If you take your photos in RAW format (which I think you should) then you need a piece of software to develop your RAW files into beautiful images. And what is better than using free software? No investment, no monthly fees, and a large, helpful community for support. Even get directly in touch with the developers.
My favourite RAW developer is called Darktable. It started out some years ago only running on Linux. Eventually it was ported to OS X, and this winter the Windows version came out.
Darktable is a very capable free alternative to Adobe Lightroom and others. Like Lightroom it can be used not only to edit your photos, but also to import them from your camera, organize them and print them. As Lightroom is the only commercial RAW developer I have any knowledge about, I’ll use it as a reference.
The two are quite different in the way you work with them. This may make the learning curve of Lightroom a bit easier in the beginning, but I think in the end Darktable is more powerful and more flexible. Many tasks can be done in multiple ways, giving better results under different circumstances.
If you are curious and would like to learn about Darktable, I have just started a YouTube channel about it. The two first videos are out, and I plan to release a new episode every Sunday. See the first episode here:
I’d love it if you like, comment, share and subscribe, so my channel can gain some momentum. Thank you in advance, and see you next time.