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Since the advent of the digital camera software has all but replaced the darkroom, so much so that is a computer is often referred to as a photographers? digital darkroom. Photo editing software has become the second most important tool in the photographers? arsenal, behind their camera equipment, and in some cases more important. The number of different editing packages are staggering, and come in many different forms, some are bundled all together, known as Editing Suites, others come alone, often referred to as stand alone, they cover everything you could possibly want to achieve in your post processing.

So what software do you need? Well that is a bit of a difficult question to answer. If you shoot in RAW, the first bit of software you will require is a RAW processor, like Adobe Camera RAW or Lightroom (the leading manufacturers? software) or a multitude of other packages some of which usually comes bundled with an SLR camera, this allows the tweaking of white balance or exposure that shooting in RAW is great for.

Once you have processed your RAW file how you like it, you will likely use another photo editing package, such as Photoshop the leading package of the moment or GIMP, probably the best known free software around at present, there are again many of these available including some that are online editors, useful if you are out and have no access to your usual software. These will be ideal for tweaking further, adding layers, adjusting levels or sharpening, among others.

Beyond this there are plugins, filters or further software, like noise reduction software, all items that allow many other techniques to be achieved such as portrait professional a piece of kit that will allow portraits to be airbrushed in a professional manner.

The best way to know what you need is to try and trials or read the details of what the software does, and go from there. We have tutorials and tips on some of the software on our how to post process pages, if you need any more help.

One thing that is important to remember though is photography or photographic software is not just about image manipulation. No there are all manner of pieces of software out there for the photographer that might help other aspects, for example finding sun rise/set directions, recovering lost data from a memory card or any manner of other important aspects. We have tried to include as many of those as possible as well.

On these pages our aim is to offer links to as many software packages, both commercial and free as we can find, but if we miss any please let us know.

Manufacturers - If you would like a review of your product to appear in the Fatphotographer review section then please contact us via the feedback forms.

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