Picking The Right Imaging Editor For Your Needs (Mac Edition)
By Katie Gatto
When it comes to image editing software there are a lot of great choices out there. Some of them are expensive and some of them are free. Obviously they do not all do the same things, and that means that all of them are not for you, but some of them just may be right for your needs. So the question is not can you find the right software for you, the question is which one is right for your needs as a photographer. Today we are going to talk about how you can figure that one out.
Who Are You? Professional vs. Serious Armature vs. Serious Home Photographer
The odds are good that you knew right away if you belong in the professional category. After all taking photos is part of your job and you get paid for it. The other two categories are a bit less seriously defined. For the purposes of this piece a serious armature is someone who is not paid, but is looking to make art with their photography. You want to be taken seriously, but you don’t feel like you have to make it your full time job. A serious home photographer is someone who wants to have the best family photos possible. You won’t settle for those blurry photos with your cousin Murray’s thumb half on the lens.
Serious Home Photographer
For most of you the software that comes with your system may actually meet your needs. After all you probably want to be able to sharpen focus and maybe make a few black and white prints of your cousin’s new baby. For that you could just use the built in software, Preview, but if you want something just a little bit more advanced without the cost then try Seashore. If you’re willing to invest then Acorn is another option that won’t send you running to the manual even fifteen minutes.
If you want a little more flexibility then Pixelmator is a good choice. It is not as powerful as some choices, but you can always use Gimp as a great free option with a variety of filters. Aperture is another great choice. It is not free, but it also does not waste its with 3D, text or animation features that most non-professionals will never have a good reason to use.
If you’re working pro then you need to have the ability to make advanced edits, work with your layers and have the maximum control over your settings. You know already that this usually means using Photoshop either in its full version, or with a version like Lightbox. If you are just getting started however, or you think that your business will mostly be portrait work or events where the action won’t require a lot of heavy editing outside of cropping, color saturation changes and a few basic filters, then you may be able to use Gimpshop which is a more Photoshop like Gimp modification as well. If you’re not feeling Gimpshop then consider Photoline it’s up and coming, but it may be worth it if you value easy access to your tools. Other alternatives would be Photoshop and Lightroom from Adobe of course.