Photo Editing: The Process, The Programs, The Benefits

The photo editing service domain has been undergoing a rapid transformation with the evolution of ground-breaking photo editing programs that support world-class photo retouching operations and help professional photographers and studios to address the unique needs of their clients that include professionals, individuals, and businesses in diverse industries. In this article, we have discussed about the diverse possibilities that photo editing support can bring, thereby helping professionals and businesses to make the most out of modern photo editing techniques and to create a great marketing portfolio.

Before we delve deeper into this topic, let’s start with the definition of photo editing and why you need photo editing.

What is Photo Editing?

In simple terms, photo editing is the process of modifying an image through the use of advanced technologies.

Why is Photo Editing Needed?

The main purpose of photo editing is to enhance raw photos optimally so as to make them suitable for use for diverse purposes. With photo editing, you can make ordinary images appear extraordinary. Whether you need to beautify your personal pictures or you want to finetune images for your Ecommerce platform, getting your images professionally edited would help you preserve your images in the best possible way while being able to use them for professional purpose. With image editing, you can boost your business’s scope and improve its potential. For example, if you are running a food businesses or a real estate business, using refined images of your products would help you to grab the attention of your target audience. With photo editing, you can instill desired effects in your images and use them for varied purposes. From converting black-and-white images into their colored counterparts to old photo restoration to making color corrections, photo editing brings along multiple opportunities that you can use to get optimal business results.

What is the best photo editing software?

There are a lot of options available in the market when it comes to making a selection for the best photo editing software. Photo editing is not an easy job and so new photo editors often struggle to handle complex software for their projects. The professional photo editing programs come at high prices and so beginners should consider using free photo editing software such as GIMP, Pixlr, Fotor, etc. However, these programs have certain limitations even though they have simplistic and easy-to-use interfaces. People who have years of experience in photo editing and people who are professionals should consider using paid software that would have advanced features. The list includes Adobe Lightroom, Skylum Luminar, and of course Adobe Photoshop. Of these software, Adobe Photoshop deserves special mention because of its usefulness to support illustrators, graphic designers, and artists for diverse creative projects. No wonder why image editing is also referred to as ‘Photoshopping’.

Top Free Photo Editing Software for Beginners

  • GIMP

    GIMP is compatible with Linux, Mac Os, and Windows operating systems. The software features cutting-edge image editing tools that allow for easy adjustment of saturation, hue, and contrast. Users can work on several masks or layers at the same time. Its intuitive interface would allow you to become familiar with this software within a short span of time. It features over 150 filters and effects. If you are looking to develop your skills, then GIMP is definitely your best bet.

  • Fotor

    Fotor comes with editing and glamour retouching functionalities. Its High Dynamic Range feature would allow you to combine three images with varied exposures into a single image while incorporating the most favorable light and tone from every image. You can upgrade to the pro version in exchange of a small monthly charge.

  • Inkscape

    Inkscape needs to be downloaded in your computer. It is noted for its efficient vector graphics editor that is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X operating systems. The software would allow you to introduce and modify objects, alter colors and incorporate text.

  • Pixlr

    Pixlr is a designed for both mobile and web-based platforms. It comes equipped with a set of gradients, a sponge tool, a brush tool and a tool to rectify red eye effects. You can also consider using the upgraded features of the Pro version that will require you to bear charges.

  • Photoshop Express

    This is the free version of Photoshop, which is designed for mobile phones. This app can be used for photo cropping, red eye effect elimination, social media sharing, etc. Users practising their skills with this version can switch over to the professional version over time.

  • Photo POS Pro

    It has separate versions for novice and professional photo editors and can be downloaded to your system. Using this software, you can eliminate unwanted objects, cut out image backgrounds, enhance colors, and develop overlays and borders.

  • InPixio

    With this software, you can develop wonderful images with just a single click. It has limited features and can address simple image editing needs. However, it is good for beginners who want to learn and master the basic techniques.

