Best Value Photo Editing Software

You might have decided to look into processing your photos that you have taken on your DSLR camera. Maybe you just want to change something about your photos. Make them a bit brighter or add that touch of drama. If you are wondering why people process or edit photos here is a link to my blog that may also help. Photo Editing Why

Two Basic Types of Photo Images

It will help to know the difference between standard (eg JPG) and RAW images. Here is a link to my blog with a basic explanation at the bottom about the differences. Chances are you have already processed your images in the past without even knowing it. When you set your camera to landscape or portrait mode for instance you are asking the camera to process your images in that style. This goes some way to improving the final image. If you would like to try some processing or editing here are some software apps available at the time of writing.

For PC or Mac

If you are not averse to spending a few dollars then my first pick would be the industry standard apps such as Adobe light room and photo shop. The cost at the time of writing is about $14 AU per month.

For the more moderate priced or free options my top pick after light room is Cyberlink Photodirector. I have purchased outright licences as opposed to a monthly license for this app. It provides some powerful editing capability and is not too hard to use. It seems to have worked for me quite well over the years. From my knowledge it has close to the same functionality as Light Room.

The good news is that it is available as a trial version for free for about 4 weeks then has some functions removed but remains free. You can download it from here and try out all the features.

Prices for the full “PhotoDirector 11 Ultra” (outright purchase version) are listed on this web page at about $100 AU. The subscription version “PhotoDirector 365” found here at the time of writing is $5.83 AU per month. Before and after photos edited in PhotoDirector.

If you would like to edit images quickly on Android smart phones and iPhones

My recommendation is “Snapseed”. It is free and powerful yet offers good control over your editing. Just note that if you are editing on a portable device you may not clearly see what changes you have made. One of the main benefits I found for this app was that it is easy to use and you can get a good result very quickly. So much so that my standard routine when travelling is to do a backup of my camera photos to my mobile device, quickly process the best of them in Snapseed and post them to social media. It usually takes some time to get a better result on PC when I have the time later. This might shock some purists but sometimes the best result for landscapes was actually produced on Snapseed.

To process the images I suggest you try this:

  • Open a photo file (RAW or other formats).
  • Select tools
  • Select tune image
  • Drag your finger up and down to select the type of edit you want to do
  • Drag your finger left and right to set the amount of change
  • Try other editing tools such as details, tonal contrasts and crop
  • Export the image (you should find the exported image in a folder called ‘Snapseed’)

Here are some before and after images edited in Snapseed.

Other free computer applications

Some commonly recommended apps are shown below. If you would like to try them out I should mention that I find some of them more difficult to use and some have highly technical functions in them.

Here are some other blogs that might help you with editing photos

Improving your pictures on a Mac
Editing Photos – White Balance
Editing Photos – Lighting Levels

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