The whole industry has changed regarding taking photographs and processing them to a professional standard. Firstly the equipment has changed no longer is film used and then processed in the dark with solutions, fixers and a bit of light, the digital age has arrived and the quality of cameras and lenses is vast. Even the cheapest of cameras can take a basic acceptable snapshot, similarly a smart phone can take quality images and video all of which can be downloaded or emailed or uploaded in seconds. There are also plenty of other stages from the amateur Digital SLR to Professional DSLR camera and like most electronics the more expensive the better it is!

A note that many cameras come these days with there own manufactures basic editing software, which allows you to download the image and view it on your computer and then make very basic changes.

Anyway this article is not about the equipment, this is about the software you use to change, alter or tweak the taken photograph, whether a crop, a lighten, an auto contrast etc or maybe it is just to change the file size or file type or image shape this tends to be the main functionality that most people require a photo editing software. Also most of these software have fully automatic functions that allow you to change the image characteristics without getting too technical.

Image Optimisation is a way of using a WordPress plugin on your website, to optimise your images so they load faster with out any hang, and gives your viewer the best experience. Another note is it is very good for your SEO(search engine optimisation) see bottom of this post for recommended plugin.

What to Look For?

To evaluate how good the software is it is important to gather a list of basic requirements that are needed or expected, see list below

How easy is it to use
 – Photo editing is professionally difficult to learn and therefore clear functions and plenty of tutorials to show you how to use features and Wizards or Auto functions to automatically fix the most common problems e.g. red-eye, crooked images, poor lighting and so on.

Can I Import and Export different Formats – The most used common formats supported, should be JPG, GIF, BMP, EPS, PDF, TIF, PICT the more the better, as further programs may require different file formats.

Can I do my Editing
 – The photo editing software should have features that allow you to improve or add to your photo like lighting adjustment, cropping, effects, text and so on.

Changing Photo Sizes – 
It should give you tools to optimise the photo file size, the resolution and the image size your photos need for the specific sharing method you intend to use them for.

My Photo Sharing Options – Sharing methods include email, phone and web galleries, print and more than ever, lots of social media sites like Flickr and Facebook are easy to link with and upload images to.

How can I Output my Photo
 – Versatility of the software when saving images for different outputs such as print, email, web and more. Previously there was a reliant on physical photo albums, now the images are digital they are stored online in galleries and reshown through various medias and electronic devices.

Organising
 and Storing My Photo – The photo editing program should have an ability to import and organise you photos and store them in a specific catalogue with thumbnails and allow you to view the camera (EXIF) data and organise them in order such as date, or rating or in folders or just as an archive format, just the same as having a searchable database, but of images.

Advice and Support
 – The software should have tutorials and technical support to show you how and why you would want to use certain features. Not only that but many of the more popular editing software’s have user forums that share and assist users further with their expertise.

Popular Entry Level PC Editing Software Packages

Professional Photographers Editing Software Packages

Free Photo editing Software packages

Also you may have a basic photo editing software that comes with your camera. There are many more than these and this is just the ones I rate. I would love to hear from you if you have come across any others that you would recommend, both for purchase or free.

Image Optimisation Plugins

To get the most out of your images and your viewers experience it is key to resize the images and optimise them for the web, thus making sure the page and images open quickly but it is also a key part of your SEO configuration.