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21 Best Photo Editing Software for New Photographers (2021)


Discover the best photo editing software for beginners and expert photographers to create stunning photos that are worth to be seen.

Best Photo Editing Software for New Photographers

The whole graphics design industry around the world is worth a whopping $48 billion and has averaged an increase of 2.8% since 2016.

For professional photographers, image editing isn’t covered by the regular tools offered by mobile devices.

With individuals and businesses willing to pay good money for stunning photos and designs, there is a need for more sophisticated tools to consistently meet up with demands. 

A lot of supplementary image editing programs are available in the market today, however, the question remains. 

Which photo editing software is the best and which is suitable for each photographer’s needs and expertise?

Selecting an image editor is no easy job and while some are suitable for beginners, others offer more advanced features for experienced designers.

This article seeks to clear the air and presents a list of image editing software for different levels of expertise and special graphics design needs.

What is the Best Photo Editing Software?

1. Adobe Photoshop

Most Popular And Fully-Featured Image Editing Software, Best For Advanced Graphics Designers

Most Popular And Fully Featured Image Editing Software, Best For Advanced Graphics Designers

Launched in 1987, Adobe Photoshop enjoys the exclusive position of being the first-ever computerized image editor.

Over the years Adobe Photoshop has evolved with modernization and remains one of the most predominant image editing software in the market today.

The photo editing software offers a massive number of features and services for graphics designers to showcase immense creativity.  

AI-powered tools and expert Help menus give designers easier and more creative capabilities as well as great support to improve in their graphics design journeys.

The software offers over 1,000 paintbrushes consisting of regular paint brushes, Keith Haring-inspired brushes, and even custom-made brushes, giving users the ultimate freedom to express creativity.

Applying 3D effects is made seamless with the software. 

A dedicated 3D workspace provides specialized tools for creating 3D graphic designs and applying animated 3D effects on images.

However, the software comes with one unavoidable downside.

Its user interface proves to be difficult to navigate for beginners and may take a while to get used to.

This feature is evidently due to the massive list of tools available for users to choose from and, luckily, the software provides an appropriate solution to this.

Users can create customized workspaces equipped with favorite tools, making image and graphics designing simple, faster, and more comfortable. 

Pricing

Adobe Photoshop Pricing Plan

Adobe Photoshop comes with a 30 day free trial across a series of pricing plans.

The software’s pricing scheme is spread across three different categories; Individuals, Students & Teachers, and Business.

Each category comes with differing feature sets and the Individual pricing plan offers users a chance to combine Adobe Photoshop with Adobe Lightroom for more basic image editing features.

Benefits

  • Extensive, AI-powered filters and effects
  • Over 1000 brushes to choose from
  • Customizable brushes
  • Customizable workspace
  • Cloud-based editing and sharing
  • Combination with Adobe Lightroom
  • A creative community for tutorials and expert advice

2. Corel PaintShop Pro 2020

Best Image Editing Software For Photographers

Corel PaintShop Pro is the best Image Editing Software For Photographers

Corel PaintShop Pro is an equally powerful photo editing software in the market.

Extensively harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence, the software gives users a massive selection of powerful preset tools to choose from.

The latest version of Corel PaintShop provides specialized workspaces for photographers to effortlessly take image editing to a whole new level.

Firstly, AI HDR Studio provides preset AI-powered tools for photographers to give their images, no matter the scale, detailed, ultra-high-quality effect.

Its Sea-To-Sky™ Workspace allows photographers to easily and extensively edit underwater photographs and drone captures to a whole new level.

Corel PaintShop also offers features for classic and contemporary artists to show creative prowess.

Its Painter® Essentials™7 workspace gives users preset tools for creating classic oil, pastel, and impressionist designs and also applying these effects on images.

The PhotoMirage™ Express gives users the tools to apply awesome animated effects on images.

All these, combined with other AI-powered tools give photographers and designers seamless specialized image editing and graphics design options to choose from.

Corel PaintShop also provides powerful time-saving tools that allow users to process and edit a massive number of images at the same time.

Users are provided extensive learning materials, royalty-free images, and file-sharing compatibility, among other features, giving them the support needed in the photo editing business.

Pricing

Corel PaintShop Pro Pricing Plan

Users enjoy a 30-day money-back guarantee upon completing a one-time $79.99 purchase of any of Corel PaintShop’s image editing software.

Benefits

  • Great AI-Powered tools dedicated to Photographers
  • 360-degree photo editing
  • Easy to use image-editing options
  • Batch image processing
  • RAW image processing
  • File sharing optimization
  • Learning materials

3. Skylum Luminar

Image Editing Software With Great Plugins

Skylum Luminar is an Image Editing Software With Great Plugins

Skylum Luminar is one of the new image editing software making waves in the market today.

Intending to massively ease-out image editing activities, Skylum provides a host of revolutionary and AI-powered features and tools to designers.

Users can get to edit images, including RAW pictures, both on a downloaded software program and a web browser.

The Skylum Luminar interface offers easy navigation to users, giving beginners a great platform to commence their creative design journey.

The image editor offers specialized AI-tools workspaces, allowing users to quickly apply effects to images without having to do much.

Some of these AI tools include a Sunrays tool which allows users to add stunning Sunray effects to images.

AI-Augmented Sky tool allows users to seamlessly add objects to the sky in images and an AI Sky Enhancer tool that allows users to change the whole look of the sky and gives it a more dramatic effect.

Its AI-powered image editing tools don’t stop there. Skylum Luminar offers different slider tools that allow users to immediately apply amazing effects to images.

