An incessant question that arises in the minds of most photographers is, “What are the best tools for post-processing?” A flawless image requires professional post-processing tools. The best post-processing photo tools aid in providing focus to an image, feature the critical subject, and mutate an ordinary image into a mind-boggling image. But the query for most photographers is how to determine the correct post-processing software to augment their skills.

There are endless options available to make a perfect choice, from prominent systems like Adobe’s Photoshop and Lightroom to elementary but productive tools like Canva. Some efficient free tools are available too.

NEED OF POST-PROCESSING TOOLS

Processing an image not only beautifies it but also helps in minimizing the file size. Small file size helps in increasing the WordPress speed and improve search engine rankings. Having impulsive and handy post-processing tools helps in processing the images expeditiously and level up their quality.

So, let’s take a gander at some of the best post-processing tools.

ADOBE LIGHTROOM

Photo Courtesy: Pinterest

Adobe is doubtlessly a graded tool when it comes to post-processing an image. Adobe Lightroom’s astounding effects help to deal with convoluted and ponderous photoshops. It not only helps in making the images astonishing but also speeds up the workflow.

Lightroom permits to process an image in a plain sailing, intuitive  interface with a host of fabulous features including:

  • CREATING PRESETS TO MINIMISE TIME CONSUMED AND DEVELOP STYLE: Presets allow us to conveniently save compositions of the adjustment sliders in the develop module. A wide variety of presets can be created to save time and apply the presets on different looks.
  • BATCH PROCESSING IMAGES USING QUICK DEVELOP PANEL: Using Quick Develop panel, images can be batch processed, and presets can be applied to multiple images at a time. Batch processing saves time when one needs to fine-tune an image in the Develop module.
  • USE OF INTUITIVE USER INTERFACE: In a Develop module, moving from one image to another is super handy. One can also go through the contact sheets in the Library grid view. All the adjustments are laid out logically in a Develop module, so one can conveniently accomplish various adjustments on one image. 
  • EASY TRANSFER OF ADJUSTMENT SETTINGS: The settings made in adjusting one image can be easily transferred from the original image into another image with a single click. This can be done by simply clicking the ‘Previous’ button in the Develop module. This feature allows you to jaunt through a faction of images effortlessly.  
  • NON-DESTRUCTIVE EDITING: The original files are never damaged in an Adobe Lightroom. A set of instructions is created by the Adobe Lightroom whenever an image is adjusted. Catalog files store the photos and guide how the image is saved on export. These sets of instructions can be automatically entrenched in DNG files. An XMP sidecar file is created with RAW, JPEG, and TIFF that stores these instructions correctly besides the original file.  

In a gist, original files are stored by the Lightroom. One can undoubtedly edit, being aware that the original quality of the image can always be restored.

SKYLUM LUMINAR

Photo Courtesy: Skylum

For various reasons, Skylum Luminar has rapidly grown to be counted as one of the most prominent post-processing tools for professional photographers worldwide. One is required to pay a one-time investment for the program. Skylum Luminar does not have a monthly subscription program, unlike Adobe and other software companies.

Luminar is a single-stop shop for post-processing an image and is used by itself or as a plugin with various tools like Lightroom, Photoshop, and even Apple Photos.

Skylum Liuminar’s AI slider has gained fame for its quick automatic fix for the entirety from brightening, toning, clarifying, and various other basic adjustments. Overall, Skylum Luminar is a strong professional standardize adversary to Adobe’s products.

Features of Skylum Luminar includes:

  • An ascendable and flexible user interface that allows one to work according to their requirements.
  • Authoritative workspaces designed for distinct types of photography such as Landscape,  Black and White, Default, Street photography, or Portrait along with options to create one’s custom workspaces.
  • More than 60 powerful single-click presets to level up the images rapidly.
  • Solving image problems and refining photographs using up to 50 image augmenting filters.
  • Selective post-processing using layers, masking, and brushes.
  • Selective masking system and customizable brushes to provide decisive control.
  • A History panel to trace the adjustments applied to an image and rapidly performed various updos.
  • Workflow customized to any style to be used as a standalone application.
  • Photoshop plug-ins hosting availability.
  • Batch processing to rapidly advance an image.
  1. ADOBE PHOTOSHOP
Photo courtesy: SteemKR

Writing about the best post-processing tools is a difficult task without mentioning Adobe Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop is a turn-to tool for illustrators, artists, and designers worldwide. It is the world’s unparalleled creative and multimedia software magnate. Built for professional photographers, artists, and designers, Adobe Photoshop is an image, photo, and design post-processing tool.  Layering, masking, and retouching are still some of Adobe Photoshop’s most fascinating tools on the market. Although it is not unfair to say that this tool might not be most preferable over Lightroom for the odd “basic” touchup. This program is designed for professionals who need attractive additional features in their images.

Adobe Photoshop features includes:

  • LAYERS

The layers palette augmented the advantage of a software-based designing. The artist has an overall control over the entire adjustment on the document. Numerous elements of the documents can be drawn and designed independently in layers and can be stacked up according to the order of display. This boons the control over each object just at a click of a mouse. If some mishap occurs, it is limited to the part of the canvas, a particular part of the canvas can be worked upon and the rest can be left as it is.

