Frequently I am asked what kind of software I use to process my photos,well I personally don’t think buying the most expensive software makes your pictures look professional, you have to start by the basic, SHOOT AS YOU WANT IT TO BE.
Most part of the time I am shooting in raw, there are very few cases where I shoot in jpg, just in cases like I just want a quick shot to upload of very simple things, but my camera is set to raw. Now there are a few softwares you can use to process your raw files, like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Capture One, Aperture for Mac, in this case I am going to talk about the softwares I use, I don’t have a mac so I use Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 and Capture One Pro 6, you are probably wondering why so many softwares, well personally I work mostly with Lightroom, I have my catalogue there and I organize all of my Pro Shots with Lightroom apart from processing your raw files, Lightroom can help you with time saving, organizing and editing on the fly, you can use one setting for so many different pictures, or use a personalized setting for each picture, if you are a serious professional photographer then you should think about buying Lightroom; I compared Lightroom with Aperture and other softwares and I really prefer Lightroom by its workflow platform, and the how easily you can work without your finger being stuck on the touchpad.
the price for Lightroom probably for so many people is bit high. but on the long way is the best investment you can do for your professional photography.
Adobe Photoshop CS5
If you don’t have the money to buy Lightroom or some other software for raw processing, well guys and girls Adobe Photoshop CS5 already comes with Camera Raw, you can process your raw files with Camera Raw organize and catalogue your files with Adobe Bridge, create custom settings for your raw files, Photoshop CS5 has everything that you need to process your Raw files in a very professional way without the neediness to invest a lot of money on other raw processing software.
Photoshop to me is the most complete tool for processing my photos, I use personalized settings for my pictures and I can work selectively apart from so many different things I can do with photography that I wouldn’t be able to do on Lightroom, Photoshop is for a more personalized process. Also Photoshop can be a good tool for digital painting, if you are a digital artist, or you do photography and digital painting you can work both with Photoshop, I use it and I love it. if you like check sometime my fine art pictures.
Capture One Pro 6.
In my opinion one of the best softwares to process your raw files if you have a High Quality Raw file, in comparison with Lightroom Capture One keeps the profiles of your raw files almost intact, that.s something I hate about Lightroom when I import my raw file it automatically changes in colors, contrasts and those, but with Capture One the change is minimal so I don’t have to worry about trying to to a long post process, I use this to process most of my natural pictures, like landscapes, natural portraits, and many things, I love that this keep the sharpness and the custom settings I use on my camera. It is better if you have an advance pro camera or a medium format camera.
This software is mostly used with medium format cameras, but when I realized I could use it with my Sony Alpha 330, I decided this would be one of my tools for specific tasks.
if you like you can check www.captureone.com
this is specially for Digital Artists, if you have realized my photos are not tied to common photography I also mix digital painting with photography, well, you can work excellent artistic pictures or paint anything you like in Painter 11, this software has custom brushes like the brushes you would use in real life, if you have got a photo and you would like to turn it into a painting you can, use open it with the software and use the brushes and settings you like, obviously a Wacom tablet would be recommendable to use this software.
resuming all of this.
if you have Photoshop CS5 already, don’t buy Lightroom because you can use what you’ve got on your hands, if you are a serious Pro Photographer then use Lightroom, if you are and advanced pro, Capture One Pro 6 can be the best solution, if you are a digital artist then you can use Painter 11 and Adobe Photoshop any of the two you feel better using is all right.
just remember this guys, the camera doesn’t make the photographer and the software doesn’t make the picture, so guys I hope this can help you a bit.