Some people invest a lot of money in cameras and lenses but tend to neglect the true digital part of photography. Good software is as important to a photographer as any piece of gear. Editing programs, portfolio organizers or slideshow creators are essential to the workflow of any self respecting photographer.
We've put together a list of 10 programs that we believe are truly useful for photographers in 2014.
10. Apple Aperture
Mac users know and love Aperture. It is created especially for them and the new version is now optimized for working with Retina displays. It's great for editing as well as storing your photos in a unified library.
Capture One is a professional RAW converter that does a great job of extracting detail and accurate colors from out of the camera files. It is an alternative to standard RAW converters and a popular choice among professionals.
GIMP is fantastic. Why? Because it's free software that allows you to retouch your images, draw, resize and crop almost like you would with premium products like Photoshop.
7. VSCO Film
If you love the look of film but can't quite afford using film as your main medium, these filters are probably the best choice you can make. They reproduce classic film emulsions and they actually do a very good job. In their "film" lineup you will find legendary films like the Fuji Velvia and the Neopan.
Topaz Filters are Photoshop plug-ins that have various roles and purposes. It's a pretty useful collection that includes Topaz Detail, Topaz DeNoise, LensEffect, ReStyle and others. These are an alternative to what you can do manually with Photoshop and other software, but they take a lot less time and sometimes they do a better job.
5. ACDSee Pro 8
The Pro 8 was designed to enhance professional workflows and help photographers stay organized while keeping full control over individual pixels.
Elements used to be the very poor version of the big cousin Photoshop. The latest version has gotten a lot better and it is a great way to introduce yourself to retouching and post processing. It requires no experience and it can easily help bring out the best in your photos.
Moving on to our top three picks, we have the Nik plug-ins. Much like Topaz, the purpose of the Nik Collection is the help photographers enhance, stylize or tweak the colors of their images. The plug-ins are available for Lightroom, Photoshop and Aperture.
I've heard photographers say that black and white photography will never be as cool as it used to be in the film days. With tools like Tonality, it's hard not to disagree. Tonality takes its inspiration from the romantic era of the darkroom with all its beautiful grey tones, and transfers them to the digital age. With over 150 professional, easy to use presets, advanced clarity and detail controls and realistic grain engine, it is the professional choice for all shooters who love black and white photography .
We've reached our highly recommended number one. There are multiple ways of highlighting your work and giving it true value. One of them is the slideshow and if you're serious about it, you're going to need a professional tool. The PROSHOW lineup consists of three such tools : PROSHOW Gold, PROSHOW Producer and PROSHOW Web. Each are designed to meet specific needs. The Gold version is ideal for enthusiasts, the Web is great for instantly creating slideshows that are easy to share and the Producer is the choice of professionals who recognize the benefits of creating slideshows with their photos.