Photography is a two-part process these days. It's half about the actual capturing of the image and half about the editing process. Of course, I'd imagine that just about anyone reading this post knows this and regularly uses a photo editing program to really give their images that extra bit of "oomph" that they need. The thing is, there's a lot of different photo editing programs out there. In fact, a lot of photographers (the less professional ones more than likely) actually resort to using either online editors or apps too. But what is the best photo editing program? Well, we've rounded up a list of a few of the best to give you a good idea where to start. #1 - Photoshop [caption id="attachment_924" align="alignnone" width="650"] Adobe Photoshop[/caption] Clearly, we couldn't write an article about the best photo editing programs without mentioning Adobe Photoshop. The truth is that Photoshop is probably the best photo editing solution out there, but it's also the most expensive too. Photoshop allows you a lot of control over your photos. Not only can you add filters and effects to them, but you can also clone parts of them and remove any imperfections with ease. The thing that makes Photoshop so great is the ease of use it offers and the fantastic array of tools it has as well. In the latest versions of Photoshop, there have been some incredible tool improvements that allow you a lot more control over your photos when it comes to the editing process. You can also download new plug-ins for Photoshop including brushes, fonts and effects. This is what makes Photoshop so versatile and one of the best solutions available. #2 - GIMP [caption id="attachment_925" align="alignnone" width="650"] GIMP[/caption] GIMP is a long standing photo editing program that is regularly considered to be the absolute best alternative to Photoshop. One of the cool things about GIMP is that it's available completely free of charge which, when you consider the incredible array of tools and options it offers, is absolutely mindblowing. The reason that GIMP is free is because it's an open source program. Aside from the different name and fact that its open source, GIMP is extremely similar to Adobe Photoshop and if you've ever used Photoshop, you'll more than likely find the GIMP UI to be extremely intuitive and similar. It has a lot of the same tools as Photoshop including filters, correction tools and more. A lot of people would probably say that GIMP mimics Photoshop somewhat, which I'd say is pretty accurate. So, if you want Photoshop and most of the functionality that it offers, but you don't have hundreds of pounds to spend on the program, GIMP might be the solution for you. If you can forgive it's crazy name, you'll be good to go and will be able to edit your photos extremely well. #3 - Photoshop Elements If you're a relatively new photographer that's just starting out and doesn't have the huge budget to spend on Photoshop, you might want to opt for Photoshop's little brother, Photoshop Elements. Essentially, Photoshop Elements is a lightweight version of Photoshop that has a lot of the functionality, without the huge price tag. However, one of the things to note about the program is that it's still packed with most of the features that you'll actually need to use on a day-to-day basis. You can manipulate your photos pretty well in the program and there are only a few times when you'll miss some of the features that Photoshop offers. It is probably a program that is more suited to beginners to be perfectly honest, as like I mentioned above, it does lack a little bit of the functionality that Photoshop offers, but this is hardly surprising when you consider that it's hundreds of pounds cheaper. ? #4 - Paintshop Pro [caption id="attachment_926" align="alignnone" width="650"] Paintshop Pro[/caption] Paintshop Pro might sound like something that would have only been popular in the late 90's but truthfully, it's a great solution, especially if you're not looking to spend a fortune on Photoshop. Previous versions of the program have been pretty poor but in the latest version, things have really been stepped up a notch. It's packed with features and has a lot of the tools and filters that Photoshop has. For example, it has tonnes of brushes and editing tools, along with colour correction tools too. It's also good to note that if you have existing Photoshop brushes, you can use them with this program. Paintshop Pro is a lot cheaper than Photoshop and to be honest, if you're looking for a budget option, it would be a tough call between this program and the Photoshop Elements mentioned above. They're both around the same price. Conclusion You don't always have to use Photoshop, there are a lot of good alternatives out there that don't cost the earth either. While a lot of the cheaper/free photo editing programs are more aimed towards beginners, they can still be great for amateurs and professionals that are only looking for an easy to use program with the basic photo editing functionalities.