When it comes to your website, images are essential. Choosing the right photo editing software is equally as important. Whether you’re a photographer wanting to show off their portfolio or a business owner that wants to add a personal touch to their site, photos can add visual interest, help you tell your story, and otherwise enhance your website.
But, before you upload them to your site, you need to edit the photos to match the look and feel you want your brand to portray. You must also edit the photos to ensure that all images have the exact dimensions for a more unified look.
On top of that, editing your images before uploading them to your site will help reduce the file size. This will have a positive impact on your site loading times and, in turn, help you rank better in search engines.
This brings us to today’s topic: the best photo editing software in 2022. With the proper photo editing software, you can crop the images to the correct dimensions and ensure the file size won’t slow down your site, but you will also be able to adjust the lighting and highlight the key elements in your photos.
If you’re looking for beginner-friendly solutions, you might be interested in this selection of the best photo editing software for beginners.
Below, you will find the best photo editing software available in 2022. They range from free to paid, and most of them are suitable for Mac, Windows, and Linux computers.
|Best Photo Editing Software for Photographers
(PC and Mac)
|ON1 Photo RAW
|Alien Skin Exposure
|ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate
|Pixlr online photo editor
|Best Photo Editing Software for Photographers
|PaintShop Pro Ultimate
|Best Photo Editing Software for Photographers (Mac only)
Best Photo Editing Software for Photographers (both PC and Mac compatible)
Regarding photo editing software, Adobe Photoshop is usually the first program that comes to mind. It is a complex program that offers features such as non-destructive editing, layers, filters and blend modes, and the healing tool, among others.
Photoshop lets you easily adjust the brightness and contrast of your photos, adjust the levels, fine-tune the shadows and highlights, and so much more.
It is available for Mac and Windows computers, and you can get it as a part of Adobe’s CC subscription. You can purchase a single app subscription for Photoshop only, a subscription for Photoshop and Lightroom, and a subscription for the entire suite of Adobe apps.
WP Paint — WordPress Image Editor
The WP Paint plugin is an image editing plugin for WordPress with over 1000 active installations and 5-star ratings. It’s a browser-based HTML5 image editor that allows you to edit images in your WordPress library easily.
The plugin has an intuitive desktop-like interface and supports features such as layer management, adding custom text to images, applying blur effects, adjusting image brightness or contrast, and more.
Lightroom is a popular choice among photographers and a part of Adobe’s suite of programs. Where Lightroom shines is its ability to batch edit photos, which is a huge time-saver when working with hundreds of photos.
Lightroom makes it easy to organize all your photos: you can add keywords and your own metadata. Additionally, Lightroom comes with face detection, which helps with photo organization.
You will also find several presets and filters to apply to your photos. You can save time during the editing process; hundreds of presets are available online that you can download.
Lightroom is available on Mac and Windows computers, and you can get it as a single subscription, a subscription in combination with Photoshop, or as part of an Adobe CC library subscription.
When working with photos, you can adjust the white balance, brightness, and saturation and apply various filters. You can also stitch panoramic images, batch process multiple files, and more. Remember that, similarly to Photoshop, Affinity Photo also offers graphics and vector editing tools in the same application.
Affinity Photo is available for Mac, Windows, and iOS devices for a one-time payment which includes lifetime updates.
For starters, Gimp is a free and open-source program with features rivaling Photoshop. It is often quoted as the free Photoshop alternative. It can edit photos and includes tools such as layers and non-destructive editing, retouching, and creative compositions.
It includes all the standard photo editing tools, such as brightness, saturation, curves, etc. You can also install third-party plugins, which add even more features to Gimp.
This software works on Windows, Linux, and Mac computers. It’s a great solution if you’re on a budget but still want to be able to edit or enhance your photos.
First things first, Capture One is a RAW photo editing software that supports all major camera brands. As far as the features go, Capture One is on par with other programs on this list.
You can adjust brightness, contrast, levels, and curves, apply filters, and perform other standard photo adjustments. What makes it stand out is the ability to customize the interface and built-in Latitude Styles, which serve as filters that enhance and transform your photos in a single click.
This photo editingsoftware is available for Mac and Windows, and you can purchase a perpetual license or opt for one of their subscription plans.
One cool thing about DxO Photo Lab is that it touts itself as the photo editing software made by photographers for photographers. It offers the standard processing and correction tools you’d expect from photo editing software, and it supports RAW editing from all major camera brands except for Fuji.
Notable features include precise adjustments thanks to U Point selection assistance technology, optical correction modules, and denoising technology. DxO Photo Lab also supports switching manual and automatic modes for all automatic features.
This program is available for Mac and Windows computers and doesn’t require a subscription. It can also be bought for a one-time payment fee.
