If you are a photographer, you may wish to enhance your photography of any genre yourself, if not always, sometimes. This is where you have to be familiar with the photo editing software. For top-notch image enhancement, you have to avail yourself of top-quality photo retouching software.
Photo editing is an art that everyone doesn’t possess, right? Even though we use image editing tools to edit our selfies and smartphone photography on a regular basis, professional photo editing is altogether different. If you are a layman with no photo retouching know-how, the output of your photo retouching and a pro photo retoucher will differ considerably.
But it’s not a big deal if you as a layman don’t have the knack for image retouching. You can surely get your photography touched up through a pro photo retouching service provider or by an online photo retouching tool.
To help you find the best tools for your needs, we have rounded up the 12 best free and paid photo editing software of 2023. Needless to say, all the photographers don’t belong on the same level. Some are beginners; some belong to the intermediate level, while others fall under the advanced level.
But from this collection, every type of photographer can get their preferred photo touch-up software. This collection is even suitable for photographers of any genre. No matter whether you are a product photographer, fashion photographer, wedding photographer, or any other type of photographer, the blog has substance to cater to you.
Let’s get cracking…
If you explore online, you will find legions of image retouching software. Some of them are online tools while others are offline tools. You have to deploy them downloading and then installing your device. But all these retouching tools don’t promise premium quality.
From this write-up, you will get to know which software exactly you should leverage to get desired output. Without further ado, let’s check some of the top software in this field that you should rely on-
Spotting Photoshop right at the top, you aren’t stunned surely as it deserves the no.1 position. This is because Photoshop enables you to perform an array of photo retouching tasks. If you are a photographer, you can’t but skip Photoshop.
Photoshop lets you execute tasks, right from simple to advanced levels. Whether it’s a selection, masking, or any other action, Photoshop is unmatched by its peers. Earlier, all the Photoshop editing tasks were manually performed but lately, Photoshop has integrated many AI-based features into its latest versions.
Some of these killer features deserve to be mentioned like sky replacement, neural filters, select and mask, version history, quick actions, live shapes, and pattern preview. Due to its wide range of features, Photoshop is still the no.1 choice for photo editors, designers, and artists.
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Pricing: Free Trial available for 1st 7 days. The yearly plan costs $20.99/month (For Yearly Plan)
In our ranking, the 2nd spot is claimed by another Adobe product, Adobe Lightroom. Compared to Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom is more beginner-friendly and recognized as one of the best photo retouching software for photographers. It has a super-simple interface with a clean and easy workspace, letting you focus on your image.
Lightroom comes with a whole lot of editing features that photographers can utilize to get optimum results. It boasts a number of filters and effects to get you started if you are unsure of what to do. With Lightroom, you can make localized adjustments to your images along with editing raw files.
Due to Lightroom’s tons of photo editing tools and wide range of image editing abilities, other image enhancement tools are failing to match its standard. If you are a pro photographer, you should hone your Lightroom photo editing skills.
Suggested Article- Adobe Photoshop Vs Lightroom: Compare & Contrast.
Pricing: Free Trial available for 1st 7 days. Yearly plan costs $9.99/month (For Yearly Plan)
Affinity Photo is one of the coolest photo editing software that you can leverage for editing your images. Initially, it may appear overwhelming to some of you especially if you are a rookie professional. But once you start exploring the app, you will fathom that this is exactly what you have been ferreting.
The software comes with umpteen pro tools, filters, and effects letting you to be creative with your images. Since Photoshop moved from a one-time license plan to a subscription plan, many professionals were hunting for alternatives and this app caught their attention.
Affinity Photo is massively fast and is capable of handling high-volume files (Over 100 MB). It will mesmerize you with its premium manipulation tools allowing you to tinker around your photos and give them optimum looks.
You can retouch HDR photos, apply artistic filters, play with layers and masks, and even create outstanding photo compositions merging multiple images. It may not be a budget-friendly app but it’s available to buy in a single payment instead of paying a regular subscription fee.
