Do you require Software skills to become a good Photographer ?

Do you require Software skills to become a good Photographer ?

“Good Photographs are just Good Edits, without editing there simply isn’t a good photograph.”

Did you just believe the above lines? Seems so true isn’t it? This is because our society has trained us this way. Yes, software does have a role in producing quality photographs, but till which extent?

What is a good photograph?

First of all before even moving on to this topic we should understand what a good photograph is. For this let us take an example. Get your morning paper, and look at those photographs. Are they rich in colour? Have balanced tone? Perfect? No! they are simply normal photographs without any edits.

Photojournalism is one of the high demand professions in the market today. They have a higher salary in comparison to magazine photographers as well. Why so? Cause people look first for content, not the quality.

This being said, a good photographer isn’t a person who is good with just the technical stuffs, but rather a person who knows how to use them to capture the photography content, moments and the subject value.

As photographers, we should not think that we would correct it in post but rather perfect it in post. Meaning, get the most out of your camera and do not even think about editing it then.

Should you learn software skills at all then?

Yes, in fact it is beneficial to do so as well. But, we should make sure that we follow a particular learning path for it.

Let’s say that you are just starting to learn photography, do not even think about software tools. Shoot photos, practice, get comments and practice more. Try your best to handle your camera and take out photographs, which doesn’t require edits at all. Then move on to the software tools.

You know photography so what software skills should you learn?


Once you have learned photography, I would suggest that you start out with Adobe Bridge then Adobe Photoshop and finally Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

Adobe Bridge will help you organize and manage your photographs properly for quick access and edit. No matter how huge your photography library might be, you will exactly know where your photos are in the time of need.

Moving on to Adobe Photoshop, you do not require learning all of it at all. You will just need to get around the basic tools, graphic tools, effects and layers. This is because you are learning Photoshop to improve your photographs, not to manipulate it.

And then move on to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. This is one software tool you should consider getting serious about. This software helps you manage your photo library, correct your photos and even build slideshows out of it. And since, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a software tool specially designed for Photographers, learning it actually will make you better at photography as well.

 Are there any alternative software tools you should consider?

While Adobe Tools mentioned above are quite popular, it doesn’t mean that they are the only choices. First of all remember that your camera also ships with its own software tools, do play around with it, as it might be useful for you in different ways. Good thing is, they don’t cost you extra at all.

Don’t want to spend your money buying Photoshop? Try using GIMP it is free Adobe Photoshop alternative software, which is more or less like Photoshop with all of its interfaces and features.


Got an Apple Mac? Try out Apple’s Aperture. It is software similar to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

You may even consider using entry-level software tools like Google Picasa or Adobe Photoshop Elements.

Will buying expensive software tools make you better at editing pictures?

 Well let me ask you, does having a good camera make you a good photographer? As I have already mentioned this in my previous article, “How to take better photos with a compact camera”, No! Of course not! So it’s the same in case of software tools as well.

It does not matter how expensive or good a software tool might be unless you know how to use it at its full possible potential.

Finally, I would just like to say that remember Photography itself is an art of capturing the best right from your camera, preferably the camera that is with you. That is also exactly the reason why most Photography Competitions do not even allow minor edits. But, yes to perfect your photographs you might consider learning how to edit your photographs but not think about it during the shooting time itself.

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About author

Anup Ghimire
Anup Ghimire 60 posts

Anup ghimire is a self learned Photographer/Designer and recently graduated in multimedia technologies from London metropolitan university.Traveling is something he loves the most after photography. You can see some of his photos at his facebook photography page

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