Photo-Editing Software for Your Dog Photography - dummies

Photo-Editing Software for Your Dog Photography

By Kim Rodgers, Sarah Sypniewski

After you transfer your dog photos to your hard drive, it’s time to manage your image files and touch up any imperfections. Again, you need to take this step only if you’re serious about making the best photo possible. In order to take this step, you need to purchase some photo-editing software.

Some camera manufacturers bundle simple photo-editing software with their cameras, so be sure to check all the discs that came with your equipment. You may already have photo-editing software and not even know it!

If you want to give photo editing a go but you’re not sure you want to purchase software, consider downloading Picasa, a free photo-editing program.

The industry standard when it comes to photo-editing software is Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. These programs actually serve two separate purposes, but you may not need both, depending on how far you want to take your editing.

Adobe Lightroom is considered an all-encompassing file management system. It allows you to import your photos, organize them into collections, rate them so you know which are keepers and which don’t deserve a second look, tag them with keywords, search and filter through them using just about any criteria imaginable, create proof sheets, and easily publish a web gallery.

On top of all this, Lightroom has basic photo-editing capabilities like rotating, cropping, white balance tools, exposure tools, and clarity tools. Basically, you use Lightroom to do all your initial photo editing just as you would in an old-fashioned darkroom.

For many people, using Lightroom to perform these first-round edits is enough, but others may want to take things a step further.

Adobe Photoshop picks up where Lightroom leaves off. After exporting your photo from, you can open it in Photoshop to make more detailed touch-ups and really fine-tune things. For instance, using Photoshop you can zoom in on a photo and remove a leash or darken a senior dog’s cloudy eyes.

Keep in mind that the programs do overlap somewhat; all the editing capabilities you have in Lightroom you also have in Photoshop. If you’re looking to save some money and you want to do detailed retouching, doing all your editing within Photoshop is possible.

You can also save some cash by choosing Adobe Photoshop Elements instead of Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop Elements has less functionality than the full version of Photoshop, but it allows you to do most of your tweaking at a fraction of the cost.

Consider how much time you want to spend postprocessing and whether you need basic or advanced functionality. Also, consider your budget; Lightroom is about half the cost of Photoshop! If you’re only interested in color correcting and fixing exposure, go with Lightroom. If you’re more interested in editing every single detail, you also need Photoshop. You’re not required to have both pieces of software.