Would you be so kindly to list what software you use to edit images and a brief description as to why you like it?
I understand that shooting RAW is the best suggested method as you get to keep most of the data within each file.
I have heard of :
Any help would be greatly appreciated,
Is cost a factor?
In order of cost:
Photoshop Elements 12
Photoshop CS6 or subscription.
Why? These are the best there is. Ask any pro as 95% of all professional photos go through one of these. Reason enough?
I use Lightroom to download files off my camera, organize my photos into folders, sort through to label/star/delete/flag photos, do basic 'development' of the photos, apply tags, and publish to social media sites. Lightroom streamlines this process and is designed to do it with a large quantity of photos.
I kick over individual files (or files in stacks) for serious editing on a single piece of work. When I'm done editing in PS it goes back over to lightroom for tagging, metadata, organizing and publishing.
I use a couple of Photoshop and/or Lightroom plugins:
DxO makes a program for perspective correction that is far better than what you can do in LR or PS. But I use this only for architectural work.
I use Imagenomics Noiseware program for removing noise.
I confess that I have also used Imagenomics Portraiture software to _assist_ in portraiture editing. Straight out of the software is too strong and too global. But if I'm in a hurry I'll use it to manually go in and touch up broad sections of skin. I alway do detail sections myself via frequency separation techniques.
I own Photomatix but I don't use it. I tried it out for the 'trippy' HDR photos because I thought it was neat when it first came out - before it because naussiating. I upgraded to the newest version awhile ago because I saw some good results from architectural/real estate photographers were having, but I just can't get the results that I can by manually blending layers. So I don't really use it.
I highly recommend Lightroom. It's designed around simplifying the life of a digital photographer. But plenty of people manage just fine without it. The latest version of Canon's free program DPP can do most of what LR can do, it just doesn't have the file management system. Photoshop is the program everyone wants, and IMHO, most shouldn't be using it. But that's another discussion. Start with the basics first.