the final thing you go with even more!
    Unfortunately, You have to set up an Adobe account before getting your free trial, but if you have any additional questions make sure to post them on the forums!

    Kazuki Maeda

    Hi William,

    Thank you for recommending me to it! I’ll definitely look into that. Many helpful answers in the other Q&A as well.

    Thanks, Ernest! I’ll make sure to post any questions if I have some.
    Great shots on the last Assignment!


    James Staddon

    Hi @kazuki-maeda, I’ve not been able to find a free program that I’ve actually liked, but there are definitely some cost effective programs that I’ve found and compared. You might want to check out this video on Choosing a Photo Editing Program.

    There are also a couple other threads on this topic if you’d like to take a look at those:

    Kazuki Maeda

    Thank you, James!

    I’ll look into them as well and compare all the sites and see what is best for me.

    I appreciate everyone’s help!


    Logan Lamar

    @kazuki-maeda you look like a new face to the forums to me 🙂 welcome!

    You’re going to want two programs for your photography:

    1. A photo sorter/developer
    2. A photo editor

    These are not the same thing, but there is a bit of overlap. I use my photo developer for doing a lot of global adjustments across the whole image (cropping, colors, sharpness, contrast, etc) as well as ranking and sorting through photos after a shoot.

    I use my photo editor for doing more Photoshop work like head swaps (when that one kid isn’t smiling), removing blades of grass/powerlines, adding text, etc.

    For my developer,
    I was in your shoes a couple of years ago. I disliked Adobe’s subscription model, and all the free programs (GIMP, Darktable, RAWTherapee) felt clunky, not organized well, and hard to use. So I went shopping.
    Fortunately, a lot of photographers don’t like Adobe either, so there are a number of companies offering subscription free services.

    I tried Apple Photos, Corel Aftershot, Luminar, and On1 Photo. At that year, Luminar felt like the best option as it just felt simpler and it was easier for me I believe to get a good edit on the image. Unfortunately, as I grew in my photography skills, I needed a way to organize my photos and quickly cull them… and Luminar really fell pathetically short on this area.

    I also discovered that On1 had progressed leaps and bounds just in a year and it was way better than Luminar. Additionally, it had a solid cataloguing/image preview feature so I was able to cull through a lot of images quickly.

    I’ve been very happy with ON1—you buy it once, it’s yours forever, and you can purchase the upgrades only if you want to. It has a lot of great features.

    For my editor,
    I was also in your shoes.
    GIMP is very feature rich and very capable… but like most free programs, it’s slow and not organized well. Doesn’t mean it’s not usable, it can just be hard to use.

    I wasn’t going to spend $10 a month on Adobe Photoshop, so I went shopping and stumbled across Affinity Photo. It has just about everything Photoshop does, and it runs a lot smoother than GIMP. And it’s $50 one time.

    All that said! Logan’s recommendations for people wanting to get into photography more seriously as a hobby or for work:
    Photo sorter/developer:
    On1 Photo RAW
    $99, but they do a lot of sales throughout the year. I got mine for I think $60 in September. Right now for Cyber Monday it’s going for $79.

    Photo Editor:
    $49, right now there’s also a sale so you might be able to get few bucks off.

    Hope this helps!


    James Staddon

    That’s a great LR/PS alternative right there, @loganlamar. If I wasn’t into the business of photography (ie. making more than $10/mo from my photography) then that’s probably the route I would take too.

    Kazuki Maeda

    Hi Logan,

    Thank you so much. I’ve also stumbled upon Affinity and was considering it if I was to upgrade to a better version. I’ll keep in mind that I should have a developer and an editor. I will look into some more and compare all of them.

    Thanks again for the helpful info!


    Ezra Morley

    All Affinity products are on sale for 50% off right now, and you can also get a free 90 day trial if you want to “try before you buy”.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

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