I ran this same poll a while back, so it’s probably due for another round. I like to know what you folks are using because I tend to get carried away with my own preferences. For the poll this week, vote for your MAIN photo editing software. I know many of you probably use a combination of things like Lightroom and Photoshop, but try to vote for whatever you use most often. And for the purpose of the poll, don’t worry about which version of the software you’re using — you can leave that information in the comments if you’d like.

What Photo Editing Software Do You Use?

And Wow! Definitely check out the results from last week’s poll titled “What Camera Mode Do You Use?” We had nearly 460 votes on that one, which is the most votes any of the polls have had. Out of all those people, it turns out that around 50% shoot in “Aperture Priority”, while another 25% shoot in “Fully Manual” mode. Check out the poll results to see where the rest of the votes landed.

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Aperture 2.0 here. Latest version of RAW converter does wonders with highlight recovery but I prefer color rendering of the earlier v1.1.

March 11, 2008 2:16 am

I voted Photoshop/ACR, but I think you should add Bridge to those two…

March 11, 2008 4:22 am

I just put Photoshop/ACR because those are the two pieces of software that are doing the work when it comes to editing and processing. Bridge is just an organization tool that interfaces quite nicely with the two other pieces of software. But you can’t process photos directly with Bridge, otherwise it would be called Lightroom. ;)

I’m a Photoshop/ACR/Bridge user too — 100%.

March 11, 2008 5:34 am

I agree with Libeco. I use CS3 + ACR + Bridge all the time.

March 11, 2008 6:20 am

My primary processing environment is Lightroom and I use Photoshop Elements and GIMP as secondary tools, depending on what I need to do to the image. I also use a standalone version of Noiseware and PTLens, both in standalone and plugin mode.

March 11, 2008 6:29 am

Primarily I use Gimp, but more recently I’ve been trialling LightZone and am quite pleased with it. Sometimes F-Spot is enough when all the image needs is cropping.

March 11, 2008 7:16 am

I don’t do much post processing; please forgive me for the newbie question. What exactly do you consider “photo editing software”?

My impression is that programs like Lightroom & Aperture (and the consumer oriented iPhoto – my choice, btw) are primarily photo management applications with some editing features.

Photoshop & GIMP on the other hand have lots of editing features, but file management is pretty much up to the user.


March 11, 2008 7:27 am

That’s a good point — some software is heavy on the editing and skimpy on the organization, while others are heavy on the organization and skimpy on the editing. Really though, photo editing software is anything that can make adjustments to the photo’s appearance. Some are much more powerful than others, but they’re all still photo editing software.

March 11, 2008 7:38 am

I use lightroom natively, then move into photoshop for things I can’t tweak in lightroom.

March 11, 2008 7:48 am

I had to voted for Adobe Photoshop however it is really Photoshop and Picasa 50/50

March 11, 2008 7:52 am

Good question Brian:

As it always good to see wast others are using as I also make assumptions thatalmsot everyone else are using the same.

My main software program I use is Adobe Photoshop 3 with Adobe Camera Raw (ARC) for WB and Basic colour enhancement.

I use these add-on to Photoshop;

NIK Sharpener Pro 2.0 for printer sharpening

Nik Color EFEX PRO 2.0 and from this set mainly the sunshine, Indian Summer and Foil age for some fun enhancement but only occasionally.

I just acquired the new NIK Viveza filter and this one works great and will be a standard tool for many colour images.

I also use Digital Film Ozone 2.5 for images that are more about subtle toanl ranges(landscape) and not bright colour contrasted images.

Niels Henriksen


March 11, 2008 8:17 am

I think once I am able to afford a new Mac, then I may give Aperture a try. For now it is Photoshop/Lightroon, with the edge to Photoshop.

March 11, 2008 8:17 am

Hi Brian,

I simply love Photoshop CS3 for the amazing feature it has of removing dust spots from the image (the dust spots seem to sneak in despite cleaning the lens so often)! However, it tends to slow down the system so if it’s just simple actions like resizing an image for web posting, I use Photoshop 7.0. Whatever version it is, it has to be Photoshop any day!



March 11, 2008 9:32 am

One thing that interests me is that there is such a large group using Photoshop CSn. As this is such an expensive application it seems fairly widely pirated and many users of it here in South Africa, that are not professional photographers, graphic artists, etc. use illegal copies. It would be interesting to see a secondary poll of the Photoshop users to get some indication of how many of that group have legally acquired it.

March 11, 2008 9:48 am

Good point Steve — pirated software is a problem anywhere you go. It’s quite a popular past-time here in America too. I have the sense though, that the latest versions of Photoshop are much more difficult to use illegally. Since they make you activate the product online and since you’re only given two seats, I would think that the more popular methods of stealing software wouldn’t work.

It’s very expensive software, but when you use it every day it’s definitely worth the money. I like your idea for the poll… I just wonder how many people would actually vote honestly.

March 11, 2008 9:49 am

A majority of the time, I stick to ACR/Photoshop. When I am feeling lazy, I use Lightroom due to the fact that a lot of my presets let me do my processing with a click here and there.

March 11, 2008 9:50 am

I use Photoshop Elements 5.

March 11, 2008 10:53 am

I have put Photshop/ACR but in reality the workflow is
Rawshooter Pro (becuase it is the easiest to go trough a large number of images and select the ones you want to process more)
Nikon Capture NX for Raw processing
Photoshop CS3 for finishing work

March 11, 2008 5:22 pm


While I voted (and added) Paint.net as it is free and suits my needs, I have tried CS3, and believe me when I say that it is not hard to gain full access without spending a cent… :D

But, I’m not real keen on that sort of thing, and I only have simple needs, so I’ll stick with Paint.net for a while.

March 11, 2008 5:46 pm

Hi, I use photocap, and sometimes photoshop, but since I use photocap more often, I vote for it.
the website here: http://photocap.com.tw/
think you’ll need to translate it, so click here: http://google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fphotocap.com.tw%2F&langpair=zh%7Cen&hl=zh-TW&ie=UTF8

March 11, 2008 9:50 pm

ALL of my photos go through Lightroom. If I need to tweak images beyond what LR can do, then I go to Photoshop.

March 12, 2008 1:51 am

I ride the fence going back and forth between Photoshop and Lightroom. It just depends on the image.

March 14, 2008 3:16 am

Getting caught up on my reading and blogging, so I’m a bit behind on this survey. I think you should have allowed for choosing multiple tools, I hardly ever use just one tool for anything. I generally use lightroom for my first pass selection and processing. I also use Photoshop and a horde of plugins for adding a little something extra to those special images…

March 15, 2008 9:42 pm

I personnally use paint.net, what else! It is free and so powerfull, easy to use for beginners like me…

April 1, 2008 1:52 pm

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