Photo editing software holds a lot of importance in the field of graphic designing and photography. Many businesses associated with the domain are trying hard to leverage the maximum potential of these tools to amplify the quality of their work for generating more leads and revenues. Ever since there was a drop in the prices of digital cameras and improvement in the camera features, the use of images has drastically increased over time.

Photographs are now used by more than half of the world’s population for either personal or commercial use. So, it is not hard to guess why it has become an integral tool for many individuals and businesses. It not just provides a boost to your web page or Facebook post, but also helps a great deal in promoting or marketing your products and services. Besides, it is far more important for image editors and graphic designers, as the quality of photos cannot be compromised in their line of work. Therefore, to enhance the true potential of a photo or image, people mostly use image editing software.

You will find tons of advice on the internet regarding the selection and usage of a photo editing tool. There are countless options, starting from popular photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom to the most simple but effective ones like Canva. However, to narrow down your choices and help you choose the one, we have compiled a list of the top-best photo editors that can be useful for beginner photographers and editors.

But, before starting with that, let’s talk about why image editing is so important for the people working in the photography domain.

Why is Photo Editing essential?

Photo editing can make even the most ordinary pictures look extraordinary. Whether it is your picture, your family pictures, or pictures of any special occasion, image editing can bring out the beauty in it and make it more memorable. Apart from enhancing the quality and appeal, it can be used to increase your business scope and fulfill its true potential. For example, web designers can edit the images on their website and reduce the file size. It will result in decreasing the load time of their sites and improve rankings in the search engine.

Real estate service firms also carry out necessary edits for their property photos to increase the aesthetic appeal and attract the right clients for selling the properties. Similarly, businesses offering food catering service can use it for creating mouth-watering food images to draw in more clients and customers. Besides, photo editing of portraits is also done, which is mainly used the fashion magazines and associated e-commerce sites to ensure the exponential increase in their sales.

Photo editing is not just about enhancement. There are a whole lot of techniques involved in this process, some of which are mentioned below:

The above-mentioned techniques are quite simple and mostly used for basic image editing. However, there are even more complex and advanced techniques that are incorporated for pro-level editing. A few of them are as follows:

  • Photo masking and Layers
  • Panorama stitching
  • Clipping path
  • Text and Visual adjustment
  • Special effects
  • Drop and Reflection Shadow
  • Photo retouching
  • Photo manipulation

Photo Editor Application VS. Professional Image Editor

Before we start discussing the different photo editors online that can be used to implement the above techniques in your picture, we should have a brief idea regarding the differences between an online application and a professional.

An online photo editor is an application that includes a basic set of tools and features to touch up or enhance photos digitally. Besides, it even allows you to organize the edited pictures into albums or slide shows as per your choice.

On the other hand, a professional picture editor is an individual that is hired to carry out the allocation and coordination of photography assignments. The task may also include collecting, reviewing, positioning, and selecting photographs and illustrations along with negotiating fees and obtaining rights to shoot the photography.

Top 10 Best Photo Editing Software for Every Beginner Photographers and Editors

The list of best photo editing software and online editor mentioned here is created according to the key feature it offers, its availability, and its use.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop

It is hard not to mention Photoshop when it comes to discussing the best photo editing software for photographers and editors. It doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or pro, Adobe Photoshop is equally beneficial both. It is usually known to have a wide range of complex features. But, beginners can avoid using it and use simple ones instead to carry out their desired tasks.

Features:

  • Exclusive brushes and filters
  • Pro editing tools
  • Multi-layer editing
  • Advanced cloning and retouching features
  • 3D design functionality
  • Masking and skeleton tools
  • Depth map support for 360-degree editing tools and HEIF support
  • Faster even with large-sized images
  • Adjustment layers

License: Free/ Paid

Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom
If you think that Adobe Photoshop is too complex to use, then Adobe Lightroom will be the ideal choice for you. The image editing software comes with powerful editing features and effects that can provide realistic transformation to your images. It has an easy-to-use interface, which makes it one of the most preferred image editing software globally for beginners.

Features:

  • Customizable sliders
  • Blur and fix tools
  • Multiple device compatibility and sync
  • Gradient and Brush adjustment tools
  • Camera and lens-based correction
  • Filters with various presets
  • Face detection capability 

License Type: Free/ Paid

Skylum Luminar

skylum luminar

The software is a popular image editing tool among beginners as well as professional photographers. It is considered as the best alternative to Adobe Lightroom and exhibits the features of both Lightroom and Photoshop. Unlike other photo editors, it does not provide monthly subscriptions and can be purchased at a one-time flat fee.

