Let's take a look at image editing software: pixlr, photoshop & lightroom. All three programs have their place for enhancing your photography for your blog.
PIXLR, PHOTOSHOP & LIGHTROOM
As you continue to take incredible photographs for your food blog, you may want to start looking at different image editing software. When I first started blogging in general (about six years ago), I was using some Adobe program from about 10 years ago that would "automatically" adjust my images for me. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't, but it saved me a lot of time overall as compared to photoshop. The big problem: it was inconsistent and underpowered. The second problem became evident when it was no longer supported by Adobe.
When I started this blog, I decided that I wanted to learn how to use Lightroom. I had purchased it about a year earlier and never really cracked the ice. I figured that since I was fairly proficient with Photoshop that it would be easy. Well, like any new program that you start to use there is a LOT to learn. New processes and rules that for some reason just didn't make a lot of sense to me.
Here's what I like about Lightroom: It is a breeze to get my pictures to look beautiful and I love the control and functionality of Lightroom. The full panel of sliders to adjust almost everything you can imagine in an image is really nice and incredibly powerful. I believe it is much easier to make photos look incredible in Lightroom than either Pixlr or Photoshop.
What I don't like about Lightroom: Let's start with the import process and the export process. It just feels clunky to me... but that might simply be due to inexperience with the program. I worked in Lightroom for about three months before finally moving over to Photoshop again. Maybe I was just missing something that was so glaringly easy, but the process to get a photo out of Lightroom just seemed way too difficult.
One of the huge positives with Lightroom is the ability to edit RAW files. Photoshop also can edit these files, but Pixlr does not. We'll get into that in a minute.
I've been using photoshop for what feels like forever. I can still remember trying to learn how to use it and being overwhelmed by all the features. I had a good friend at the time who took me through the basics of how to use photoshop... from creating new images to editing camera RAW files. It really leveled the playing field for me quickly.
Here's what I love about Photoshop: I can edit my images efficiently. Starting an image in the RAW editor allows me to update just about every aspect of the photograph. Without this feature, I would still have a lot of unusable images. After the image has been processed through the RAW editor, it moves automatically into Photoshop standard. I change the DPI, photo size and do a few other minor tweaks to the image before Saving for Web in a compressed state. Photoshop is just awesome when it comes to process and exporting in the format I need.
Here's what I don't like about Photoshop: Everything is very repetitive. I love cooking, setting up the photoshoot and taking the pictures. My least favorite part of the process is editing the image. I feels as though I go through the same process 50X per week and sometimes I just dread sitting down to do the work.
I just started using Pixlr recently, but have found that it is a really nice program. I found it while I was on vacation without my laptop. I needed to find a free software editing program and this one had some great reviews. I am so happy that I signed up for it. Now I have the ability to upload my images from any computer with complete freedom to edit the image. It is just so nice.
What I like about Pixlr: It is setup pretty much exactly like Photoshop with just about every functionality. It took me just about an hour to get really comfortable with this program... I just needed to figure out where all the different functions were located as compared to Photoshop. Pixlr is also really fast. I was uploading images quickly and once they were online, Pixl had no problem adding layers, changing the exposure, curves or levels on the image. Very powerful tool.
What I don't like about Pixlr: The first thing that I found was that it will not edit a RAW file. Although not a huge problem while I was on vacation, this will be a limiting factor in the long run. I shoot RAW+JPG on my camera and really like the versatility of RAW. But, I thought I could work around that one issue. The next issue is that it is either not included in the program or I couldn't find it anywhere, but there is no ability to fix the white balance on a picture. It would be great if this is available... and if you know where it is at please tell me!
Overall, any program that you choose is going to have pros and cons. And ALL of them will take a while to become proficient in their use. There are a lot of other image editing packages out there, but these are the three which I have tried fairly extensively. *Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase.
Okay. So those are my thoughts on Pixlr, Photoshop and Lightroom. Now it is your turn to choose which way to go. The nice part about Photoshop and Lightroom is that they are now bundled in a 2 for 1 package through Amazon at about $10 per month total for both. Pixlr is free though!
Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan (Photoshop CC + Lightroom) Okay, so here's my disclaimer about this link. I have BOTH of these programs and use them constantly, but they are not through the Creative Cloud. I bought both of mine before Adobe went cloud based. That being said, at my web design company we used the Creative Cloud with no issues. Here's the scoop on these programs:
Photoshop: has been the leader in image editing for a very long time. This is a super powerful tool that allows for watermarking, RAW photo editing and more. You can really make you pictures sing on the screen quickly with this software.
Lightroom: makes your pictures POP, quickly too with easy to use tools. Typically, I just use Photoshop because I find the workflow in Lightroom a little clunky. Also, I've been using Photoshop for over 15 years and Lightroom for just about 1.
The link in this area will take you to the Adobe Photography Plan which is about $10/mo for both programs, which is a great deal!
Pixlr Photo Editing Software is a great online powerhouse for editing your food blog photos. Even better is the fact that it is FREE to use! Awesome. The only drawback is lack of RAW editing and White Balance. If you're not using these features, go ahead and get started with Pixlr today.