These slider tools range from a skin enhancer to a structure enhancer to many more.

Alongside supporting a massive range of image formats, Skylum Luminar offers plugins that help to integrate other image editing software like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom, among others.

Pricing

Skylum Luminar Membership Plan

Skylum Luminar offers one-time purchase plans on three different levels.

The highest plan offers a combination of the Luminar 4 editor with the Luminar AI and Aurora HDR editor.

All pricing plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Benefits

  • Specialized AI-powered preset workspaces
  • AI-powered sliders for quick image editing
  • Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom plugins
  • Extensive image format support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

4. Adobe Lightroom

Best Dedicated Image Editing Software For Beginners

Adobe Lightroom is the best Dedicated Image Editing Software For Beginners

If Adobe Photoshop seems too advanced for designers, Adobe Lightroom offers beginners a simple, user-friendly interface alongside extended image editing options.

Through proper, strategic tool organization, its workspace serves a lot of useful features without overwhelming users.

Users get access to their image library and history on the left-hand panel, important drop-down menus on the right-hand panel, and all the basic/advanced tools on a horizontal tab at the top of the workspace.

The centralized workspace gives users and beginners the easy access they need for quick and basic image editing activities.

The image editor also offers very useful, interactive tutorials through a walkthrough when a module or element is clicked on for the first time.

Users also get a chance to invite other designers and collaborate on editing an image.

Presets and batch processing also allows users to save time while editing a massive amount of images.

Without trading functionality for ease of use, Adobe Lightroom offers both beginners and advanced users all the tools needed to produce excellent images.

Pricing

Adobe Lightroom Pricing Plan

Adobe Lightroom offers three different pricing plans; a Lightroom plan and two varying Photography plans.

Each plan offers a monthly payment and gives users different features with the two Photography plans differentiated by the amount of cloud storage offered to users.

Benefits

  • Great editor for beginners with centralized workspace
  • Preset and customizable sliders
  • Batch processing
  • File sharing and collaboration
  • Step by step, interactive tutorial
  • Photo organization

5. Skylum Aurora HDR

Photo Editor Optimized For Creating Ultra High-Quality Images

Skylum Aurora HDR Photo Editor Optimized For Creating Ultra High Quality Images

Skylum Aurora HDR is a photo editing software that allows users to edit images and produce stunning high-quality effects.

The photo editing software makes use of 20+ AI-powered, specialized tools to give designers all they need to create amazing high-definition photographs and effects.

These tools include HDR Denoise that allows users to eliminate noise and maintain a clean, high-quality image.

HDR Smart Structure allows users to create depth in images and give amazing detail to the elements in an image. 

Skylum Aurora also provides an HDR Clarity tool powered by Artificial Intelligence and allows users to easily edit the contrast of a part of the image without affecting the whole image.

These AI-powered tools come with sliders that ensure that users get to apply HDR effects with tremendous ease and efficiency.

Alongside RAW picture compatibility, Skylum Aurora offers over 80 unique presets that allow users to apply high-definition effects on images with just one click.

Skylum Aurora HDR also offers powerful layers and blending modes as well as batch processing, allowing users to save time and energy while creating stunning, high-definition images.

The photo editing software serves as a stand-alone program and a plug-in, allowing users of other image editors, like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom, to integrate its awesome HDR features into their favorite software.

Pricing

Skylum Aurora HDR Pricing Plan

Skylum Aurora offers two one-time purchase plans to interested users; Aurora HDR and Luminar 4 plus Aurora HDR.

Each plan allows users to make use of the software on up to 5 separate devices and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee upon purchasing it.

Benefits 

  • Easy to use HDR editing options
  • 20+ tools for creating HDR effects
  • Over 80 unique presets for easy, one-click editing
  • Noise cleaning and enhanced HDR details
  • RAW support
  • Serves as a plug-in on other Image Editing software

6. Canva

Photo Editor With A Tremendous Amount Of Preset Templates To Choose From

Canva is a Photo editor with a tremendous amount of preset templates

Canva is another photo editing software that has amassed a huge customer base over the years.

It allows users to create professional designs by offering awesome, easy to use and effective image-editing and graphics design tools and options.

What makes canvas popular is its collection of over 420,000 preformatted templates and

75 million professional stock images, allowing users to instantly create graphic designs in the template of their choice.

Canva also organizes its templates and stock images in properly categorized groups and allows users to search for the template of their choice.

These options help users to filter through the massive number of images and templates made available to them.

Users get to easily create stunning designs through its drag-and-drop editor and also input texts, background, and layouts from the main workspace.

To ensure users get all the guidance they need to be the best at what they do, Canva also provides an educational blog and online design school where beginners can get to master the art of graphic designing.

Pricing 

Canva Pricing Plan

Canva offers users its services on three different plans; a Free plan and monthly Pro and Enterprise plans.

Its Free plan offers users over 250,000 preset templates to choose from, making it a great choice for beginners to start from.

Canva’s Pro plan provides users with over 420,000 templates and 75 million stock images to choose from.

Its Enterprise plan is suitable for large, collaborative teams and also provides access to expert support and unlimited cloud storage. 

Benefits

  • Over 420,000 templates and 75 million stock images to choose from
  • Free plan with over 250,000 templates to choose from
  • Drag-and-drop editor
  • Photo transparency and enhancer tools

7. PicMonkey

Best Image Editor For Social Media Images And Designs

PicMonkey is the best Image editor for social media Images and designs

PicMomkey is a photo editor that is optimized to allow its users to create images and designs that are specially dedicated to different, popular social media platforms.