Features:

  • AI Slider or Editor
  • Required presets for DJI drone photos
  • 24/7 technical and sales support
  • Adjustment layers and masks
  • Automatic image  organization
  • Image layers
  • Various filter types such as Sunray, Orton, and top and bottom lighting
  • Faster editing controls
  • Updated folders with content available on the hard disk
  • Different viewing options like gallery view, single image view, filmstrip view, etc.

License Type: Free/ Paid

Skylum Aurora HDR

Skylum Aurora HDR

It is a standalone app which is basically used for HDR photo editing. It contains a number of advanced features that enable users to create natural and stunning HDR images by the efficient merging of the pictures. It has an AI-based neural network and comes with around 20+ tools to produce exceptional imagery. Besides, it is also possible to integrate it as an Apple Photo Extension.

Features:

  • Enhances depth and details
  • Availability of manual mode
  • Reduces noise
  • HDR clarity feature
  • Unique presets

License Type: Free/ Paid

Corel PaintShop Pro

Corel PaintShop Pro

If you want basic and effective image editing, then Corel PaintShop Pro is one of the best inexpensive tools present out there. Some consider it as an alternative to Adobe Photoshop. However, it does not possess all of its advanced features, mainly including 3D modeling, comprehensive typography, face liquefaction, reduction of camera shake, and more.

Features:

  • Great for beginners
  • Smoother user experience
  • Editing options like blur, fix, etc.
  • Pre-existing graphic design templates
  • Collection of color, gradients, pallets, picture tubes, etc.
  • AI enhanced presets
  • 360-degree image editing
  • Learning tutorials

License Type: Free/ Paid

Canva

Canva

Canva is a simple graphic design software that offers multiple photo editing tools and products. It is mostly used as a go-to tool by professionals, but beginners can also use it. A variety of cards, icons, templates, and photos are also available in the marketplace. It is mostly used to create visual content for blogs, websites, social media, brochures, flyers, and various marketing collaterals.

Features:

  • More than 8000 templates
  • Stickers and badges
  • Blur and vignette editing tools
  • Image enhancer
  • Photo copy and straightening
  • Speech bubble maker
  • Image transparency tool
  • Design grids and photo frames
  • Drag and drop editor

License Type: Free/ Paid

Pixlr Editor

pixlr

It is an online photo editor that is far better than any other desktop or mobile application. The basic features available here can prove very useful to the beginners. However, if you are a professional and looking for a more advanced option, then you can always upgrade it. It has a simple and impressive user interface offering numerous customization capabilities.

Features:

  • Web-based photo  editing app
  • Customizable user interface
  • Ease of accessibility, i.e., on mobile and desktops
  • Filters and overlays
  • Supports layer and mask
  • 2 million+ free effects
  • Creative editing app
  • Availability of different Pixlr versions

License Type: Free/ Paid

GIMP

GIMP

GIMP or GNU Image Manipulation Program is a free, open-source software that consists of pro-level features. It can be used for covering basic photo editing requirements like image composition, enhancement, retouching, etc., which is the best tool for beginners.  Apart from that, it is easier to download and install on the computer.

Features:

  • Corrective mode and vignette
  • Clone and touch-up tools
  • Optimization and file management modes
  • Digital retouching
  • High-quality photo manipulation
  • Mobile plug-ins support
  • Graphic design elements
  • Various programming language support

License Type: Free

PortraitPro

PortraitPro

Another cool photo editor online mentioned on this list is PortraitPro. It is loaded with ample of features and tools and is best used for portrait photography. This application includes everything you need, starting from basic to high-level portrait editing like improving skin tone, removing wrinkles or blemishes, eliminating sagging skin on cheeks, and more.

Features:

  • Advanced layering options
  • Slider editing
  • Fixing poor lighting
  • Real-time adjustments
  • Advanced makeup tools

License Type: Free/ Paid

Capture One

Capture One

The next image editor on the list is Capture One. It is a RAW image editor, which was developed by the camera company, Phase One. If you are looking for software that is purely dedicated to raw image conversions, then this will be your one-stop destination. It looks just like any other software but offers a wide range of useful tools and features.

Features:

  • Customizable interface
  • High speed performance
  • Advanced color editing tools
  • Layers and annotations
  • Masking capabilities
  • Powerful adjustments
  • Superb cataloging tools

License Type: Free/ Paid

Since all the photo editors mentioned above have their own set of impressive features, it completely depends on your preference, budget, and skills to select the one that is appropriate for you. Besides, most of the image editing software offers free trial plans. So, there is no harm in trying out different software and find the one that best fits your needs.

If your work is related to domains like graphic designing, photography, real estate business, or a web-based company, then it is a must to learn photo editing and the use of different tools. Another easy way to get your work done is by associating with companies offering high-end photo editing services. It will ensure that your outputs are excellent, but will require a bit of investment. So, regardless of whatever you choose, staying updated with the software and tools will secure your future in the world of photo editing.