ON1 Photo RAW
What’s excellent about ON1 Photo RAW is that it is a photo editor and a photo organizer. It positions itself as the replacement for Lightroom and Photoshop, allowing you to edit, organize, and process your photos in the same app instead of switching between two programs.
The program comes with all the standard features and batch processing, and it also includes built-in presets so you can easily apply several adjustments to your photos all at once. RAW processing, multi-layer compositing, and focus-stacking are all included in ON1 Photo RAW.
The program is available for both Mac and Windows and can be bought for a one-time fee, including a perpetual license.
If you’re an experienced photographer, Luminar is a popular choice among photographers because it can be bought for a one-time payment rather than a subscription model. Moreover, you can use it as a standalone program or a plugin for Lightroom or Photoshop.
It includes built-in filters that can enhance your photos in a single click, and you can also fine-tune each filter to your needs. Luminar comes with human-aware technology that recognizes people automatically and applies adjustments selectively for more realistic results.
In addition to the features above, you will find healing, cloning, and retouching tools, an AI-powered sky enhancer, the ability to add volumetric lighting, and more.
Luminar is available for both Mac and PC.
Alien Skin Exposure
When choosing Alien Skin Exposure, you’ll get a photo editor and organizer that lets you enhance your photos with powerful tools and streamline your photo editing workflow.
A few notable features include improved lightning and shadow tools, fully adjustable light effects, transform tools, and smart collections. On top of that, Alien Skin Exposure comes with built-in presets and support for RAW editing.
It’s available for Mac and Windows computers.
If you’re looking for an online solution, Fotor is an online photo editing app which means you can use it no matter which OS you’re using. Fotor claims to be the online version of Photoshop and offers tools to adjust color, size, light, and more easily.
It’s also equipped with photo retouching tools such as healing, increasing radiance, highlights, and more. Fotor has built-in effects so you can quickly improve the look of your photos instead of applying adjustments manually and one by one.
On top of the online app, Fotor is available for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. It offers a monthly or an annual subscription.
ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate
ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate is a photo editing and organizing software supporting RAW editing. A standout feature is a facial recognition which helps you name and tag your images for faster searching.
You can easily apply all the standard adjustments, such as white balance, levels, curves, and more. ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate also makes it easy to color-grade your images with built-in LUT presets and use layer editing to achieve individual adjustments and effects.
The program is available for Windows computers as a one-time payment, giving you a year of updates. Monthly and annual subscriptions are also available.
Pixlr online photo editor
Pixlr is an online photo editor software that can be used in your browser and, therefore, on any operating system.
Its intuitive interface makes it easy to adjust colors and image details and apply various effects to your photos. Pixlr also supports retouching operations to remove unwanted objects, blemishes and clone items easily.
You can edit the images for free, but it’s worth mentioning that a paid version of the app comes with an extensive stock photo library and support for PSD and Sketch files.
Darktable is a free and open-source photo editor used on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. It includes support for RAW and non-destructive editing. It also comes with all the basic image operations, such as color correction, level adjustments, filters, and more.
In addition to that, Darktable makes it easy to add watermarks to your images and perform split-toning operations. It supports keywords and tags so you can easily organize your library.
Best Photo Editing Software for Photographers (PC only)
PaintShop Pro Ultimate
Even if PaintShop Pro Ultimate is for PC only, it is a feature-rich photo editing software that doesn’t require a subscription. It’s a one-time payment which makes it another attractive alternative to Photoshop. It’s available for Windows computers.
It comes with features that can instantly transform any photo into an eye-catching animation, correct images, and restore details with adjustments such as color, saturation, white balance, and more.
It’s worth mentioning that the program comes with dozens of textures, backgrounds, and brushes to choose from, and it also includes AI-enhanced presets, which are sure to take your photos to the next level.
You can edit RAW images directly; the program also supports HDR editing. On top of that, you can easily edit your 360° photos and apply one-touch fixes to any photo.
Best Photo Editing Software for Photographers (Mac only)
First things first, Pixelmator Pro is a Mac-only photo editor that lets you resize and enhance your photos. It includes tools that support non-destructive editing, balance and level adjustments, and various color adjustments.
You can also use Pixelmator Pro for digital painting and basic graphics editing with shapes, quick selection, drawing tools, and more.
Pixelmator Pro is available as a one-time purchase from the App Store.
Final Thoughts — What photo editing software should you use?
Finding the right photo editing software for your needs is no easy task, but the above list should point you in the right direction.
If you like taking photos and making them better by using image editors, why not look into how to sell your photos online and maybe earn up to $120/image sold? Let people enjoy your work while also getting paid for it.