As well as automatic sizing for different social media platforms, Users get access to create mesmerizing photo collages through its user-friendly interface.

It also allows users to create logos and business cards, giving them a platform to organize and build a brand.

PicMonkey offers over 9,000 vector shapes and textures for users to use in creating a wide range of amazing designs.

It provides hundreds of fonts and thousands of preset templates, allowing users to quickly create template designs without having to go through a lot of hassle.

Users also have access to a massive amount of stock images and videos to choose from through PicMonkey’s partnerships with Unsplash, Pixabay, and iStock from Getty.

Pricing

PicMonkey Pricing Plan

PicMonkey offers a 7-day free trial to users which allows them to test the different tools and features before upgrading to a paid plan.

Its paid plans are spread across three different schemes; Basic, Pro, and Team.

All plans can be paid monthly but PicMonkey offers a discount offer when users choose to subscribe on a yearly basis.

Benefits

  • Great for social media designs
  • Good selection of preset templates
  • Automatic resizing for different social media platforms
  • Stock images and videos sourced from popular platforms
  • Advanced Touch-up tools
  • Mobile optimization for easy design creation and editing
  • Direct printing

Image Editing Software For Animated Images/ GIFs

Cyberlink PhotoDirector is an Image editing Software for animated Images GIFs

Cyberlink PhotoDirector is an image editing software that harnesses the power of Artificial Intelligence to make still images come to life.

The image editing software focuses on inputting animations into still images, combining the visual effects of both moving and still elements on one image.

Cyberlink PhotoDirector effects like Dispersion and Photo Animation are a couple of its extensive animative effects that help users achieve immersive image editing goals.

Its Lightray and Glitch effects allow users to seamlessly input eye-catching visuals into images without breaking a sweat.

Cyberlink PhotoDirector also makes use of AI-powered tools to provide users with intuitive solutions to some image editing hurdles.

AI Person Segmentation allows users to easily extract the visual element of a human from the rest of the visual elements in a photograph, allowing users to boycott the long process of having to manually cut it out.

AI Style Effects applies intelligent brush strokes to give a masterclass artistry effect without the effort of users.

AI Sky Replacement allows users to seamlessly replace the sky element in an image and also add corresponding and complementary effects to the rest of the image.

Cyberlink PhotoDirector also offers users loads of stock images and preset templates to choose from and get inspired by.

Users are also provided with video editing software features that allow them to take out a frame from a video, convert it to a quality, still image, and apply mesmerizing effects and animations, making it a good choice for video editing and YouTube content creators.

Pricing

Cyberlink PhotoDirector Pricing Plan

Cyberlink PhotoDirector offers users two different proving schemes; New User and Upgrade User.

Each scheme is separated into two plans; PhotoDirector 12 Ultra and PhotoDirector 19 Ultimate + PhotoDirector 12 Ultra.

The highest plan offers users both its dedicated video editor alongside its image editor and all plans are one-time purchases.

Benefits

  • Amazing image animation effects
  • Person segmentation AI Tool
  • Easy to use AI-powered tools
  • Stock audio, image, and template library

9. Capture One

Offers Quick Editing Options Through Keyboard Shortcuts

Capture One Offers Quick Editing Options Through Keyboard Shortcuts

Capture One image editor focuses on providing its users with speedy image editing and advanced color profiles and options.

With just keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys, users can use its Speed Edit feature to quickly apply great effects to images without touching any slider or tool on the screen. 

Users are also able to edit multiple photos at the same time with the software’s Batch Edit option.

Capture One offers users a massive collection of professional editing features suitable for both basic and advanced users and designers.

It provides users with a basic, intuitive color editing panel for beginners and also an advanced, comprehensive panel for advanced users, allowing for a greater color range and design precision.

Capture One also offers a massive list of details and lens profiles that allow users to apply sharpening effects to images and produce clean results.

Alongside its detail-sharpening tools, noise-canceling effects, and many others, the image editor offers users custom camera profiles for different Cameras like Sony and Nikon, giving users more custom image editing options and ease.

Capture One provides powerful adjustment tools, up to 16 Layers and Masks, as well as intuitive brush effects, allowing users to apply extensive cover-up effects on imperfect images.

What more? Users are allowed to customize workspaces and are provided photo management tools to make image access and editing even easier.

Pricing

Capture One Pricing Plan

Capture One offers users pricing plans on four different plans.

These plans are divided based on the camera intended to be used; plans specialized for FujiFilm cameras, Sony cameras, Nikon cameras, and a General plan for every camera.

Users also enjoy a 30-day free trial and users can either choose to purchase the product or subscribe monthly.

Benefits

  • Hotkey editing feature
  • Batch processing
  • Dedicated optimizations for selected cameras
  • Customizable Workspace
  • Color editing panels for both basic and advanced users

10. DesignWizard

Photo Editing Software That Provides Extensive Features For Guiding Users

DesignWizard is a photo editing software that provides extensive features for guiding users

DesignWizard is another easy-to-use image editor that allows users to quickly create graphic designs and edit videos and images in minutes.

The photo editor focuses on providing preset templates, stock images, and designs that help to guide users in their graphics design activities.

It provides a library of over 1 million images, illustrations, and graphic designs that users can get inspired from.

The image editor also provides its users with exemplary video content to guide them in creating stunning video effects.

Users are provided with customizable, ready-made templates that allow them to change backgrounds, images, videos, fonts, and also input logos and captions.

DesignWizard makes sure that all its content is copyright-free and licensed for commercial use, giving users enough protection while they make use of images from its massive library.