Pricing: One-off payment of $69.99 Also, you can get all apps with an Affinity V2 Universal License for $169.99.
If you are more eager about the final result of your raw images than the process itself, Luminar AI is the go-to tool for you. Skylum’s Luminar AI is an AI-powered photo manipulation and editing tool that has everything that you would normally crave for editing your photography.
Luminar AI is a very simple and intuitive image retouching tool that you can leverage without any hassle. You don’t have to learn scores of things to work on it. All you have to do is import the image you want to edit and that’s it! AI-powered templates will suggest edits depending on the content of your image.
Additionally, you can do further AI-powered edits or take complete control with regular tools. You can also get a masking option to add or remove effects. This photo retouching will let you slim a subject’s torso, modify eye color, add fog to landscape, etc. with just a few clicks of a mouse.
Pricing: Free Trial available for 1st 7 days. Regular price- $79 for a lifetime (For 1 Computer). Currently on offer costing $47 bundled with other tools.
You may also read: Luminar AI review (2023)
GNU image manipulation program, yeah, that’s what it means when expanded. It’s a very well-known image editor that you can easily download and install on your PC, Mac and also on Linux. The great thing about this tool is it’s free of cost but offers pro features, handy for your photo editing projects.
Another great choice and one of the most popular image retouching software for photographers. With this amazing tool, you can execute photo retouching, photo composition, image enhancement, and whatnot. The key aspect of GIMP is it suits both newbies and pro photographers as they would fancy using its customizable interface to create an ideal editing environment.
GIMP lets you perform plenty of adjustments to your images. You can even use 3rd party plugins with it to create an unparalleled editing platform. GIMP is a charming tool to create artistic images with perfect lighting, exposure, and contrast through a variety of unique graphic design elements and effects.
Pricing: Entirely free to use
You may also like: GIMP vs Photoshop: Key Differences
Apple Photos was released as a bundled app on iOS in 2014 for the first time. Since then, it started getting traction among the Mac users and consolidated its position shortly.
It not only comes for free but also offers loads of editing tools for you to polish your images. No matter whether you wish to select color, adjust exposure, fine-tune curves, or apply quick filters, you can execute all of them with this built-in Mac app.
Additionally, it has intuitive tools, an easy navigation system, and a seamless integration system on iCloud Photo Library. To retouch an image on Apple Photos, just open it and click the Edit in the top menu.
You can view various editing options like Adjust, Filters, and Crop that you can choose based on your requirements.
Known as Photoshop’s alternative, Corel PaintShop Pro has everything to take your photography to the next level without breaking the bank. If you are looking for a simple and straightforward photo retouching tool to upgrade your photos, PaintShop Pro is the answer for you.
Corel PaintShop Pro doesn’t feature a monthly subscription fee, but rather asks you to pay a one-time fee. It’s inexpensive and gives you access to dozens of textures, backgrounds, and brushes. The latest version of PaintShop pro contains a photography workspace, designed for photographers.
This simple workspace improves your edit workflow providing the best photo editing tools in a simple format. The tool is touch-ready, letting you edit your photography on a tablet. Overall, PaintShop Pro is a cracking option for basic but effective image editing.
Pricing: Free trial available for 30 days. The full version costs $99.99 for a lifetime.
You may also read: Corel PaintShop Pro review (2023)
Among the two versions of photo editing apps that Pixelmator offers, Pixelmator Pro is the powerful one that you can leverage for image editing tasks. The software is powered by machine learning and you can execute a plethora of photo enhancement actions with its cracking and flawless tools.
It has an easy-to-navigate interface that can smoothen your workflow. Unlike the Standard version of Pixelmator, this version features extra brushes, tools, and effects allowing you to take your photo retouching knack to the next level.
You can deploy Pixelmator Pro for basic photo touch-up actions like cropping, resizing, color-correction, adding filters, and so on. But due to the incorporation of machine learning or neural network, you can even perform advanced tasks like eliminating objects, copying the appearance of one photo to another, automatically altering a photo to perfection, recreating image areas with the Repair tool, and many more.
