It’s hard to write an article about the best photo editing software for photographers without giving Adobe Photoshop a well-deserved mention. For artists, illustrators, and designers around the world, Photoshop has proven to be a capable and trustworthy editing tool.
Adobe Photoshop Interface
We’ll be honest, Photoshop isn’t known for its simplicity. In fact, if you’ve heard anything about Photoshop’s interface, it’s likely been how difficult it is to navigate! And it’s true — Photoshop isn’t the easiest software to learn. Instead, like most things in life worth doing, it requires a bit of patience.
The reason many beginners to photo editing struggle to use Photoshop is because it offers such an enormous amount of tools. We’ll talk more later about all the great things you can accomplish with Photoshop, but know that it does attempt to lessen the learning curve offering organized workspaces.
Photoshop offers several different preset workspaces, designed to trim away the excess tools you don’t need for your project. You can find these workspaces under Window >> Workspace in the upper menu bar. There, you’ll see preset workspace options for Essentials editing, 3D, Graphics and Web and even Photography!
These workspace presets provide a great introduction to Photoshop, because they emphasize the best tools for the job. The Photography workspace, for example, puts Photoshop’s brush, histogram panel and selection tools right at your fingertips. The 3D workspace, on the other hand, prioritizes Photoshop’s 3D panel and 3D Material Dropper.
Of course, as you get more familiar with Photoshop and decide which editing tools you prefer, you can create and save your own customized workspace. A customized workspace that features only your favorite tools goes a long way to increasing your editing speed and streamlining your workflow!
So, even though Photoshop can be difficult to master, it’s not necessarily difficult to learn. It’s pre-made workspaces, in-app tools descriptions and clear tools icons help make learning the program more manageable. Don’t try to dive in all at once! A piece-by-piece approach to Photoshop will likely be the more successful route.
Key Features of Photoshop
Photoshop’s masking, retouching and layering tools are still some of the most compelling on the market. Although, it’s fair to say that these tools might not be best for basic touch-ups, which would be best left for Lightroom. Photoshop is designed for professionals who need all the bells and whistles.
Photoshop’s built-in features include:
- Sophisticated touch-up and retouching
- Extensive filters and brushes
- Multi-layer editing
- 3D design functionality
- Pro editing tools
- Advanced color editing
Adobe Photoshop provides tools you simply won’t find in other photo editing software. If you’re a photo editor who works on graphic design projects or other, more layered assignments, Photoshop might be the photo editor for you.
Otherwise, if you’re looking to touch up your photos before you turn them over to clients, you’d likely be happy with a more basic program. Still, if you see your photo editing needs increasing in the future, you might want to begin learning Photoshop. That way, you’ll know how to do all of your edits in one software!
Adobe Photoshop Extras
Like many other photo editors on this list, Photoshop can increase its functionality through additional filters. That being said, Photoshop doesn’t have nearly as many filters available as programs like Lightroom and Skylum Luminar. And, while you can import and use presets in Photoshop, you may find that they complicate your workflow.
Still, Photoshop does offer some other unique expansion opportunities. For example, you can import brushes and create your own brushes to use in your photo editing. You can also use Photoshop to create short animations or GIFs using the program’s Timeline window.
Honestly, Photoshop’s built-in capabilities are already so advanced, that it only makes sense that there are fewer chances to expand the software’s functionality.
You can get Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop together here in Adobe’s Creative Cloud Plan.
Cost of Photoshop
The other great thing about Adobe Photoshop is that you can get it through Adobe’s Photography Plan, which pairs it with Adobe Lightroom. That means you get two powerful photo editors for a monthly subscription fee of $9.99/month!