That image of a magical, almost unearthly sunrise soothes your soul. That image of an angelic little girl in a misty forest captivates your imagination. That photo of a beautiful, warm home entices you to buy the property. Have you ever wondered why these images are so stunning? Most likely, they have undergone some editing.


Editing, commonly called post-processing, is an important part of digital photography. Any digital photography enthusiast worth his salt---whether an amateur or a professional---needs to edit his or her images. Since even the best photos have noticeable imperfections, they need some degree of post-processing to remove blemishes, improve saturation, balance hues, and more. Special effects and alterations can also be done with photo editing.


Photographers use various image editing programs. Basically, you need one that


  • allows you to perform basic alterations
  • has a good number of effects and filters
  • organizes and imports your photos
  • allows you to share your photos.


Check out these cool photo editing programs that you can use if you're a novice. All these are based on the requirements mentioned above.


1. Adobe Lightroom



Due to its vast array of tools, functionalities, easy user interface, and wide availability, Adobe Lightroom has become the standard editing tool for novice and professional photographers. The program allows them to adjust tonalities, exposure, color, hues, saturation, etc. of a digital image to enhance it. However, it cannot be used to remove or add objects, compost an image with images, animate the photo, and more. Manipulating images is done with its sister program Adobe Photoshop.


Presently, a bundled suit that contains Lightroom, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and other Adobe applications are available through Adobe Creative Cloud. Subscribe to a large variety of Adobe Suite applications starting at USD 9.99 per month.


2. Adobe Photoshop Elements




The incredible features of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop may be too much for you. Come on, not all photographers are avid techies after all. If you are one of these photographers, then Adobe Photoshop Elements may be for you. It is a simpler version of PhotoShop and is perfect for beginner and intermediate photographers. Standard editing tasks, which usually take time and effort, can be done quickly and easily with Elements' editing tools


You can also create photo books, greeting cards, and scrapbooks. Finally, you can organize, edit, and share your photos with Elements.


3. Corel Paintshop Pro



Corel Paintshop is among the most popular choices for both amateur and professional photographers. It comes with a large array of easy-to-use photo editing tools and functions. Its coolest features include face detection, utilization of GPS for geo tagging, and HDR (High Dynamic Range) merging.


For its huge number of functionalities, Coral Paintshop Pro is quite affordable.


4. Serif PhotoPlus



Do you want an editing software that is perfect for quick and easy fixes? Then Serif PhotoPlus is for you. Paired with an easy-to-use interface, the software has amazing tools for more creative and advanced edits. For example, its Smart Selection option allows you to select areas in your images to be edited to look like pastel or watercolor paintings.


It also has tools to restore old photos. Scan an old photo and use Serif PhotoPlus to remove scratches, marks, creases, blemishes, and other defects.




As an open-source software, GIMP is free of charge! It can run through Linux, Mac, and Windows OS systems since it’s platform independent. GIMP periodically makes free plugins and scripts available, enhancing the platform’s capability.


GIMP can do a lot of what Adobe Photoshop can do even though its user interface is not as great as the other programs mentioned above. It is ideal though for simple and fast editing and retouching tasks.


Photo editing technology advances quickly, and customers demands become more refined. As such, new editing tools with cool and amazing features are introduced in a frequent and regular basis. Check out 148 of these awesome photo editing apps and bring life to your image.

What photo editing software do you use? Which one works best for you?