Photography requires some post production, as seen by the plethora of filters and “photoshopped” photos out there. Just check out most Instagram photos and you will see that they have been edited to an extent. Some of the photos have more post processing effects than actual photography. Regardless, each photo needs some adjustment and there is rarely even one which is perfect out of the box (or sensor, in most cases). With that out of the way, here are the best photo editing apps you can buy and use today.
There is a reason as to why every edited photo is called photoshopped, and the reason is that Photoshop was the first software to offer extensive editing options, and to this day is the most popular one. Adobe is the king of the hill when it comes to photo editing software, with Photoshop standing at the top, as one of the first, if not the best programs you can download and use on multiple platforms. Masking, layering, Photoshop does a lot of things right. It is funny because one of its main competitors is another Adobe program.
Lightroom is the lightweight variant of Photoshop. Well, not exactly, but it is nowhere nearly as complex and as hard to master as Photoshop is. It offers most of the things you can do with Photoshop, but it is really user-oriented. Being easier to master, it is the first tool in the minds of most new photographers and editors and even senior ones. Both are available with the Adobe Creative Cloud plan, so you can purchase them together.
The Gnu Image Manipulation Program or GIMP is an open source, cross-platform software for image manipulation, as the name suggests. The reason why it makes this list is because it is very powerful. Its design and layout were tremendously complex and difficult to navigate and manage during its first couple of years. Today, it is much easier to use and offers lots of options. For a photographer on a budget, this is the right tool for the job.
Skylum’s Luminar is the equivalent of “if you can’t beat them, join them”, but with a bit of a catch. It can be used as an addon for Photoshop and Lightroom. It is a very simple tool which is used to edit photos, which has a slider, backed by an AI, to help you edit photos in a very simple way. Being a plugin, you can use it with the most popular software out there, seamlessly integrating it into the number one and number two programs for photo editing. Luminar is an example of not just good software, but a good business move.
These are some of the best programs for photo editing which you can download for free even. There are more programs, especially the ones you can use on mobile devices, but for any serious work, these ones should be considered the top choices.