While you could edit your photos on your iPhone, it's still better on your Mac. That's because most of our photo libraries, like iCloud Photo Library, are on our Macs, and it's easier to edit thanks to a faster processor, more storage, and just overall more computing power.
For serious photographers, editing on the Mac is still the best way to go about it. While Apple gives you the built-in Photos app, which does have some essential photo editing tools already integrated, sometimes you need a little more oomph. Here are the best photo editing apps for macOS Monterey that work on the best Macs.
If you're looking for a photo editing app that goes above and beyond its price tag while still allowing you complete creative control over your images, take a peek at Affinity Photo, which is hands down one of the best photo editing apps for Mac.
Affinity Photo supports unlimited layers, groups, layer adjustments, filters, masking, and more: you also have access to tools like dodge, red-eye fix, burn, blemish, clone, and patch (so pretty much Photoshop without all the convoluted bells and whistles). In addition, nondestructive auto-saving makes undoing everything you've done easy, so the option is there if you need to start from the beginning.
Play, manipulate, edit, and get creative with Affinity Photo, whether you're a serious graphic designer or someone who's just looking to do some basic editing. Your photography will seriously thank you.
Fotor Photo Editor
Are you searching for a super simple, straightforward photo editing app? Then check out Fotor Photo Editor!
With this photo editor, you can easily adjust the contrast and color of more washed-out photos, add borders, tilt and shift your images, add different text, slap on a few filters, and so much more, all from the easy-to-find toolbox on the right side of the app. You can even create collages of your photography masterpieces!
The BBC once called Fotor Photo Editor 'light Photoshop', and they're right! You can go above and beyond editing your images with Fotor Photo Editor without getting bogged down by more complicated editing buttons and tools.
When you look into photo editing software, one of the first things that'll pop up is Adobe's Lightroom, and for good reason! It's essentially a staple in the photo editing community.
Lightroom is great for photographers who need to manage a large image library and who are prepared to commit to (and pay for) Adobe's cloud storage space. But it is purely a photography tool that's a little outside the regular Adobe design ecosystem. (Creative Bloq)
Pretty much anything you want to do with your photo, you can accomplish with Lightroom. You can blend and merge shadows and highlights, sharpen dull, blurry images to look crisp and clear, add details and tint colors to make a photo stand out, and so much more. While it is more complicated, people who use the program and know how to navigate it are hooked.
While you can download and use Lightroom for free, you need an Adobe Creative Cloud membership to access all of the features. However, a single Creative Cloud membership gets you unlimited access to all of the other Adobe creative suite apps, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Fresco, and more. Creative Cloud membership is $9.99 monthly or $118.99 annually.
Pixelmator Pro is a powerful version of Pixelmator specifically geared for photo editing and not just a general graphic design app. With Pixelmator Pro, you're getting a ton of professional-grade, nondestructive editing tools. It's powered by machine learning, so you get the best results every time you use the program.
You can use Pixelmator Pro for basic photo editing features like resizing, cropping, adding filters, adjusting color settings, etc. But, thanks to machine learning, you can take things to new levels.
We think Pixelmator Pro is one of the best photo editing apps for the Mac that's reasonably priced with many excellent features. Don't miss our full in-depth review if you want to learn more about Pixelmator Pro.
Love Photoshop (or the idea of Photoshop...) but don't want all the complicated components and nonsense that comes with it? Then it might be worth it to take a peek at GIMP.
Like Photoshop, GIMP allows you complete control over editing your photos: an advanced image manipulation program with detailed customization for color reproduction.
You can add layers to your photos, edit and tweak colors, adjust contrast, crop, change saturation, etc. So, if you're someone who admires Photoshop but is terrified of the price (or thinks it's not worth it), then GIMP might be the perfect pal for you.
Another fantastic option for Mac's best photo editing app is Luminar Neo. With Luminar Neo, the goal is to make photo editing as straightforward as possible while also being enjoyable. You can do all of the basics in Luminar, like cropping and resizing, color adjustments, applying filters, and whatnot, but there is more to the app than that.
With Luminar, you can do some magical things like replacing dull skies with just one click — there is a collection of fantastic custom skies in the app that will breathe new life into any photo. In addition, the portrait enhancer tool lets you light up faces and even slim them down if necessary, and it removes dark circles, defines brows, enhances lip color, and more. There's even AI to help reduce shine on oily skin. Other cool features include adding sun rays, instant looks, textures, and more.
Yeah, I know what you're thinking — "Preview, really?" Yes! Believe it or not, I use Preview every day to do simple things, like image resizing and cropping, adjusting contrast, adding filters, and fixing saturation. You can perform plenty of basic image adjustments with Preview, like adding shapes, rotating, adding signatures, exporting it in a different file format, etc. It's not perfect, but it can get the job done for pretty simple things.
Plus, it's already built-in to your Mac, so make the most of it!
These are just a few of our favorites for Mac's best photo editing apps. They come with various features in many styles — at different price points.
Updated April 2022: Removed Luminar 4 and added Luminar Neo to the list.
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