The app is also reasonably priced with respect to the tons of features it offers. So, if you are a Mac user, go for it hands down.
An intuitive and super simple photo editor, Fotor is designed to aid you to carry out your image processing tasks in a hassle-free manner. With this photo editing app, you can fix color, contrast, and exposure issues of washed-out photos, add borders, tilt and modify your images, add different texts, apply filters, and so on.
You can even apply various presents and textures to add charm to your images. Most of these tasks you can execute with one-touch availing of the toolbox placed on the right side of the app.
What makes the software stand out from others is its ability to do batch-processing of photos. By that what we mean is, if you have a collection of photos requiring similar editing action, this can be your go-to app to perform that.
You may have a group of beach photos showing up overexposed and requires the same filter to be applied for perfect exposure or requires color-fixing at once. This is where this mind-blowing software will come into play. Thanks to the developer of the app for adding so many peachy features to it.
Pricing: Fotor basic plan is free. However, it offers more plan which include Fotor Pro ($8.99/month) and Fotor Pro+($19.99/month). It is available for PC (Windows), Mac, mobile and online(Web App) as well.
ON1 Photo Raw is offered both as a standalone photo editing tool and a plugin for Photoshop, Lightroom, and Apple photos. The latest version of this image editing tool incorporates various AI-powered features, making your edits easy and smooth.
Some of these AI-powered features include Sky Swap AI, Time-Lapse Creation, Integration of ON1 NoNoise AI, Photoshop Plugin Support, Line Mask Tool, Backup and Restore, Favorites in Browse, Customizable Thumbnails, etc.
Like Photoshop and Luminar, ON1 Photo Raw comes with layers, blending modes, and masking. Other features include full integration with Apple Photos, the ability to add text to an image, HDR, panorama photo merging, and so on.
Pricing: Costs $99.99 for lifetime (Full License + Bonuses). Currently, it’s on offer costing $79.99 for a lifetime (Full License + Bonuses).
DxO PhotoLab is best known for its raw image conversion to JPG image smoothly. But it can also carry out noise reduction and sharpening with full of perfection. The photo editor is compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems.
DxO PhotoLab comes with customizable interface options, presets, color protection, and multiple export formats to let you accomplish all your tasks in one place. Once you import your images into the software, you can take advantage of its advanced rating system, add keywords, and search for other files that you deem fit.
This image editor no doubt is a cracking one for photographers. With this tool, photographers can turn a nice landscape image into an extraordinary landscape image. The interface is like a lab as the name suggests and contains tons of real-time adjustments.
Pricing: Costs $139 for the Essential package and $219 for the Elite package
If you are hunting for a complete graphic design package, PicMonkey is the right choice for you. The tool will let you edit as well as retouch photos, make collages, batch-edit a massive collection of your photography, and many more.
PicMonkey will offer elements and tools to convert your photography into marvelous works! Even though you can carry out basic photo edits with this fascinating image editor but it stands out when deployed to add graphic elements like fonts, logos, presets, and brand colors. Crazy, right?
So, if you are just starting out, PicMonkey can be a perfect choice to brush up on your photo editing skills. The program’s user interface is simple and stunning, giving an alternative option to those overwhelmed by other heavyweight photo retouching tools.
Pricing: Offers a 7-day free trial. The basic plan starts at $7.99/Month, the Pro plan starts at $12.99/Month, and the Team plan starts at $33.99/Month
That’s all we had in this comprehensive write-up rounding up these best photo editing software for photographers. We have focused on multiple factors to rank these retouching tools- price, quality, features, and many other things.
Some of them will suit any type of photographer, no matter whether they are a beginner or a pro while some may suit only a beginner or a pro. Considering all the aspects, we would always recommend Adobe Photoshop for professional photography works.
However, you can also opt for others as well, depending on your budget, features, and requirements. With that, we hope that you would make the right choice for your next photography project after going through the write-up.