Choosing the best photo editing apps for Mac computers can be difficult if you’re unfamiliar with the platform. With so many options doing minor variations on the same thing, it’s easy to feel as if you’re missing something.
If you want to edit photos or create entirely new images, you’ll need a powerful editor. This article will guide you on the 10 best photo editing apps for mac in 2022.
Table of Contents Hide
- What Do Mac Photo Apps Do?
- What Should You Look for in Mac Photo Software?
- 10 best photo editing apps for mac in 2022
- Is there a photo editor built into Mac?
- Is Photoshop available for free on the Mac?
- What are the best photo editing apps for Mac?
What Do Mac Photo Apps Do?
Now, let’s take a look at some of the features available in Mac photo apps: To begin, you will require software that can import and organize your digital photos. Following that, you will require tools to crop the images and adjust their lighting, color, and detail.
Then there’s bokeh, artistic effects, overlays, black-and-white, colorization, and pixel manipulation—things like removing unwanted objects or creating selection masks. Finally, you must output the image to the desired destination and format.
Some tools, such as Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop Elements, CyberLink PhotoDirector, and ON1 Photo RAW, perform nearly all of these functions. Other products specialize in one or more of these areas.
DxO PureRAW, for example, is solely concerned with reducing noise and camera and lens distortions. Topaz Studio is primarily concerned with the addition of special effects and looks.
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What Should You Look for in Mac Photo Software?
Look for a Mac photo editing app with a clean, well-designed interface and plenty of help and tutorials.
Some applications, such as Lightroom, use modes, which simply mean that you choose a layout for the stage of work you’re doing—one mode for importing and organizing, another for adjusting or making corrections, and yet another for exporting.
Some programs distinguish between adjusting and editing, with the former focusing on basic lighting, color, and sharpness corrections and the latter on more creative aspects such as filters and overlays.
After you import the images, you’ll need software to help you organize them. Pick, reject, color tags, keyword tags, and star ratings are all useful features in this context. This allows you to quickly locate the image you’re looking for.
You should also be able to search for an image based on the camera and lens used, the shot settings, the date, and whether or not it was edited. Some software also allows you to organize images by faces and locations.
The apps use artificial intelligence to identify and group photos of the same face, and they display geotagged photos in thumbnails on a map.
10 best photo editing apps for mac in 2022
Here are the top 10 best photo editing apps for mac in 2022.
The app includes professional tools and supports nearly all popular file formats, including JPG, TIFF, PNG, GIF, PDF, PSD, and RAW photos.
It includes all of the basic photo editing tools you’d expect from a professional photo editing app, including red-eye removal, cropping, selection, painting and drawing tools, color correction tools, masks, filters, layers, and more.
It also has an uncluttered UI with clearly labeled tools that are simple to find and use. Affinity Photo also includes extensive keyboard shortcut support, which makes photo editing more enjoyable and quick once you’ve spent some time learning the software.
While there is a learning curve, which is understandable, the developers provide a wealth of written and video tutorials that are more than sufficient to get anyone started.
It takes a non-destructive approach to photo editing, leaving the original photo intact until you manually override it with your edited photo. There is also extensive history support, and users can easily undo/redo changes up to 8000 steps.
Finally, it includes an Apple Photos plugin that allows you to make minor adjustments directly within the Photos app.
The only feature missing here is a Digital Asset Management (DAM), which means you can’t use it as a photo repository, which Adobe Lightroom users will undoubtedly miss. This is one of the best photo editing apps for mac.
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One of the best photo editing apps for mac, Luminar 4 is a full-featured professional photo editing tool for Mac that is also the most user-friendly.
This can cut photo editing time in half without sacrificing quality.
It’s because Luminar 4 includes a library of over 60 filters, some of which use artificial intelligence to enhance your photos with a single click.
The filters employ a set of pre-configured presets that vary depending on the subject of the image. Luminar 4 works best for portraits and landscape photography. If you don’t like the results, you can change the presets in Luminar 4.
You have access to all photo editing tools, including masks, layers, gradients, color correction, and others. You can use them to make manual changes to your photos in the same way that you would with any other professional photo editing app.
The filters allow you to get very close to your desired result with a single click. From there, you can make minor adjustments to achieve your ideal photograph.
Luminar 4 also includes a DAM. You can organize, rate, browse, and sort photos in the same way that you can in Adobe Lightroom.
Luminar 4, like Affinity Photo and the other pro photo editing apps mentioned in this section, is a photo editing beast. It is, however, a beast that can be easily tamed and used to perfection without causing us any problems.
Luminar 4 is a great photo editing tool for either use-case, whether you are a professional photo editor looking to save time or an amateur looking to learn professional photo editing.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC
No list of the best photo editing apps for mac would be complete without mentioning Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC, which is one of the best photo editing apps for Mac.
Aside from the obvious photo editing features, the most significant advantage of using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC is that it includes a fully functional Digital Asset Management (DAM) system that allows users to not only manage their entire photo catalog but also upload it to the cloud so they can access it from anywhere.
That is one of Adobe Lightroom’s greatest strengths, and if you want it, there is currently no better app available.
Returning to the photo editing tools, Adobe Lightroom CC has a plethora of them. It’s not as simple to use as Luminar, but it’s not lacking in power. You have access to all of the standard tools, such as blend, blur, layers, color correction, color matching, and others.
Its sliders are simple to use and give users complete control over the light and color properties of their photos. It also allows you to sharpen and shift the focus of your photos to highlight your subject or reduce distractions in the image.
