I just installed Lightrrom 4, and figured I’d give it a quick test. I found a photo that I took last year that was quite underexposed, to see what I can do with it. Right off the bat, when I made the process update to the LR4 “2012 process”, the photo was instantly much better. The ability to use the adjustment brush to selectively add noise reduction (to her skin tones only), and highlight and shadow adjustments (to the brick), in my opinion, make the photo much more pleasing. There aren’t many functional differences between LR3 and LR4, but my first impressions is that the technical aspects (the “algorithms”) used by LR4 is going to make my photos better and improve my workflow.
Most websites and magazines will talk about Photoshop as being the tool to edit photographs. Unfortunately Photoshop costs US$699, which is out of reach for most people. Adobe does have Photoshop Elements, which is a much less expensive, yet very capable scaled down version of Photoshop.
Personally I use Gimp, which is an open source photo editing software. As far as photography editing goes, Gimp has all of the capabilities of Photoshop that I need, and best of all, it’s free!
The majority of the tasks that I require for photo editing are features of both Gimp and Photoshop:
- Dodging and burning
- Cloning and Healing
- Curves adjustments
The interface of Gimp may take some getting used to if you’re familiar with Photoshop, but once you’ve learned to navigate it, it is a very powerful tool. Download it and try it out for yourself.