Ever since the inception of Instagram, we have seen a huge improvement in the quality of photos posted. Everyone, from “Instagram models” to teenagers in middle school, are posting photos with stunning clarity and color. It’s crazy to believe that almost all of these photos are being taken with smartphones. One no longer needs a fancy, expensive camera to get professional level photographs. So just how do these everyday people turn an ordinary photo into something extraordinary? They use photo editing software.


There are many different brands and options of photo editing software to choose from, like Corel PhotoImpact X3 and CyberLink PhotoDirector Ultra 8. Some are made for beginners, while others provide advanced tools and features for expert photo editing.


No matter which software you choose, they all have the key basic features needed to create a masterpiece worthy of hundreds of likes.


photo editing software


6 Basic Steps to Edit Any Picture with Photo Editing Software


  • Save the initial image. You always want to see what you started off with. Keeping the initial photo nearby will help you see the changes that need to be made before you make them. It’s also a great way to compare the before and after images to see the transformation you created.
  • Crop the photo. Study your image and see what the main focus is. Is it a person? A group of people? An animal? An object? Something in nature? Once you find your focus, crop out some of the extra space on the sides, but not too much so that you are not left with a tiny photo. 
  • Remove background distractions. The previous step involved cropping some of the sides out. This step is similar in that you are still honing the focus in on your subject, but it involves erasing anything in the background of your shot that could be distracting to the eye. These distractions could be anything from clouds or birds in the sky to people walking around in the background. This can be done using the background eraser tool.  This tool will only erase what you select, and fill in that space to fit the background.
  • Bring the colors to life. The best way to enhance your photo is to brighten it up and have vibrant colors that draw in viewers. There are a number of color formatting options to choose from. The main ones are saturation/hue, brightness and contrast. Using one or a mix of these options will really change your original photo into something breathtaking. You can create bluer blues and greener greens to create intense scenes of nature.
  • Reduce noise with a brush tool. Sometimes, due to natural movements or reflections of light there are patches or dots within your image that can distract viewers from the main focus. All photo editing platforms have a brush tool, which allows you to lighten up these sometimes dark spots. This tool can also be used to completely remove unwanted spots.
  • Sharpen the image. One of the final steps needed to complete your photo is to sharpen the image. This will make the entire image clear. You can also choose to blur out parts of the background so your focal point really stands out.


Find the Right Software for Your Skills and Needs

Regardless of your budget or photo editing skills, you can be sure to find the perfect program for you by checking out reviews for the best photo editing software. You will be able to search through all of the latest software for any of your needs.

Once you’re a pro at editing your own photos and want to take your skills to the workplace, see our related post Top 5 Career Fields For Creative People to get some ideas.