Pixelmator Pro is another professional photo editing tool for Mac that you should look into. The app not only includes a large collection of tools for editing and retouching photos, but it also allows you to paint, create graphic design, add effects, and do a variety of other things.
The new Pixelmator Pro 2.0 update includes a slew of new features that you won’t find in the majority of the photo editing software on this list. With the new Pro Display XDR, it now supports Apple M1 Macs, multi GPUs (looking at you, Mac Pro), and RAW editing workflows.
Pixelmator Pro now includes a new ML-Enhance mode that employs artificial intelligence trained on a database of 20 million professional photos to automatically fine-tune 37 individual color adjustments. This feature, like Luminar, provides a great starting point for making fine-tuned adjustments to your photos.
The new ML De-noise feature, which removes noise and image compression artifacts from photos, is appealing. This is a feature that not many Mac photo editing apps have. This is one of the best photo editing apps for mac.
GIMP is Adobe Photoshop for open-source software fans.GNU Image Manipulation Program or GIMP is a feature-rich program that allows you to perform professional-level photo editing.
It is completely free to use because it is an open-source app. GIMP, on the other hand, suffers from the same issues that most open-source apps do, namely, a dated and unfriendly user interface. GIMP is one of the most difficult image editing apps on this list.
You will need to devote a significant amount of time to learning its intricacies; only then will you be able to fully exploit its potential.
Having said that, thousands upon thousands of Mac users use GIMP every day for photo editing. When you devote enough time to learning GIMP, you will discover that it contains all of the features that you require now and may require in the future.
This is one of the best photo editing apps for mac.
Fotor Photo Editor
Take a look at the Fotor Photo Editor if you’re looking for free yet accessible photo editing software. It may not be as powerful as GIMP, but it is relatively simple to learn, making it an excellent image editing app for beginners.
The app can import and export a variety of image formats, including TIFF, JPEG, and PNG files, as well as RAW files. When it comes to features, Fotor provides enough tools that unless you are a pro user, you will not find it weighing you down.
Batch processing is one of my favorite Fotor tools. It enables me to apply preset conditions to images in batches, saving me a significant amount of time. Other Fotor features include effects, borders, collage creation, tilt-shift, and more.
To put it simply, Fotor is a simplified and watered-down version of Lightroom, Luminar, or any of the other professional image editing apps for Mac on this list.
While the app is free, it has recently released a Fotor Pro version that adds more features and costs $39.99 per year.
This is one of the best photo editing apps for mac.
Some users don’t want to spend time editing photos but still want them to look good. If you are one of those people, then this app is for you.
All you have to do to use Photolemur is drag and drop images onto it. You can do it in batches or individually. When you drop images on it, it will use AI to recognize scenes, colors, and faces and automatically enhance them.
Remember that you will have no control over the retouching.
This is not a photo editing app you should use if you want complete control. However, if you don’t want to waste any time learning to edit or edit your photos, this is your best option.
Aurora HDR is the best app to use if you work with HDR or High Dynamic Range photography. For those who are unfamiliar, HDR is a technique that combines multiple images (low exposure, medium exposure, and high exposure) to create an image with a greater dynamic range.
This means that your photos will have a better light-to-dark ratio. If you have this setting enabled on your iPhone while taking photos, it already does this.
In a more traditional sense, a photographer would take three photos at different exposures and combine them in an HDR photo editing app to achieve the best results.
Aurora HDR is the best tool for this type of work. Aurora HDR is created by the same developers as Luminar, so both apps have a similar user interface with a focus on different photo editing styles.
Remember, if you don’t manually work with HDR photos, you don’t need this app.
Darktable is an open source photography workflow application and raw developer. Photographers can use this as a virtual light table and darkroom.
It stores your digital negatives in a database, allows you to view them through a zoomable light table, and allows you to develop and enhance raw images.” If this is something you require, you should download it right away.
It is one of the best photo editing apps for mac.
If you don’t want to use a native app, Photopea is one of the best photo editing apps for mac. Photopea is a web app that provides nearly all of the features of Adobe Photoshop for free. Content-aware fill, filters support, layers support, a large selection of brushes, and other features stand out.
All popular image formats, as well as app-specific formats, are supported by the app, including PSD, XD, Sketch, XCF, RAW, and others. If you’ve used Adobe Photoshop in the past but want to upgrade due to the high cost, this is the ideal solution for you.
It even supports the majority of Photoshop’s keyboard shortcuts.
It also includes a plethora of PSD templates for creating thumbnails for videos, profile avatars, cards, and other items.
The only significant disadvantage of this app is that the user interface appears a little dated. However, for a free online photo editor, this is excellent. If you’re looking for a free Photoshop alternative.
Is there a photo editor built into Mac?
Yes, you can rely on the built-in Mac utility Preview to perform basic tasks such as image resizing, cropping, rotating, adjusting contrast, adding filters, shapes, signatures, and fixing saturation, among other things.
Is Photoshop available for free on the Mac?
Yes, there is a free model with limited functionality available for Mac users with Photoshop. The photo editor software for Mac includes all of the necessary functions to meet all of your basic requirements.
What are the best photo editing apps for Mac?
GIMP, Photoscape X, Fotor Photo Editor, Darktable, and Seashore are the best free image editing and manipulation tools.
While all of these photo editing apps are excellent, you may find that some of them are better suited to your needs than others.
Most people find that Luminar and Affinity Photo works the best for them, and as a result, they are widely used. However, you should select the one that best suits your editing style and needs.