So as I'm working on getting into photography, I'm looking at what I want to use for processing. I love the look of Lightroom but not a fan of subscription services so that is likely out at least for now. I've used Picasa and the photo app on my iPhone/iPad as far as experience is concerned.
So as I'm looking at what's available, I'm not seeing much good about the Capture NX-D but most of the threads that talk about it are old. Have there been improvements or is it still too limited?
I probably don't need Photoshop level stuff but I'd want to do the normal exposure/color adjustments but would also like to have masking features (not sure if that is the right term but where you can remove a piece of trash from grass for example). I'd also like to explore HDR where you take 3-5 photos of different exposures and put them together. And I've been watching videos where they take long exposure shots without and ND filter by taking multiple shots and stacking them on top of each other. Not sure what that is called either but it looks interesting.
I've looked briefly, just on youtube, at Photoscape and Rawtherapee and I know Gimp exists. Am I looking in the right direction or is there something else I need to consider? I'm not professional and don't think I'll ever be but I'd love to be good at this. I don't want something too terribly hard to use but I know it may be ridiculously simple and still have some power.