Roger Lee Photo | Photo Editing Software

Photo Editing Software

November 04, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Photo editing software can be so personal.  What works for one person doesn't for another.  For instance,

Lightroom seems to the most popular editing software out there now and for good reason I suppose.  It's

inexpensive, easy to use and effective.  But sadly it's one program that I've never been attached to.  

Something about the cataloging system gets me.  I'm using multiple hard drives and back ups plus my workflow is

different than what works with Lightroom. 


Perhaps one day I'll sit down and make this Lightroom program work, bypassing ACR.  I've never been

a big fan of 3rd party RAW conversion software.  My thoughts are that the manufacturer of the RAW file

probably knows a great deal more about it than any other company possibly could.  And I have noticed

that this is indeed true, especially on new cameras.  Sometimes the noise reduction, color, etc. isn't quite

right with the 3rd party software as compared with the OEM's.


My workflow goes as follows, DPP (Digital Photo Professional) a free software supplied by Canon to convert

and cull my RAW files, and Photoshop to process my keepers.  The only thing really missing that Lightroom

adds is the Clarity slider.  I've added a Clarity plug-in from Topaz.  A little clunky perhaps, but workable.


There is much dismay with Photoshop about everything going to the Cloud and subscriptions becoming

mandatory.  I was listening to Jim Hammer's blog last night and he was reporting that even Lightroom might

be going to the cloud.


My thoughts on all of this cloud stuff are I think I'll hang on to Photoshop as long as I can.  I did pay for the

software anyway and will continue using DPP for RAW conversion.  Hopefully by the time my versions of

Photoshop become inaccessible or unusable there will be alternatives out there.


What alternatives you ask?  Well one of my favorite photography forums just answered that for me today.

If you drill down to about the 7th post you'll see all kinds of alternate software out there already.


I'll go ahead and post those alternatives here in case you don't want to open the above link.  Enjoy!


Aperture - Download / Site - Good/average but a little slow, OS X only AFAIK.
CaptureOne Pro -
Download / Site - Probably the best there is.
The Gimp -
Download / Site - The last 2 or 3 point releases are excellent!
CinePaint -
Download / Site - Very powerful but used to have stability problems on Mac/Win - I dunno current.
PS Plugins 4 Gimp -
Download / Site - Haven't tried it but used similar for LightWave3D which worked well!
Matlab -
Download / Site - Excellent but very technical and not good for photo editing.
PaintShop Pro -
Download / Site - Excellent tool but same experience a lot of crashes.
Photo Impact -
Download / Site - I have no experience with this one.
AfterShot Pro -
Download / Site - Extremely promising but needs a few bug fixes!
Pixelmator -
Download / Site - Sexy and fun but I dunno if I would base a workflow on it with no 16bit support.
GraphicConverter -
Download / Site - Excellent but better for web and game graphics than photography, OS X only AFAIK.
RAW Therapee -
Download / Site - Haven't really tested any of the latest versions.
ImageJ -
Download / Site - Never used it but it looks like a web and game tool not really a photo editor.
PhotoLine -
Download / Site - Excellent, I dunno why I don't use it more.
PhotoShop Elements -
Download / Site - Scaled Down cheaper version of Photoshop.
PhotoShop CC -
Download / Site - Excellent, this is what I use most, that and CS6.
LightRoom -
Download / Site - Scaled down Photoshop with workflow streamlines GUI.
Acorn -
Download / Site - Very simple features - I never used it - it's supposed to be fast.
AVS Photo Editor -
Download / Site - I dunno but older versions were OK-ish - no Mac.
ACDSee Pro -
Download / Site - Excellent but not worth the asking price IMO!
F-Spot -
Download / Site - Excellent, there may be Mac or Windows compiles of it.
PhotoStudio -
Download / Site - Excellent but I haven't used it all that much.
Silkypix Dev Studio -
Download / Site - I think excellent but I only really feature-checked it.
ArtRage Studio Pro -
Download / Site - Excellent unique PSD compatible editor - no RAW support last I checked.
Photogenics -
Download / Site - Raw support but mostly just good for HDRI editing.
Photo Mechanic -
Download / Site - Excellent, simple editing, good cataloging.
DigiKam -
Download / Site - Looks excellent, it's strengths are DB interfacing and organizing.
Erdas Imagine -
Download / Site - Never used it the dox say it's good for geospatial image processing and analysis.
Krita -
Download / Site - Haven't used it much.
PhotoPerfect -
Download / Site Never used it before.
Photo Plus -
Download / Site - It's supposed to be good, <shrug>
Zoner Photo Studio -
Download / Site - Excellent, shareware.
Project DogWaffle -
Download / Site - Awesome but really more of an animator's paintbox than a photo editor.
UF-Raw -
Download / Site - I've heard of this but never tried it.
RawStudio -
Download / Site - Beats me, looks worth trying.
DxO Optics Pro -
Download / Site - Excellent, very structured workflow.
Forografix -
Download / Site - Ultra simplistic, pretty average results.
Photo Filtre -
Download / Site - Looks very powerful, Windows only.
Paint.NET -
Download / Site - Windows only I think. Looks nice.
Photo Ninja -
Download / Site - Looks OK... I have no experience with it yet.


Please keep in mind I can't be held responsible for any of the above links, as far as I know they are good links

and nothing malicious is involved.


Until next time, happy shooting!




Issan Home near Korat


The above photo was taken during a morning hike in the back roads in Issan near Korat.  It was beautiful out

there and I keep telling myself I'm going back someday.  Iirc I was using a Canon Rebel XT with the kit lens,



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