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Editing Your Hero Shots: My Go-To Programs

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You land that nice fish and then you pull out the camera to capture the moment with a photo so you can share it later with family and friends. When you get home, you want to really make the photo “pop”, so you delve into the world of photo editing, a truly daunting task.

I have received numerous questions about what photo-editing program I use. Well, the answer isn’t that simple because I use multiple and sometimes I use various for one single photo. Now, don’t get the wrong idea; I really don’t know anything about photos in the technical sense. This is precisely the reason why my choice in photo editing programs is so important… because I need all the help I can get. With that said, I thought I would share my “most” used or “go-to” programs.

Affinity Photo: Was chosen by Apple as the best Mac app of 2015. It is an all-in-one photo-editing program that was designed specifically for Mac computers. For you Windows users, Affinity will be releasing a version for you very soon if it is not out already.

I use Affinity for my more detailed photo editing endeavors. I am relatively new to this program so I have much to figure out. But it has replaced my Adobe Photo Editor. Affinity can be simple and effective for the newbie but also can be extremely technical for all you professionals out there. The best thing about this program is that, compared to other professional type apps, it is fairly intuitive. Best of all, it comes with a reasonable price tag, $49.99 and no subscription required.

Aurora HDR: Was also awarded the Editors Choice Best App of 2015. This program was designed exclusively for Mac and I was unable to find any future plans of releasing a Windows version.

This has quickly become one of my most used programs. It is considered an all-in-one program but it is geared for the HDR enthusiast. You are able to edit your multiple HDR photos or give a single photo an HDR look. Aurora HDR is extremely intuitive and easy to use. With it, you can give your photos a dramatic “cartoon-ish” look or you can just give it a slight realistic touch of HDR. I purchased the basic program at a meager $24.99 but you can purchase all the “bells and whistles” for $99.99.

Simply HDR: Is a very simple program that can be used on both desktop and mobile devices to give your photos a wide range of HDR looks. The mobile device has both a free and paid version. I use it on my IPhone for those quick editing sessions but I also purchased the desktop version for only $9.99. Simply HDR can be obtained for Android, IPhone, Mac, and Window users.

The mobile app is extremely simple to use because it is a one-touch program for the most part, with a few minor user changes that can be made. The desktop version, however, does offer the ability to be a one-touch app or to perform a more detailed editing session. It offers many more options than the mobile app.

Pixlr Express: Is my honorable mention for mobile devices. It isn’t a fancy program but has many options to add everything from text to turning your photos to pencil drawings. Pixlr Express is probably the easiest to use. I use the free version but I do know there is a paid version. This is a great option for those quick editing sessions just to “spruce up” your photos and make them presentable for social media.

I hope this helps some of you. If you have any questions, please feel free to post them in the comments or e-mail me, etc. I will be happy to help if I am able. Also, if you have some great programs you use, I would really like to hear from you. I am always looking for other things to use. To get examples of what these programs can do, check out some of my photos on my Facebook page or hit me up on Instagram @marshlifeyakin.

Photo editing is a daunting task but can be made much more manageable with the right program(s). However, when it comes to those hero shots and memorable moments, it’s worth it. With a little effort and exploring, we can make our hero shots even better!
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Shane has been kayak fishing since 2009 and is passionate about it. Inshore saltwater kayak fishing is his addiction of choice, however, he enjoys the occasional offshore and freshwater trip as well. He mainly fishes the inshore lakes, bayous, and marshes of Southwest Louisiana but does venture into other territories. Shane is a member of the Hobie Fishing Team and holds Pro Staff positions with YakAngler, Lucid Fishing, and Ship To Shore Co. He was also the founding president of the Lake Charles Kayak Fishing Club. "My simple goal for this blog is to promote kayak fishing as it is something I love. I will post articles, reviews, videos, photos, and basically all things kayak fishing." ~Shane [Shane Coleman] (