  • Canva

    Canva is a photo editing as well as a graphic designing platform that are used by many people to create brochures and graphics. The program is browser-based and is also available as a paid version that comes equipped with sophisticated features.

Top Paid Photo Editing Software for Professionals

  • Adobe Photoshop

    Photoshop features a number of tools that demand mastery. So professionals using Photoshop should have adequate patience to learn all the features. The Photoshop Workspace features a number of presets that would allow you to skip repetitive work. It features separate workspaces such as 3D Workspace and Photography Workspace, which come equipped with distinct selection tools. A user needs to decide on the editing tools that they are going to use most frequently and can get their customized workspaces created. Photoshop is highly recognized for its masking, layering, and retouching tools and some of the best features of Photoshop include advanced retouching, multi-layer editing, filters and brushes, pro-editing capabilities, sophisticated color editing, and 3D design features.

  • Adobe Lightroom

    Lightroom has a simplistic interface that’s ideal for beginners. You can access the image library from the left-hand panel and can easily switch between images for editing purpose. The right-hand panel features drop-down menus that would facilitate prompt adjustments. For in-depth editing, you would need to check the horizontal tabs located at the top portion of the workspace. The Develop module features the basic as well as the advanced tools and would allow you to perform activities such as split toning, photo lens correction, photo manipulation, and other modifications. It is noted for its leading features such as face detection, lens-based corrections, brushes and gradients, blurring tools, filters & presets, personalized sliders, multi-device synchronization.

  • Skylum Luminar

    This acts as a photo editor as well as an organizer. You can store your images in the Luminar Library in order to centralize your workflow. It features customized workspaces for different editing tasks. You can even create workspaces on your own. It is most noted for its AI slider that allows users to apply automatic adjustments such as toning, clarifying, brightening, etc. It also features special filters such as the Sunrays filter that allows users to add realistic sunrays to an image and the Orton filter to facilitate blurring. It also features adjustment layers, image layers, and exclusive presets for drone images.

Different types of photo editing styles

  1. Clean Editing

    Rectification of clarity, color temperature, and sharpness is included under clean editing. In simple terms, with clean editing, you will be applying the basic edits to instill a natural look in an image. This is a classic editing style that can make an image appear timeless.

  2. Matte Finish

    This editing style adds a vintage and a sort of a washed-out look in images and the most common way to achieve the matte finish is by modifying the curves. You can use the Develop Module in Lightroom to instill this effect. This style is commonly applied to street photography, landscape photography, and to casual portraits.

  3. High Contrast

    With a high contrast, you can add drama to an image. Dark shadows make color as well as black-and-white images appear more graphic and appealing. This image editing technique requires you to darken the black portions and brighten the whiter portions more

  4. Mid-Contrast Black and White

    If you are a beginner in the field of black-and-white photo editing, you may find this editing style as a good starting point. You can incorporate a medium level of contrast by adjusting the whites, blacks, clarity, and contrasts in a balanced way. Lower degree of contrast would make an image appear less appealing whereas a picture would appear harsh if too much contrast is applied. A mid-contrast style adds glamor to black-and-white event and wedding photos and portraits.

  5. Warm Black and White

    A black-and-white image has a ‘warm’ effect if it has a warm, subtle tone and if it has a low level of contrast and slightly-brightened shadows. Warmth adds a casual look and feel to black-and-white images. This style can be applied to landscapes, casual portraits, and images that have a degree of detail.

  6. HDR

    HDR images are typically characterized by the presence of long-range between highlights and shadows. Your editing activity should include reducing the highlights and lightening the shadows. Side by side, you should modify the noise as well. This is a commonly used style for architectural and landscape photography.

  7. Cross-Processing

    You can instill cross-processing effects in your image by playing with different colors. This technique dates back to a time when photographers used different chemicals to develop film. The planned change in chemicals would promote the generation of funky shades. This adds a fun appeal to an image and boosts the impact of still-life images, urban or natural landscapes, portraits, etc.

