People often ask me what software I use to process my photos, so I thought I’d put together a quick list of what I use, and what I use it for
Last Updated: March 2023
I use two products in combination for almost all of my RAW editing needs. I have tried many alternatives and different combos over the years, but am very satisfied with the results I am getting with:
DxO PureRAW 3
Most of my images get run through DxO PureRAW 3. It does an excellent job of three things that (in my opinion) just can’t be matched.
- Noise Reduction (Using DeepPRIME or DeepPRIME XD)
- Optical Corrections
- Initial Image Sharpening
Adobe Lightroom Classic
I am a long-time user of Lightroom Classic. I started with version 1 and have used every version since. When combined with DxO PureRAW 3 I feel like the image quality I am getting is second to none.
Things I use Lightroom Classic for:
- Cataloguing and Keywording my photos
- Editing colour, tone and most other image processing
- Combining photos into panoramas or HDR merges
- Publishing to my personal website, exporting for other purposes
- Printing images
Photoshop is a beast of an application. I use probably about 1% of its features - but it does everything I need and comes as a package with Adobe Lightroom.
Things I use Photoshop for:
- Cloning out unwanted objects and/or sensor dust
- Selective editing that can’t be done via masking in Lightroom
- Output sharpening
Greg Benz Web Sharpen Pro
When using my photos on the web I use the Greg Benz Web Sharpen Pro from within Photoshop to downsize, add borders and apply output sharpening to my photos.
Once set up, it is literally a single click to do all of the above, then one more click to save the results. So easy. Fantastic.
Nik Silver Efex for Black and White
When doing black and white photography I will usually use Nik Silver Efex for the conversion. There are a heap of presets that you can use, but more importantly, there are a huge number of manual settings that give complete control over the tone and colouring of the images.
The ‘magic’ of control points for selective editing is also a huge time saver.
Topaz Photo AI
I find that I am using this software less and less these days, as DxO PhotoRAW takes care of any noisy images, but I will occasionally find the need to sharpen a slightly blurry photo with Topaz Photo AI. It can’t perform the miracles that some of the marketing will promise, but it can sometimes help with an image that is slightly soft
I also use Photo AI to upsize images when printing really large. I find it does a better job than the other software packages available.
If you don’t back up your images it isn’t a matter of if you will lose at least some of them, but when. All hard drives will fail eventually. If you don’t plan for that… good luck.
I use GoodSync to move my images from my main PC hard drive to a NAS device in my garage. I use this as part of my backup strategy, along with BackBlaze (below).
GoodSync runs quietly in the background and keeps things between drives nice and synchronised as I add more images to my collection.
Backblaze backs up all of my images online. If someone breaks into my home and steals all of my hard drives, I am safe in knowing that my images (and a lot of other non-photography stuff) are backed up safe and sound.
I hope I will never have to use them, but for US$7 a month, they are an integral part of my data-security strategy.
The software just runs in the background on my PC - I never have to worry or really think about it. I occasionally will check to make sure it’s all working (it always is), but that’s it.