Business & Education

Must-Have Software: Your Photo Editing Toolkit

16th September 2014 by Alex Ingram

While the world of digital photography is a vast and varied one, there’s a whole other universe to explore when it comes to post-processing. Once you’ve gone through the intensive and immersive process of capturing your subjects – be it traditionally or digitally – it’s time to take your photos to the next stage.

Photographic editing is the process of altering, enhancing and perfecting your images with the help of the right software – and by mastering professional programs like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, you can transform your already exceptional images into finished works of art.
So what are the benefits of editing?


While factors such as colour, light and contrast may be outside of your photographic control during the shooting process, photo-editing puts the power in your hands.


With an extensive host of features and functions available with major photo editing software packages, the possibilities are virtually endless.


If realism isn’t your thing, the power of photo editors allows you to transform faithful or accurate images into abstract artworks.

Adobe Photoshop CC


The big daddy of photo-editing software, Adobe Photoshop is the ultimate in post-processing power – helping professionals and amateurs alike to alter and enhance their images to spectacular effect. The programme’s latest incarnation – Photoshop CC, is a new and improved instalment with all of the latest editing capabilities at the touch of a button – or the tap of a touchscreen, depending on your platform of choice.

In Photoshop, you’re able to open your image files and make just about any adjustments you want – from colour, brightness and contrast adjustments to advanced layering techniques and intricate retouches. With everything from frills to fundamentals, Photoshop users can bring their images to perfection and even into entirely new photographic dimensions.

With a ton of new features when compared to CS6, this is a new and improved version of the ultimate photo-editing giant.

“If you’re interested in digital photography, chances are it’s not just about taking pictures but what you do with them afterwards that interests you to. As a professional, I use both Lightroom and Photoshop for different reasons. Both of them can help you get more out of your images – from cropping, fixing colour casts and exposures both are exceptionally powerful tools.

If you don’t have that many images to manage then Photoshop might be the way to go. In its simplest form you can crop,rotate and get rid of blemishes but equally it is an exceptionally advanced piece of software which can take years to understand. By creating layers you can change an image but can always revert back to the original. Photoshop allows really advanced techniques such as cloning, liquifying, clipping and vectors.

You can also buy any number of Photoshop actions to ‘paint’ your images with. This can help you to develop your style so long as you are consistent with what you choose to use on your images. Although you can batch process in Photoshop, it’s more than likely that you’ll work on one image at a time.

If you have a lot of images you want to work on, this is where Lightroom really comes into its own. It’s great for consistency between images as you can view them all together by creating a catalogue. Once you’ve tweaked one image, you can then sync images taken in a similar light with the press of a couple of buttons. Et voila, processing time is reduced drastically. It’s always better to get things spot on at the camera stage – but if you do make mistakes, Lightroom & Photoshop can help you to resolve some of the issues you may have.”

Alexandra Davies,

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom

Image by Jikerd

Photoshop Lightroom is a revelation in the photo-editing sphere, with a suite of sophisticated editing tools and capabilities available on your tablet or smartphone. Lightroom is ideal for photographers on-the-go, offering the same extensive functionality in a compact mobile format.

In addition to editing options covering everything from tone and colour to brightness and contrast, Lightroom gives users the option to efficiently organise batches and folders of images – then share them instantly on various sites and social networks. Syncing easily with the desktop version, Lightroom mobile is effective, instantaneous and easy – ideal for both fledgling photographers learning the editing ropes and seasoned professionals with a need for speed.

“Adobe Lightroom has been a revelation for me. It’s awesome for cataloguhe dia strategy over a 6 monthsng.promotional vehicles – and g that makes an unforgettable impressioning, keywording, processing and uploading to my website and social media.  I’ve been using it for a number of years now and using it day-in, day-out you really become proficient with it. It works seamlessly with Photoshop, which is useful, but on most of my work I find the develop module in Lightroom enough.

I have an awesome website which is important when you are pitching to clients in a saturated market. Designed and built by myself, with functionality such as hidden galleries with passwords, it means I can upload images for clients and they can preview them online and download full resolution files. Lightroom also lets me manage how I send my files to print, offering me a variety of export options for me to send my images onwards to my professional print lab. It’s important to me to have a workflow all the way to the client – the easier it is, the more time I can spend shooting.

As an amateur, some of this might sound like too much – and you don’t have to do it all, but Lightroom gives you the choices. Processing images can be fun – seeing what effects you can make, and recreating the scene as you saw it rather than as your camera recorded it. You can even make photo books or share the pictures straight to email. I always advise students to publish their photos too, and having a website is a great way to do this. You never know, someone might see something they like and want to buy it from you!”

Chris Davies,


Both Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom are available as part of a Creative Cloud plan from less than £9 a month, allowing you to transform your photos from raw images to expertly sculpted works of art – ready for the all-important printing stage.