  8. Damaged Film Appearance

    This look makes an image appear even more colorful and funky. This effect was created after the expiry of a film or when a film suffered damaged due to light or heat. The effects often show up as a mixture of scratches and colorful streaks. This style can be applied to urban photography and even to portraits.

  9. Vintage Film

    This style adds 1970s and 1980s look to images. Matte finish is often found in images sporting vintage feel. Such images have a washed-out appearance and they are characterized by a heavier grain. This effect can be instilled in outdoor images as well as in portraits. You can add rounded corners or add a white border to add a more vintage appeal.

  10. Dark and Shadowy

    Dark and shadowy photos can evoke deep thoughts and emotions. Because shadows appear dark, people get automatically attracted towards the highlights. This style demands creative use of powerful colors and highlights. This style is all about highlighting details in photos and can be applied in still-life images and portraits.

  11. Color Enhancement

    You can enhance colors in Photoshop by adjusting vibrancy or saturation. Play around with these functions and check what you get. You can even adjust single colors at a time. When you increase saturation, the red color will appear as red only. If you decrease saturation, red will now appear as muted pink. When you eliminate saturation totally, you will see only gray color.

  12. Unwanted Object Removal

    To eliminate unwanted elements, apply healing brush or clone stamp. The clone brush is used to reproduce a section of an image. Begin by selecting the area that you want to replicate. Then, place it in the spot that needs to be replaced. Modify the brush-size, shape, opacity and the blending modes as well.

Which industries use photo editing services?

Businesses in diverse industries use professional photo editing services to get their product-images refined for print media, web media, and mobile platforms. Here are the top industries that hire photo editing services to create an awesome marketing portfolio:

  • Ecommerce Businesses: Ecommerce businesses especially those selling furniture, apparel, automobile parts, sports goods, and electronic gadgets commonly choose ecommerce image editingto get their product images professionally finetuned. Such images look authentic and genuine on online platforms and can improve sales response. Some of the common product photo editing services that Ecommerce businesses hire on a regular basis are furniture photo editing, ghost mannequin effect creation, jewellery photo editing, etc.
  • Publishing Houses: Certain books such as those belonging to education or children’s categories are rich in graphics. Publishers appoint professional photo editors to get these graphics refined to the industry standards to make them suitable for use.
  • Photography Studios: Photography studios or professional photographers need professional photo retouching support to get their clients’ photos finetuned. They often outsource image editing requirements such as headshot photo editing, image manipulation, clipping path, etc.to bulk amounts to their trusted providers on a regular basis.
  • Real Estate: Realtors and marketers hire professional image editing companies to enhance their property marketing portfolio and to enable realistic architectural visualizations to create a deep impact on prospective homebuyers through various techniques notably virtual staging, panorama photo stitching, and 360 degree virtual tour.
  • Textile: Businesses selling textiles usually showcase their dress materials using ghost mannequins and professional models to showcase their designs. Usually they will have in-house editors or hire third party companies to do color correction, contrast-and-brightness adjustment, and clipping path support.
  • Medical: Businesses selling pharmaceuticals or other healthcare products need enhanced images of their products, which can be printed on diverse marketing collateral or displayed properly on online portals.
  • Manufacturing: Manufacturing companies need their product images to be professionally displayed on user manuals as well as on marketing brochures.
  • Technology: Technology companies introducing detailed product features or new products need elaborate and refined graphics to complement their textual content.
  • Advertising: Companies providing advertising services need to get their clients’ product-images refined in a perfect manner so that they become suitable for use across diverse platforms.
  • Engineering: Engineering corporations need high-quality graphic design support to get their complex scientific images edited by experienced professionals.
  • Education: Universities and educational institutions often release publications that contain images. They need photo editing support in order to get the graphics finetuned.

We hope that by now you have got a fair idea about the most common types of photo editing that are used by businesses and professionals to address manifold and unique project and business needs. If you have queries or if you want to know how we can help you, do give us a call. We are always there to help you out.