The photo editor also features a library of specialized templates for social media platforms, special events, and business.

Users get to quickly create professional business cards, birthday cards, party invites as well as videos and images optimized for different social media platforms.

Pricing

DesignWizard Pricing Plan

DesignWizard offers users its services on three subscription plans; a free plan called Basic, a Pro plan, and a Business plan.

Users can choose to subscribe to each paid plan monthly or annually, with a 25% discount given on annual subscriptions.

A 7-day free trial is also offered to users on the Pro and Business plans and users can purchase premium images for $1 on the basic plan.

Benefits

  • Over 1 million stock images and videos
  • Free pricing plan
  • Pay As You Go image purchase
  • Customizable, specialized templates for quick design creation

11. ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate

Makes Extensive Use Of AI-Powered Facial Recognition Tools

ACDSee Photo Studio makes Extensive use of AI powered facial recognition tools

ACDSee Studio has been in the industry since 1994 and, in 2019, released a new, advanced version; ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate, which is starting to make a name for itself.

The image editing software is dedicated to giving photographers the right tools for editing images with high precision.

ADCSee Studio Ultimate provides users with enough tools for digital asset management, giving them a chance to be able to sort, organize and share photographs without the need for an external platform.

It provides an advanced facial recognition tool that allows users to label images according to the faces inherent in them.

This tool enables users to seamlessly find and sort these images, saving them from the need to tediously and manually skim through a massive number of images.

Users can also import image data from Adobe Lightroom and Picasa and automatically sort these images through the facial recognition tool.

Batch processing is also given great attention by ACDSee Studio Ultimate.

Users can easily and speedily resize, rename, crop, and add watermarks to a host of images at the same time.

ACDSee Studio also supports RAW image processing from over 500 camera models and also provides platforms for tutorials, community content, and interactive live-video workshops.

Pricing

ACDSee Photo Studio Pricing Plan

ACDSee Studio allows users to choose between three pricing plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee on each plan.

These include; A Home plan with monthly and yearly subscriptions; a Lifetime Licence plan with a one-time purchase offer and; a Home Pack 2021 plan with a one-time purchase offer and also 4 different ACDSee products.

Benefits

  • Highly useful facial recognition tool
  • RAW support for over 500 cameras
  • Extensive batch processing features and solutions
  • Extensive color editing tools

12. On1 Photo RAW

Photo Editing Software Dedicated To Portrait Editing

On1 Photo RAW is a Photo editing Software Dedicated to Portrait editing

On1 Photo RAW makes use of an abundance of AI-powered tools to give its users a fast, hassle-free image editing experience.

Portrait editing is made easy with its powerful engine and dedicated tools, allowing users to apply incredible effects to a long list of images at the same time.

The Portrait AI tool automatically recognizes faces in portraits and applies the right amount of effects to produce incredible, intriguing results.

The image editor also allows users to apply specialized effects to a wide variety of photo genres ranging from landscapes and wildlife to food, art, and architecture, among others.

On1 Photo RAW gives users incredible capabilities in making changes to the size of images through its Genuine Fractals® technology.

Users can quickly enlarge images without losing the sharpness and details of the image.

The image editor also allows users to create HDR images in the blink of an eye.

AI-powered layers and Masking tools as well as pano stitching and seamless text addition give users the ability to test out a variety of high-quality designs within the shortest period of time.

On1 Photo RAW also allows users to organize images, doesn’t require users to upload images before editing, and supports over 800 camera types and image formats.

Pricing

On1 Photo RAW Pricing Plan

On1 Photo RAW offers users two plans; a monthly subscription plan and a one-time purchase plan.

Interested individuals can also try out its product with a 14-day free trial.

Benefits

  • Sophisticated portrait editor
  • Batch image processing
  • Incredible HDR capabilities
  • Hundreds of presets
  • Supports over 800 camera types and image formats

13. DxO PhotoLab

Photo Editing Software With A Comprehensive Toolset

DxO PhotoLab is a photo editing software with a Comprehensive Toolset

DxO PhotoLab is another top-notch image editor that gives users powerful, AI-powered tools to produce stunning images with just a few clicks.

Its DXO DeepPRIME allows users to expertly denoise and demosaic images simultaneously to produce clean and sharp images.

Users also get to seamlessly erase haze and halo effects on images through its DxO ClearView Plus tool.

DxO PhotoLab also offers an advanced, AI-powered color wheel tool that allows users to quickly implement and test out different color schemes.

Users get to increase their creative efficiency through a personalized workspace and also a collection of over 40 carefully selected preset templates for different types of image sizes.

DxO PhotoLab also collaborates with Adobe Lightroom Classic to allow its users to easily transfer RAW images, providing an uninterrupted workflow between the two different platforms.

Image management is also made easy as users are allowed offline file access and keyword image management

Users can rename, add watermarks or reassign keywords to batches of images at the same time and also group different images into different project categories through the DxO PhotoLibrary.

Pricing

DxO PhotoLab Pricing Plan

DxO PhotoLab offers users its products on two different proving schemes; Essential and Elite.

Both plans are one-time purchases and interested users enjoy a 30-day free trial.

Benefits

  • Customizable Workspaces
  • Advanced Optical corrections
  • Straightforward image management tool
  • Batch processing
  • Carefully selected design templates
  • Integration with Adobe Lightroom Classic

14. Pixlr Editor

Online Image Editing Software With Free, Effective Background Removal Tool

Pixlr Editor is an online Image Editing Software With Free and Effective Background Removal Tool

Pixlr Editor is an image editing web-app that allows its users to edit photos through their web browser, anywhere, anytime, and on any device and has enjoyed the patronage of over 500 million users worldwide.

