As I find new software that I find useful, I’ll add it to this post along with a short description and the price (if it costs anything) as well as a link to the company.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.3
I use, love, adore Lightroom. It is just flat-out the best workflow and RAW/Image manipulation software for me. (That’s not to say it fits everyone – just that it works for me.) It’s a bit pricey at $299, but if you are serious about managing and processing your photographs, then it is money well spent.
It has a fantastic library module where you can import, manage, categorize, label, and essentially keep track of all your photos. Once categorized, you can take a picture into the develop module to apply any number of various effects to the image – control the white balance, the saturation, the sharpening, vignetting, etc. While these effects aren’t something you couldn’t achieve in any other photo-editing program, the ease with which Lightroom allows you to make the changes is, in my opinion, what sets it apart from everything else – especially if you are working with RAW images – there’s just so much you can do creatively. Beyond the Develop module, you have web, print, and slideshow modules to play with as well.
As far as the images on my own site, nearly all of them will have been processed via Lightroom. Occasionally something will need to be pushed into Photoshop, but believe me – it’s rare that I need to go that far.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is available for a free 30 day trial, after which you can purchase it for $299 from Adobe directly. View more info…
Adobe Photoshop CS4
Adobe Photoshop CS4 pretty much goes hand-in-hand with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. They integrate very tightly, and LR has support for PS’s smart object feature. If you can’t do something in Lightroom – you can do it in Photoshop. It supports everything you’d ever need in a photo editor, and includes something of large import for those who wish to print their creations – soft proofing. This enables you to get a “preview” of the photo as it might look on paper. It also lets you know if there are any colors that may not be printable (called “out-of-gamut”).
It’s a tad bit expensive at $699, however – though well worth it. However, if you can’t quite spring for that, you should look at several other tools, including Corel’s Paint Shop Pro, Photoline, Paint.NET, and more.
Adobe Photoshop CS4 is available for a free 30 day trial, after which you can purchase it for $699 from Adobe directly. View more info…
Microsoft Web Expression 2
While the tool has its quirks, it also makes editing and maintaining my sites very efficient. The full version is $299, but if you’ve ever owned Frontpage, Office, or several other programs, you can get it for as low as $99 as an upgrade. You can try it for free, as well, for 30 days. View more info…
Note: all trademarks are owned by the respective companies. The product images are © their respective owners. My evaluations of the software are my own and based solely upon my own experience. There is no connection between the companies making this software and me promoting the software – just my genuine appreciation for a well-made product I happen to enjoy using.