Ok so a lot of folk are asking what they should buy as their first bit of photo editing software. To be honest, unless you are going to be spending mega bucks then I suppose it doesn't really matters. Personally, I use Light Room for my RAW editing which is the most amazing program on the planet for this, but for finishing touches, I just use Photoshop Elements which is one of the cheapest programs on the market.
In fact, if I didn't have light room then PSE would do me just fine for the basics and a couple of years ago this is all I was using.
Anyway, here are two shots taken this morning and I've only made a few basic adjustments to them, but I wanted to show you what a difference a bit of post processing can make.
This is the original shot from the Bass Rock this morning, taken from Dunbar. It's ok but there are a few things I don't like about it. First, it's a bit flat which is due to low contrast. In other words, the dark bits are a bit too light and the light bits are a bit too dark. This is easily fixed by raising the contrast level slightly.
Also it's not exactly straight and also something that annoyed me is that the cloud bank to the right is sloping up the way and I wanted that to be a straight line which would make the "layers" of the sea, land and sky look a bit more pleasing. Rotating and skewing the shot fixed this.
I also think that the colour is a bit bland so a boost in either saturation or vibrancy makes the shot a bit richer.
Finally, I didn't like the composition. The Rock wasn't in quite the right place to make the shot jump out of the screen so I cropped it slightly to improve this.
I'll not bore you with further details, suffice it to say that playing around with even the most basic settings in any post processing program can make all the difference in the final result...