A lot of great photography today happens long after the photo has been shot. Photographers are well aware of the value of post processing. It can take an image that you might’ve originally thought was a “throw-away” and turn it into something breathtaking.
Aperture & Lightroom
There are a few widely used tools out there to choose from these days. Two of the ones that get a lot of attention are Apple’s Aperture and Adobe’s Lightroom. Both are awesome programs with what they offer. Not only fast ways to do your post work, but also both are great image management tools.
The grande poo-bah of all image editing software of course is Adobe’s Photoshop. Photoshop is like another world. It’s practically limitless in what you can accomplish with this software! In reality, it Photoshop offers much more than most photographers would ever need. To say it’s powerful is an understatement (to say that’s an “understatement” is an understatement). With that kind of power, you’re looking at more of a learning curve in getting started with it. But, certainly worth it if you really want to take your images to the extreme.
Another pretty wonderful tool that I’ve become aware of is a variety of photo editing plugins from NIK Software, Inc. I’ve recently purchased NIK’s Color Efex 3.0 and Silver Efex 2.0. Wow, this stuff is great! It can really speed up your post time, making basics like skin smoothing, WB adjustment and others very easy and fast. But, you know what I love about this software??? NIK made it so that when you buy this software, the plugins aren’t limited to working with Aperture, Lightroom or Photoshop. If you own more than one of these products you will find that your new NIK plugins work with all of them!!! How nice is that! As I own and use all three of these products I’ve mentioned, I was very impressed by that cross-platform feature alone.
I’m not sure yet. I’m a long time user of Photoshop, so I like having the “heavy-lifting” options I have with that. But, when it comes to just touching up some nice photos, I really like how these other options make things so quick and easy. I used Aperture with NIK for this photo of Sonia and it only took about two minutes of post to get the results you see. Granted, Geneva is a beautiful gal, and the image didn’t really take that much editing, but I like not having to spend a lot of time to get professional results.
Aperture is probably my favorite right now, but I’m still experimenting with Lightroom to see why it’s so popular (other than it runs on both Mac and PC, while Aperture only runs on Mac.) I do like seeing some of the post examples of what LR can do.
What’s Your Choice?
What do you use? Why? I really am interested on your input on this. I’ve only talked about the products that I know and use. I’d like to hear about other alternatives you like.
Like I said, right now I’m loving Aperture, but ultimately I want the product that’s going to be the easiest to use to produce awesome results!