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Comparing the entire photo imaging software to see which is right for you? Having the right features means you can transform the so-so photos you take into digital masterpieces. What do the professionals most use and enjoy in terms of editing features? Here’s what the pros look for when choosing their image editing software packages.

1. Extreme Contrast

Extreme Contrast

Image via Flickr by the contented

The ability to adjust the contrast of the photo allows you to add emotion that’s virtually impossible to capture with camera, flash and filters alone. Used in conjunction with sharpening tools, you can create surreal effects for heart tugging images.

2. Infrared Imaging

Infrared Imaging

Image via Flickr by markn3tel

Some image editing software offers infrared imaging as a tool and others use a combination of techniques to achieve the effect. Either way is fine and most average users can master the technique, but you’ll want to make sure this option is available on the software you’re considering.

3. Soft Focus

Soft Focus

Image via Flickr by brx0

The soft focus is most notably used to soften subtle lines and wrinkles. This technique has been employed by Hollywood since the black and white era to make starlets appear dreamy and surreal. It can also be used when photographing children, to create dreamlike scenes of couples in love or animal life. The uses are almost endless.

4. Vintage Photo Effects


Image via Flickr by Liquid_Pixels

This is another feature that might be found as a single tool or a series of techniques in the package. It’s used to give an old appearance to photos, and can add powerful effects to photos of barns, old houses, windmills and other nostalgic items.

5. Coloring Effects

Enhance Coloring Effects

Image via Flickr by nicolecolecole

Coloring effects are very powerful, allowing the photo editor to change the color of hair, backgrounds and much more. However, changing the color of photos is a highly technical task, and can look quite horrid in the hands of an amateur. Make sure your photo editor offers a good color effects feature that’s easy to understand and use.

6. Light Effects

Lighting Effects

Image via Flickr by JD | Photography

Lighting effects features can be used to create a stream of light cascading through a window, beams of light pushing through greenery and even highlight images in the photograph you want to stand out. Most photo editing software offers lighting effects as a standard feature, but you’ll want to know how powerful and usable the tool is before deciding on your package.

7. Add Noise


Image via Flickr by CmdrGravy

Noise is the image “static” found in photography. Most software allows you to subtract noise, but to add snowfall in the shot, create a rainy day and other special effects, you’ll need the ability to add noise. You can get lots of information on how to edit images on your website like how to add and subtract noise in the shot to create the effect you want at

You’ll want to make sure the software package offers all the standard features as well, including cropping, converting color to black and white, sharpening and clarifying tools, exposure adjustment tools and red-eye elimination tools. With these features, you can create any effect you desire in the shots you take or manipulate.

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Posted by Joseph Stark Jr

Joseph Stark Jr. is a freelance writer and blogger by day, focusing on technology and web design niches. By night he is a tech junkie, gym member, and avid comic book enthusiast. When he’s not out in his garage modifying his computer, he’s writing for established companies like CopyForByLines. Friend him on Facebook and say hey.

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