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Here are three great alternatives to Photoshop for Mac. Adobe Photoshop may have been the presiding force in photo-editing on Mac for the best... Three Great Alternatives To PhotoShop: Image and Photo Editors for Mac

Here are three great alternatives to Photoshop for Mac.

Adobe Photoshop may have been the presiding force in photo-editing on Mac for the best part of 30 years, but it’s no longer the only show in town. In fact, a quick Google Safari based search shows that there are tons of options available for image editing on Mac.

From the humble novice who simply wants to crop a photo, to the talented amateur who wants to do more, to the full flung professional photographers, artists and graphic designers who want it all, there’s an alternative for everyone.

It can be challenging to find photo editors that stand out from the crowd these days, but we’ve found three distinct photo editors that are all worthy Photoshop alternatives. Each of the alternatives we’ve chosen focus on a particular aspect of Photoshop and take it to the next level.

CyberlinkPhoto Director Ultra

CyberLink PhotoDirector Ultra – best for simply clever photo editing

PhotoDirector Ultra is an all in one photo editor and manager package and a really good option for both automatic and manual editing tools. The interface is beautifully crafted while retaining a simplicity of use that will appeal to photographers of all levels and abilities.

At first glance, PhotoDirector can seem somewhat intimidating to the novice editor, but the editing tools are intuitive to use, and a brief 10-minute whizz through some of the helpful guides and tutorials should have you editing away quickly like a pro in no time. Frequent fliers of photo editing apps will feel right at home and perhaps be surprised by the sheer array of extensive editing options.

Essentially, editing tools are split between basic and advanced. Like Photoshop, PhotoDirector Ultra includes layer editing, so you can get clever and really transform your photos. It also includes some really incredible features for video-to-photo editing, and 360° photo editing.

Not only does PhotoDirector let you edit, correct and transform photos with an extensive set of editing tools it also comes with a fantastic photo management system, letting you plough through thousands of photos and easily find the one you need.

Purists may dislike or scoff the ‘for the masses,’ approach of PhotoDirector, but we don’t think that’s a bad thing. As well as the above, PhotoDirector Ultra also lets you upload directly to the likes of Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms, which is nice.

We also thought the uniquely easy to use Face Swap tool is a real selling point, allowing as it does, the easy moving of people from one photo to another.

Overall, PhotoDirector Ultra is a powerful photo editor that makes editing and sharing photos relatively simple and straightforward, while managing your photo collection becomes a breeze.


Luminar – best for detailed photo touch-ups

Luminar photo editor for Mac is another powerful, all-in-one photo suite that is positively overflowing with useful tools and versatile filters that rivals, and in someways betters parts of both Photoshop and Adobe’s other main dog in the fight, Lightroom.

Again, like Photo Director, a ten-minute sojourn playing with the interface should have you editing with ease. But for the power Luminar seems to have under its belt, the interface is incredibly easy to use, with several one-click ‘automatic’ enhancers.

Luminar is a great choice for both beginners and professional users. The app lets you choose from dozens of presets that do a great job of quickly enhancing pictures but also has the depth and advanced tools available for use by professionals. There’s a Clone tool, Stamp tool, Fast Object Removal, and noise reduction.

While Luminar perhaps it is not quite as advanced as Photoshop (mainly due to its lack of advanced painting capabilities), it does put Lightroom to shame, and costs a lot less.

The sheer number of filters that come with Luminar is also staggering, and is worth the purchase price alone. It’s worth noting that it can also be used as a plug-in to improve Lightroom if that’s what you use already.

The Sun Rays filter though is something else. It is breathtaking at how well it works. Just move the sun wherever you want in your picture and the rays adjust magically around the trees or buildings foliage in your image. Breathtaking.

Corel Painter 2019

Corel Painter – best for photo and image painting


Corel Painter is the perfect photoshop alternative for digital artists who want to showcase their creativity. It is a fully equipped digital art studio that can help you turn your favorite images into amazing photo art.

Corel Painter is squarely aimed at professionals, but is still a lot of fun, if a bit advanced. It comes with over 600 different brushes and can create just about every type of natural media in existence.

With an extensive array of tools, you can get really creative with your edits and create some masterpieces. Essentially, if you are looking for a real alternative to Photoshop, then Corel Painter is probably what you consider looking for.

The 2019 edition of Corel Painter is a step above its previous edition, introducing an all-around more enjoyable user experience. It has an updated, dark UI, significant speed and perfromance improvements, and 36 additional brushes to use.

If you’re an aspiring photo artist, Corel Painter can help you to more easily transform your photos into spectacular works of art. With auto-painting and cloning tools, and one-of-a-kind image painting features, it gives you everything you need for advanced creative photo editing.

Final thoughts

While there’s no denying that Adobe Photoshop is truly magnificent beast of software used by professional graphic designers and photographers the world over there are other options that are just as good, if not better.