Pixlr Editor provides users with AI-powered tools that allow users to make quick, intuitive, yet professional designs and image edits.

Users get to easily remove the background in an image, remove hair, and lots more with just one click through its Pixlr BG workspace.

Sliders and switches are also provided by Pixlr Editor to give users very simple image editing tasks without having to sacrifice achieving stunning results.

Pixlr Editor also provides two different workspaces; Pixlr X and Pixlr E, distinguished for beginners and advanced designers, allowing for broader image editing options.

Users are also provided over 2 million effects, an array of customizable preset templates, and a library of overlays, texts, and stickers to add to images.

Pricing

Pixlr Editor Pricing Plan

Pixlr offers users a Free plan, Premium plan, and Professional plan and all plans are available on a monthly subscription.

The free plan offers users access to basic image editing tools on its Pixlr X and Pixlr E platforms while its paid plans offer extended access to advanced image editing options as well as libraries of preset templates and images, among many others.

Benefits

  • Image editing options On-The-Go
  • Customizable user interface
  • Over 2 million image effects
  • Dedicated, AI-powered background removal platform

15. Gimp

Free, Open Source Photo Editing Software With Basic Image Editing Options

Gimp is a Free and Open Source Photo Editing Software With Basic Image Editing Options

Gimp is an open-source image editing software that offers users pro-level features free of charge and proves to be a great choice for beginners in the image editing market.

The image editor allows users to change its source code and distribute the modified software to other members of its community of users.

Gimp provides users with tools for sophisticated, high-quality image manipulation that allows them to retouch and restore images and also create amazing visuals and designs.

Artists are given competent tools to apply intriguing effects to images and also create impressive logos, icons, and design elements for different interfaces.

Advanced users are also provided with a code-based workspace that supports multiple programming languages including C, C++, Python, and many others.

This advanced workspace allows users to edit images and create graphic designs with great precision.

Alongside a built-in file manager, users also enjoy a customizable workspace, giving them a lot of control, freedom, and convenience in image editing activities.

Gimp also offers great color management features through integrations with 3rd party plugins like Scribus, Inkscape, and SwatchBooker.

Pricing

Gimp is absolutely free and runs on open-source community development.

Benefits

  • Extensive features provided for free
  • Code-based workspace for advanced graphic designers
  • Built-in file manager
  • Customizable workspace
  • Free plugins for extended image editing

16. Alien Skin Exposure X6

Image Editing Software Offering Customizable Effects And GPU-based Processing

Alien Skin Exposure X6 is an Image Editing Software Offering Customizable Effects And GPU based Processing

Alien Skin Exposure X6 is another image editing software that offers photographers a wide range of professional photo editing tools and features.

The image editing software offers users an extensive selection of over 500 preset Effects that allow users to apply changes to images in the blink of an eye.

Not only are these presets effects clean and eye-catching, but users are also allowed to customize any effects of their choice and save for future use, giving them enough freedom in creating the precise effect needed.

Alongside brushing and masking tools, Alien Skin Exposure X6 offers a powerful color editor that helps users to apply precise colors and also provides users with non-destructive layers, allowing for seamless adjustments and edits.

The image editor also ensures that the workflow of users is as smooth and can be.

Alien Skin Exposure X6 exploits the power of the GPU to ensure that users can focus on smooth edits as fast as possible.

Users spend less time waiting for effects to apply and spend more time creating amazing images.

The image editor’s user interface is also designed to improve the workflow of users.

Every tool and feature needed is placed on a single user interface, giving users quick access to different editing options without having to switch between different modules.

This workspace is also customizable, allowing users to get rid of excess features and focus on the tools and editing options that matter most to them.

Alien Skin Exposure X6 supports RAW images, includes Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom plugins, and also supports batch image organization through keywords.

Pricing

Exposure software Pricing Plan

Alien Skin Exposure X6 offers users two major one-time purchase plans; Exposure X6 and Exposure X6 Bundle.

The Exposure X6 plan comes with a free trial and users can increase their editing toolset by purchasing extra plugins.

Benefits

  • User-friendly interface
  • One-click, customizable presets and filters
  • Customizable workspaces
  • Smart image organization and management
  • GPU optimized

17. Adobe Photoshop Elements

Image Editing Software Focusing On Extensive Image Organisation Options

Adobe Photoshop Elements is an Image editing software focusing on extensive Image organisation options

Adobe Photoshop Elements is an image editor designed for beginners and non-professionals to access powerful photo editing options through a more simple and easy-to-use user interface.

Through AI-powered smart editing options, beginners and new users can organize, create, edit and share images without any hassle.

The Adobe Sensei AI technology is the tool that helps in making this possible.

The Adobe Sensei AI technology helps users to find and organize photos and videos using facial recognition and smart tags, among others.

The organized image and video catalogs of users are also automatically backed up, allowing them to work on image edits and graphic design worry-free.

Users are also provided with step-by-step guides as well as up to 58 presets Templates that direct users in their image editing activities. 

These intuitive guides and presets allow users to achieve wonderful designs without having them do any guesswork or tedious tasks.

Adobe Photoshop Elements Print and Gift Service allows users to print high-quality designs directly from the software and also share them with other individuals.

The image editor also harnesses the power of Artificial Intelligence to change the colors in an image, remove background elements, clean images and make impressive one-click edits to images.

