“In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.” - Alfred Stieglitz

Photo editing is becoming increasingly competitive and there are more and more functions and techniques appearing. Resizing, cropping, correcting imperfections, retouching, and treating images.

An increasing number of people have edited their photos. With this in mind, photo-editing software needs to be simple to use and powerful.

A photo editor needs to be able to do things as simple as red-eye reduction and treat the raw files.

Of all the photo editing software, some are more powerful than others.

Wondering which ones?

In this article, we're looking at some of the most popular photo editing packages available on the market!

Our Advice for Using Adobe Photoshop CC

Photoshop is already 29 years old! The pioneer of image editing software costs around £20 a month as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud and is considered the professional photo editing software.

Photoshop is considered to be an essential image editing programme. You can download it from Adobe.com in just a few clicks.

How do you use Photoshop?
Whether you've taken a portrait or landscape, you can use Adobe Photoshop to edit your photos. (Source: SplitShire)

The Photoshop Interface

So what’s the Photoshop interface all about?

It’s very busy, for one, as you can see everything you need to edit photos.

In the centre of your window, there’s the image that you’re working on. At the top of the screen, there’s the menu with all the buttons you see in other programmes including “file”, etc.

While you have to pay for Photoshop, the possibilities are seemingly endless. At the right of your screen, there are even more options. You can find tabs like “Properties” on the right of your screen.

Photoshop Functions

Even though Photoshop is a powerful and complex tool, you can get started with it quite easily. You can create a blank document or edit a preexisting photo.

For example, there are three ways to zoom in on a photo:

  • Hold down alt and scroll.
  • Click on “Tools” then “Zoom”.
  • Type in the level of zoom in the bottom left of the screen.

A programme has tonnes of special little features. Photo editing has never been so comprehensive. Of all the functions, here are some of the most common ones:

  • Cancel.
  • Resize a photo.
  • Make an image black and white.
  • Edit jpegs, gifs, or pngs.
  • Correct imperfections like redeye.
  • And many others!

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How Do You Use Lightroom?

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” - Elliott Erwitt

Photoshop Lightroom is one of the best image editor packages on the market. This photo editor isn’t just good if you want to retouch photos, you can also use it as a portfolio. This is useful when you want to quickly find your photos.

How do you use Adobe Lightroom?
Lightroom is among the best photo editing packages. (Source: Lalmch)

But when it comes to how to use Lightroom, you may have a lot of questions since the programme has changed a lot since its creation in 2002. While the programme isn’t free, there is a free trial period, like with Photoshop. You can download Lightroom like you do Photoshop with the Adobe Creative Suite.

There are slight differences between the two programme which is why Lightroom is a photo editor and organiser.

Here’s how you can import a photo:

  • To import a photo on Adobe Lightroom from a computer or hard disk, you need to click “Add”, select the photos you want, and follow the steps on the left.
  • To import photos from a camera, you need to select the card from the left, click “Copy”, select the photos you want, and adjust the settings on the right.

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The goal of Lightroom is to organise your photos like in an album. The programme also allows you to add information to the shot, create collections, and organise photos by date, for example. Give it a go.

This isn’t the only function since, like any good image manipulation program, Lightroom allows you to fix redeye, add presets, improve the sharpness, or trim a photo. Even if you've taken the best photo ever, you can make it better with just one click!

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Why Choose GIMP as Your Photo Editing Software?

Of all the photo editing programmes, GIMP is one of the pioneers. It’s light, has quick load times, and very few bugs.

How do you use GIMP?
Getting good photos doesn't necessarily need to cost a fortune. (Source: pixel2013)

GIMP was launched in 1984 and is popular for its fluid and efficient interface. It's also a free photo editor. The toned-down version of Photoshop, this programme has all the basic menu items like “File”, “Edit”, “Image”, “Layers” and “Filter” that you’ll find in most photo editing programmes.

The layers are the first thing you should learn about if you want to use GIMP. When you edit an image, you can work on several layers, and the one of the top is the one you’ll see the most of. There’s no limit to the number of layers you can use and they can include text, filters, overlays, or even other objects.

You can also use GIMP professionally and effectively due to its tools. These tools can be found in tabs. These include:

  • The selection tools, for selecting the part of the image you want to work on.
  • The editing tools, which allow you to modify parts of the photo.
  • The transformation tools, which allow you to alter an image’s scale, rotation, and alignment.
  • And many others!

GIMP’s main strength is its versatility and you can also use plugins to add to its versatility. Darktable, Pandora, and Liquid Rescale are all examples of plugins that, once downloaded, can help you to use different file formats, make a panoramic image, or smooth out imperfections on a face.

Not bad, is it?

The plethora of options available on this programme makes GIMP a great tool for editing photos.

How to Use Aperture for Editing Photos

Of all the programmes for editing photos, Aperture is one of the best. This programme, which was created by Apple in 2004, only works on Mac OS. It’s easy to use but it is starting to be replaced by the Apple Photos app.

How do you use Aperture?
There are plenty of options both physical and digital for making your photos better. (Source: Free-Photos)

Aperture isn’t free but it is great for those who want to learn the basics of photo editing. As with any photo editing software, it’ll take you some time to get the hang of it. But don’t worry, we’ll get to that.

Aperture requires a one-off payment rather than a subscription like you have with the Adobe products. Once you’ve downloaded the programme, you can start organising your photos on the platform. Give the folder a name, rate each photo by a number of stars, fill in keywords and locations, identify people in the photos, and you’re ready to go!

That said, you’re probably more interested in retouching photos. Aperture has a good number of functions that make it great for editing photos. Changing the contrast, white balance, or doing collages has never been so easy.

But what can Aperture do?

  • Identify faces to sort photos more easily
  • Detect and remove red-eye
  • Zoom up to 1600%
  • Fullscreen mode
  • Rotate a photo
  • Export images in raw format
  • Correct imperfections

In short, Aperture is an essential programme if you want to touch up photos or add photo effects. It’s simple, intuitive, and effective.

  • The green frame is the toolbar.
  • The red frame includes editing, metadata, and the library.
  • The blue frame allows you to see the photos.

Thanks to these programmes, you can get started with editing photos right away.

If you need more help with professional photo software like Adobe Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Express, an online photo editor or techniques to edit your photos like photo enhancement, tilt-shift, and removing blemishes, you can get help from a professional photographer or photography tutor.

On Superprof, there are tutors offering three main types of tutorials: face-to-face tutorials, group tutorials, and online tutorials.

Group tutorials are usually the cheapest because you're sharing the cost of the tutor's time with the other students in attendance.

Face-to-face tutorials tend to be the most expensive (and cost-effective) as the tutor's all yours for the lesson and they'll be creating bespoke lessons for you.

Finally, if you want a one-on-one tutorial for less or can't find a suitable tutor where you live, online tutorials are great because they can be taught from anywhere in the world. All you need is a webcam and a decent internet connection!

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