Apple has long been the go-to brand for photographers, and creatives in general, for their powerful hardware, sound selection of software, and beautiful physical appearances. This is not to say that other brands don’t have their respective uses and niche audiences, they do, but there is no denying that the broader group of photographers carry out our work on an Apple device.
With Apple being such a popular option, it’s no surprise to find that so many software developers have made the choice to port across, or create brand new, photo editing applications on Apple machines.
If you’re only new to Apple, or even new to photography, it’s worth knowing what options are available when making the choice of software to handle your post-processing and image management needs. The following 5 applications are the best-in-class options, whether you’re choosing editing software for the first time, or as a replacement to your existing software.
1. Adobe Lightroom
It is an obvious first choice but well deserving of it since Lightroom has been one of the top photo editing applications since it was originally released in beta during 2006, as a Mac only application.
Featuring the tools needed to easily adjust RAW images, add masks, remove spots and unwanted marks, update camera profiles, and make use of Lightroom presets, LR is a powerful piece of software that makes post processing a seamless process. Further to this, and unlike many alternate options, Lightroom offers a non-destructive method to adjusting your photographs, which means that the original image is not altered during any stage of the editing process.
As an added bonus, since moving to a cloud-based model, the Adobe team have developed a mobile and tablet version of Lightroom that makes it easy to edit your photographs on the fly.
Get Started With Lightroom
2. Adobe Photoshop
Similar to Lightroom, Photoshop has been another strong performer and popular choice when it comes to photographers and our post-processing needs and, in many cases, is often used in conjunction with Lightroom.
Photoshop provides the tools needed to adjust exposure, completely manipulate images, remove or add elements, and make use of pre-made actions which are a quick way to overlay a desired effect or automate complex processes.
Adobe have also released multiple phone and tablet versions of Photoshop including Photoshop Mix and Photoshop Fix, allowing for basic post processing on-the-go.
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3. Affinity Photo
Affinity Photo is a lesser known application but has made big waves in the photography space through its clean interface and powerful set of RAW image editing features. The application was also chosen by Apple as the best Mac App for 2015 through both its desktop and tablet edition.
Affinity house a bulky set of features, including all that you would expect in a post processing application, along with comprehensive file compatibility, multiple color spaces, and a cross-platform back-end engine.
The application, like Adobe’s suite, is also available on iPad via the app store which makes for a handy tool to touch up your photographs while on-the-go.
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4. On1 Photo
On1 Photo touts itself as being the world’s fastest, most flexible, RAW processor available today, and it’s a relatively accurate as well. The predominant downfall of this application, to me, is that the interface doesn’t feel quite as seamless or smooth compared to the others, particularly when comparing it to the speed and power offered through the rest of their features.
As with all post processing applications, On1 Photo offers the ability to adjust exposure, correct color, and make use of presets for easy tweaks and adjustments. Further to this, On1, although being a stand-alone application, can also be used as a plug-in for both Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop
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5. Aurora HDR
Aurora HDR is another solid option available to those looking for a new photo editing package. Although initially designed with a HDR specific focus in mind, Aurora features the tools needed to carry out all of your post processing needs including exposure adjustments, color corrections, exposure stacking, tone mapping, and batch processing.
The team behind Aurora offer a range of training material to help you get accustomed with the software, and insights from multiple photographers who have made Aurora their go-to editing software.
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Apple Aperture was also one of the top choice prior to being discontinued in order to make way for the new version of Photos.
So, what application do you currently use for your post processing?