Pricing

Adobe Photoshop Elements Pricing Plan

Adobe Photoshop Elements separates its pricing scheme into two different plans; Photoshop Elements and Photoshop Elements & Premiere Elements.

Benefits

  • User-friendly interface
  • Powerful, easy to use tools
  • AI-powered image management tool
  • Quick color manipulation and background removal features
  • Direct printing service

18. Snappa

Online Image Editing Software With Specially Optimized, Preset Features

Snappa is an online Image Editing Software with Specially Optimized, Preset Features

Snappa is a web-based image editing software that allows designers to transform images on the go, without having to download or install any software.

Snappa offers users an intuitive, user-friendly interface that allows beginners and non-professionals to quickly make edits to images without any special learning.

Snappa focuses on providing its users with preset dimensions for different social media and online platforms.

Users are only one click away from getting the perfect image dimension that fits into social media posts, online ads, emails, and blogs, among others.

Snappa also offers customizable, professional preset templates that allow users to quickly create designs and boycott the whole tedious thinking involved.

Over 5 million copyright-free high-quality stock images, 200+ fonts, and 100,000+ design vectors and shapes are also provided to users, providing a massive list of design elements to play around with.

One-click background removals and resize options are provided to users, helping to save up time resources.

Snappa allows users to schedule and share graphic designs and edits on social media platforms without leaving the program.

Alongside its easy access, the image editor offers speedy photo editing options, easy-to-use features and a lot of preset templates, and royalty-free images to make graphics designing an easy job for non-professionals.

Pricing

Snappa Pricing Plan

Snappa offers three pricing plans; Starter, Pro, and Team.

The Starter plan is offered for free while the Pro and Team plans are subscription-based,  to be paid every month.

The Team plan allows up to five users to share the subscription and image editing services on different accounts and devices.

Benefits

  • On-the-go image editing software
  • User-friendly interface
  • Optimized for multiple social media and online platforms
  • Over 5 million stock images and preset templates
  • Drag-and-drop Editor
  • One-click background removal and resize options

19. PortraitPro

Photo Editing Software Dedicated To Editing Portrait Images

PortraitPro is a Photo Editing Software Dedicated to Editing Portrait Images

PortraitPro is a fast, easy-to-use photo editing software that focuses on providing portrait image editing features to users through the use of Artificial Intelligence.

The image editor provides an array of tools and features that are geared towards helping users to achieve beautiful and professional portrait edit results.

The Clone tool allows users to copy one area of the image to another, allowing for more color consistency and precision.

Lighting Brushes are also provided to allow users to add lighting effects, shadows and also alter and add new sources of light to portrait images.

PortraitPro’s ClearSkin™ technology allows users to edit an image subject’s skin texture by removing wrinkles and blemishes and also get rid of unwanted dark areas, allowing more consistency in skin color and texture. 

The image editor also offers users a digital makeup kit and automatic lighting effects that help to achieve fashion goals and create the best image effects in the shortest period of time. 

PortraitPro caps its comprehensive portrait edit options with an AI-powered hair selection and masking tool that allows users to change color or add highlights with just a few clicks.

PortraitPro supports RAW camera image files and is also optimized to allow seamless workflow streamlining with Adobe Photoshop.

Pricing

PortraitPro Pricing Plan

PortraitPro offers users three different pricing plans; Standard, Studio, and Studio Max.

Only the Studio and Studio Max plans allow users to edit RAW camera images and also process images in batches.

Benefits

  • Extensive portrait editing options
  • RAW file support
  • Adobe Photoshop Optimization
  • Sky replacement tool
  • Sliders and one-click editing options
  • Advanced hair editing tool

20. Fotor

Online Photo Editor With Comprehensive Image Editing Options

Fotor is an online photo editor with comprehensive Image editing options

Fotor is a cloud-based image editing software, has been patronized by over 450 million users worldwide, and helps both beginners and advanced users in creating personal and professional image edits.

Fotor hosts a variety of image editing tools and features on its online platform and allows users to achieve a wide range of image editing goals.

From quality image collages to portrait retouching, users are given ample tools in applying great effects to personal images.

One-click filters and resizing options allow users to add stunning effects to images in the blink of an eye and achieve more in a smaller time frame.

Users are also provided with over 1 million stock images to help in their graphic design activities.

Over 100,000 preset templates are offered to reduce the creative stress involved in developing professional graphic designs.

These templates also include presets for various social media platforms and are easily customizable with just a few clicks.

Fotor provides a drag-and-drop editor that allows users to add different preset shapes, hundreds of fonts, stickers, and other quick design tools for cloning and transparency, among others.

The image editor also supports HDR image editing, RAW image processing and offers users several beneficial blog posts and tutorials to help them improve in graphics designing.

Pricing

Fotor Pricing Plan

Fotor offers its features both on a free and Pro plan with the free plan offering basic, quick edit options and the Pro subscription plans offering more advanced features.

The Pro subscription plans can either be paid monthly or annually, with users enjoying over 50% discount on the annual payment scheme.

Users also enjoy a 7-day free trial on the Pro plan.

Benefits

  • On-the-go image editing options
  • Stunning one-click filters 
  • Extensive portrait retouching 
  • Quick and intuitive collage creation tool
  • RAW file support
  • Over 1 million stock images and 100,000+ preset templates
  • HDR image editing options

21. Inkscape

Free, Open-Source Software With Basic Image Editing And Graphics Design Features

Inkscape is an open source image editing software that is free of charge and remains a good choice for beginners

Inkscape is another open-source image editing software that is free of charge and remains a good choice for beginners and vector illustrators.