The conventional painting methods lack this benefit. In the traditional painting methods, the artist is bound to alter the entire canvas once they are distracted and a stroke of painting messes up. Besides these above-mentioned merits, the layers palette is graded by blending modes, layer masks, dill, opacity, lock, group and various other options.

  • SELECTION TOOLS

Adobe Photoshop’s tools provide handy use to its users. The selection tools provide outstanding detailing and its precision has improved over the years. Magic Wand selection controls the color range through tolerance and uses pixel color samples. The set of Lasso tools intend to comply with various industries depending on their workflows, using hands-free selection process and pixel colors. Adobe Photoshop’s selection tools can effortlessly select furry animals or hair.

  • PEN TOOL

Without a pen tool, a software is no less than a bevy of color palettes. Apart from its natural work of drawing paths along with anchor points, the creative scope provided by the pen tool is limitless. The artist can utilize the flexibility of the pen tool to design any shape or process the existing ones.

  • SHAPES

The shape layer of Photoshop is a boon to process an object without affecting the original quality of the file. The shape layer maintains the finest quality of a document and process with the use of a pen tool or a selection tool and still manages to cling to its original quality.

  • VECTOR MASK

An area of mask of an entity using the grayscale color combination is created by the vector mask which disappears once the masking is done.

  • SLICE TOOL

Slice tool was introduced to escalate the efficiency of websites. It clips the images into slices to alleviate the loading time of a website to a large extent.

  • RETOUCHING TOOLS

Retouching tools are an aggregation of numerous tools such as Pattern stamp tool, Healing tool, Stamp tool, Spot Healing tool, Redeye tool, Patch tool and various others. These tools brought down the manual work of graphic designers and photographers to almost hundred percent. 

  • PHOTOSHOP 3D

The 3D feature in Photoshop simplified the colossal process of creating and drawing textures. The 3D feature in Photoshop allows the direct import of 3 Dimensional entities into Photoshop using cloud programs

  • ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD

Through the Adobe Creative Cloud feature the users have complete access to the entire domain of Adobe software. Users can save their files in the Adobe cloud and can access it from any other device.

CANVA

Photo Courtesy: Peeking Beneath

Canva is an elementary web-based graphic design software. It consists of many post-processing tools and products and is a free model. Unlike some other post-processing tools, users can download Canva and can process their images instantaneously.

The Canva emporium has thousands of cards, photos, icons, and templates that help the users in building visual content for their websites or blogs. It offers a drag-and-drop interface that allows the users to adjust various elements of their images.

Canva provides access to various design layouts for creating social media graphics, flyers, presentations, posters, and much more. Both non-professional and professional artists and photographers can utilize the tool for creating print media and custom web.

The users can add more to their designs by selecting graphics, fonts, illustrations, photographs, and more available in the stock library of Canva. The users can add frames, borders, stickers, text, and more using the advanced photo processing tools and the preset photo filter included in the Canvas. The Canvas consists of ample fonts and offers multiple font combinations that fit best in a selected typeface.

The Canva users can leaf through a collection of fully customizable designs and templates including notable pamphlets, flyers, posters and presentations, to tickets, social media posts, email invitations, media kids and banners, logos and more. Canva helps the users to present innovative ideas building mind maps, diagrams and charts to make data engaging and easy to assimilate. 

The Canva features include: 

  • More than 8,000 templates
  • Photo vignette and blur 
  • Straighten and crop an image
  • Image transparency tool 
  • Photo frames and design grids
  • Badges and stickers 
  • Add texture 
  • Photo enhancer 
  • Speech bubble maker 

CAPTURE ONE

Photo Courtesy: Youtube

Capture One is a robust and visceral post-processing tool designed to make the editing experience of every photographer smoother and more precise than ever. Introduced by the camera company Phase One, Capture One is a RAW image post-processing tool. Along with processing an image it also executes tethered photography, image cataloging.

Each tool designed in Capture One provides the users full control of all the processings- optimization, recovery, and preserving all data from RAW files. The tool consists of some solid distinctions. The full range of tools grants considerable possibilities to achieve foolproof results.

With Camera One, users get:

  • INTERFACE CUSTOMIZABILITY: Users can alter the program’s layout according to their liking and can even modify or create keyboard shortcuts.
  • LAYERS: Not all post-processing tools have layers, and some may slacken their efficiency with too many. Capture One doesn’t lag behind despite offering numerous adjustments on each layer.
  • ADVANCED COLOR EDITING: Capture One offers more flexibility by providing the feature of adjusting the granularity of color changes with sliders. 
  • ANNOTATIONS: Users can make notes for themselves or conduct collaborations.
  • SPEED: Capture One efficiently operates on large volumes of pictures which are over 20-megapixel RAW files, at a much better speed compared to other professional contenders in the market.

CONCLUSION

Epitomizing, a vast range of post-processing tools are available to choose one from. This article hints at some of the best ones available in the marketplace, the list is endless though! If one is searching for an industry-standard, easy to use tool, then Adobe Lightroom along with Adobe Photoshop in the CC Plan is recommended.

While choosing a post-processing tool, users must have a clear notion about the design of their images, how they will process their image, and which tools will be required to accomplish the task. Though all the basic edits can be handled by all the tools mentioned above, some overpower others to achieve more specific and intricate techniques.