The only software I use is Picasa... it's a free download. Here's the link. I'd love to play with Light Room some day, but I'm not there yet.
I've discovered I REALLY like photographing flower blossoms. Maybe it's the fact that it's still (and therefore, easy to take the time to get the settings right, without missing a "kodak moment"). Maybe it's the burst of color among green. Whatever the reason, I find myself taking shots of flowers a lot.
This photo is actually unedited and not cropped. It came out just the way I planned. For once.
This picture was shot from my backyard and took quite a few tries. I finally had success with the "night" setting on my camera (Nkon D5000) and setting my phone on the deck handrail to steady it. I also cropped out the finger I had over the lens and brought up the highlights to show a little bit of color in the horizon.
This one was taken on a walk at Seaport Village in San Diego. I did nothing but increase the highlights to make the white of the flower stand out a little more.
This picture was a total accident, but I love it! This is Matthew at the park at Danny's birthday party. He was jumping off the swing and I snapped the picture before remembering to change my camera settings for the bright sunlight so it came out really over exposed and blurry because of the motion. So I went with it! I increased the shadows a TON to intensify the color. Then I used the "soft focus" effect to make the edges blurry. How fun!
Last, this picture was taken on Father's Day. Alejandro had kicked off his very-worn-out flip flops on the deck and then all of the floating cotton caught on them, making it look like they'd been sitting collecting dust for weeks. I didn't crop it, but did intensify the shadows to give it a little more depth. I really like this shot too. It make me think old, comfortable, familiar, relaxed, time off, summer camp, and lots of really great memories.
Do you have some photographic favorites to share? Link to them in the comments section for all to enjoy!