The image editor provides flexible, freehand drawing tools for creating curves, straight lines, and calligraphy, and also provides ready-to-use shapes for quick and easy graphics designs.

Users are also allowed to make use of embedded bitmaps in design objects and cloning tools to quickly duplicate an object or design without having to go through the same amount of work.

Bitmap tracing and multiple elements conversion to paths provide users with further extensive design options.

Inkscape provides both interactive and manual object transformation.

Users can either move, rotate or resize an object by just interacting directly with it or by manually inputting numeric values, making precision easier to accomplish.

Inkscape also provides a long list of color manipulation and text options that give users great control in creating a design just they want.

The image editor offers a fully anti-aliased display and also provides a drag-and-drop design feature that allows for easy and satisfying image editing activities.

Inkscape also supports multiple file formats and allows users to export or convert images through a command line module

As open-source software, Inkscape is subject to frequent development by coders in its image editing community and is open to erratic feature upgrades.

The image editor is available for Linux and Windows operating systems and allows users to customize workspaces to suit their design needs.

Pricing

Inkscape is an open-source software and is absolutely free.

Benefits

  • Free design tools for both beginners and coders
  • Drag-and-drop editor
  • Good for vector illustrations
  • Bitmap and cloning tools

What is Photo Editing Software?

The general term, “photo editing”, entails all the activities involved in altering photographs or images, including both physical and digital photographs.

The human world has developed thanks to the advent of computers and every part of human life has been duly impacted.

A photo editing software is a computerized program and tool that allows photographers and designers to alter digital images to suit their artistic desires.

In 1987, Adobe released the first computerized photo editing software, Photoshop, and the art hasn’t remained the same since then. 

These image editing programs are widely spread out today and can be found on our favorite personal devices.

Mobile devices and personal computers are equipped with basic image editing options that allow individuals to resize, crop, rotate, and apply fun but limited effects to images.

However, image editing has gone beyond just applying basic effects and a lot of programs have been developed to provide advanced image and graphics designing options.

Now, image editing software programs allow users to create images and designs from scratch, make pixel-level adjustments, organize images and apply effects to multiple images at the same time.

The integration of artificial intelligence with photo editing software has given designers extensive capabilities and made image manipulation quicker, easier, and more fulfilling.

Which Features Should I Look For in a Photo Editing Software?

A lot of advanced image editors are in the market today and choosing one software may be a tough task for many.

While some offer great features and options for beginners, others are more optimized for advanced image manipulation.

However, certain features are essential for professionals, no matter the qualification, to enjoy satisfying image editing activities.

Making sure a chosen image editing software offers certain features will reduce any possibility of regret for new and advanced professional designers.

Some of these features include:

1. Extensive Toolset

The collection of tools offered by a photo editing software is the most important feature to look out for.

While some image editing software offer specialized tools and features, others offer more comprehensive toolsets.

Making use of a photo editing software that offers users features that cover a wide range of design types is always a step in the right direction.

Designers are not limited to specific design options but are given a chance to explore more unfamiliar areas and design techniques.

Post production software poll results

For instance, PortraitPro image editor gives its users advanced, specialized portrait editing tools and features but lacks in other areas of image editing like landscape image editing and graphics designing.

Adobe Photoshop, on the other hand, offers a very comprehensive toolset that also offers users sufficient portrait editing options.

Extensive toolsets allow designers to improve on their image editing skills, expand areas of expertise and be one of the best at what they do.

2. AI-Powered Tools

We have come to a point where life has been made much easier than it was decades ago.

Artificial Intelligence is one of the defining factors of our modern world and different image editing software have harnessed its power to great use.

Artificial intelligence allows users to accomplish the most difficult tasks in the shortest amount of time.

A lot of AI-powered tools and features have been dedicated to complete different specific tasks and improve the productivity of designers.

Some of these common AI-powered tools help to make different activities like sky replacement, background removal, and portrait editing, among others, way easier than they ever were.

Selecting an image editing software with AI-powered tools helps to make image design activities quicker and hassle-free.

Making use of an AI-powered image editor also allows designers to accomplish more advanced image editing tasks like applying HDR effects.

3. Customizable User Interface

More times than not, image editing professionals and graphics designers require a user-friendly interface to ease out their jobs.

Advanced users who require extensive toolsets may be comfortable with packed workspaces but beginners and specialized designers require easy access to tools that are important to them.

While some photo editing software like Lightroom are optimized to present easily navigable workspaces, others like Adobe Photoshop don’t have this liberty due to the massive amount of tools and features being offered by them.

It is in this whole scenario that customizable workspaces come into play.

Acknowledging the need for a more user-friendly interface, different photo editing software allow users to personalize workspaces and make sure that they have easy access to their favorite tools.

Selecting an image editing software that offers customizable workspaces gives less advanced users more power even in the most complex of image editors.

The time required to complete tasks is productively spent and users avoid getting overwhelmed with features that can be comfortably done away with.

4. Preset Templates and Stock Images

Preset templates and stock images are important features for graphic designers who wish to create effective designs without having to go through a lot of tedious creative work.

They allow for quicker image editing activities and give users the luxury of seeing how designs will turn out before committing valuable time and resources.

A lot of image editing software programs offer preset templates but the amount and range of these template designs matter.

Some image editors offer hundreds of preset templates, others offer thousands while others offer hundreds of thousands of customizable preset templates.

In the same vein, while others offer general templates, others offer dedicated templates for social media, business cards, and party invites, among many other design needs.

Choosing a photo editor that offers a massive amount of preset templates covering a wide range of functions gives users enough options to be inspired by and also makes image and graphics designing much easier.

Stock images also make the task of outsourcing for appropriate, copyright-free images way easier and, like templates, selecting a photo editor with a massive amount of stock images is the right thing to do.

5. Image Management Tools

Image organization and management are equally important features to look out for in any photo editing software.

Efficient image organization makes finding, grouping, and editing images easier.

Different photo editing software offer intuitive tools that harness the power of Artificial Intelligence to make image management seamless.

These advanced tools make use of facial recognition and batch processing, among other features, to group images and make sure users enjoy easy image management activities.

Collaborative image editing and file sharing are also great image management features that give users more control and effectiveness in their image design activities.

Designers should ensure that any chosen photo editor offers sufficient and hassle-free image management features and tools that help them save time and effort.

Global Photo Editing Software Market 2019 to 2023
Source: Businesswire

6. Image Format Compatibility

The format compatibility range of any photo editing software, both in input and output, should also be taken into consideration.

Image editing programs are differentiated by the type of image format supported both for import and export purposes.

For instance, while some image editing software programs allow users to import and make changes to RAW image files, others are not optimized to support these types of images.

Selecting a photo editing software that supports a comprehensive list of image formats helps designers to avoid annoying incompatibility issues.

Photo editing software programs offer a lot more features that make image and graphics designing a fulfilling exercise.

However, these are the few important features that every user should look for in any image editing software to have a competent array of image editing tools.

Photo Editing Software FAQ

What is the best photo editing software for beginners?

Image editing software programs have become sophisticated and the massive amount of features offered may prove to be overwhelming to beginners.

Thankfully, some image editing programs are duly optimized to provide these sophisticated features in the most comfortable and minimalistic way possible.
Some of the best of these programs in the market include Adobe Lightroom, Skylum Luminar, and Gimp.

Adobe Lightroom offers its users a user-friendly, extensive, and centralized workspace dedicated to image editing as well as customizable presets and stunning slider effects that make quality image editing easier.

Skylum Luminar provides users with specialized workspaces powered by Artificial Intelligence to make both image editing and graphics designing as easy as it gets.

Gimp offers its competent services for free and allows new users to startup by practicing and improving their skills without having to spend a dime.

Beginner-friendly image editors are not limited to these and a lot more photo editing programs like Adobe Photoshop Elements and Pixlr Editor offer beginners the right platform to start from.

What is the best photo editing software for professionals?

While having easy-to-use features is a great thing for a lot of designers, to others, having extensive and more advanced features allows for increased precision.

Photo editing programs like Adobe Photoshop and Corel Paintshop Pro have been properly optimized to provide this level of advanced image editing and graphic design features.

Adobe Photoshop is the most popular photo editing software and offers an extensive collection of image editing and graphics designing options.

It compensates for its overwhelming user interface with a customizable workspace option that allows users that are familiar with its tools to remain as efficient and precise as possible. 

Corel PaintShop Pro grants its users massive AI-powered tools to achieve a wide range of stunning effects and design goals.

Advanced image editing programs are not limited to these and others like PortraitPro and On1 Photo RAW also offer users specialized image editing options for more precision.

What’s the difference between Photoshop and Lightroom?

Both Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom are great image editors, however, the main difference between these two programs is the level of image and graphic design processes offered.

Adobe Lightroom offers quick and efficient image editing tools for photographers and is suitable for beginners.

Adobe Photoshop, on the other hand, offers its users more advanced, complex tools for extended image manipulation and graphics designing.

Photoshop allows for more pixel-level precision and creative graphics designing while Adobe Lightroom offers quality and quick image organization and processing.

What software do most photographers use?

The most common image editing software among photographers is Adobe Lightroom.

Adobe Lightroom offers photographers quick, quality features and tools that are wholly dedicated to image editing.

This is because the image editor offers great tools and workspaces suitable for both beginners and professionals, unlike its more developed Adobe Photoshop counterpart that requires advanced knowledge.

Other image editors like PortraitPro and Corel PaintShop Pro are also common amongst photographers due to their extensive and powerful features dedicated to quick and easy Image manipulation.

How much does Photoshop cost?

Adobe Photoshop offers its services on three differently priced subscription plans; Individual, Students & Teachers, and Business.

The Individual plan costs $20.99/month while the Business plan costs $33.99/month.

The Students & Teachers plan offers users all the Adobe apps for 60% less at $19.99/month and is only available to members of institutions of learning.

Users also get to enjoy a 30-day free trial and are also offered plans that allow them to combine Adobe Photoshop with Adobe Lightroom.

Ready to Edit Stunning Photos Faster and Enjoy Being a Photograph Again?

Professional photo editing software programs are widespread today and offer photographers a lot of advanced options to choose from.

It is, however, important that individuals wishing to venture into the art of image editing take cognizance of the amount of functionality offered by the different pieces of image editing software.

Software programs like Adobe Lightroom and Skylum Luminar are great choices for beginners.

They offer dedicated, quick, and easy-to-use image editing options which produce stunning results.

Adobe Photoshop and Corel PaintShop Pro are more suited to support advanced users and professionals.

They offer both advanced image manipulation options and creative graphics designing tools for more experienced designers.

Other image editing software, like PortraitPro for instance, provides highly sophisticated tools and options dedicated to editing portrait images.

Acknowledging the needs of one’s profession as well as the amount of skill and creative prowess required to use the image editing software is the first and right step in the direction of success.

Written by
Martin Luenendonk
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