I'm often asked by students and club members what they might need to be successful photographic editors in the digital darkroom. I will take as a given, a decent camera, editing software that fits the person's needs and some training on the software. You don't get very far without those at least.
But once photography becomes more than a spectator sport, you will need three key elements to help you maximize your returns.
1. Display Calibration
If your computer display is not set correctly, and if it's not calibrated, it's not set correctly, you won't get what you really expect from your editing. Moreover images exported for the web and especially those that are printed are not going to match what you saw in your editor. There are lots of calibrator options out there. I have bought over the years, the Huey Pro, the Spyder Elite and the Color Munki Pro. Save time and money. If you only need a display calibrator buy the Color Munki Smile. It's all you'll need and does a great job. I DO NOT recommend either the Huey or the Spyder. It's your money, spend as you wish but the Color Munki is far and away the best system in my book. Buy it on Amazon and help support The Photo Video Guy
There are a variety of pen enabled tablets in the marketplace. For any kind of semi-serious to serious editing, there is only one. The Wacom Intuos 5. There are multiple sizes, I find the Small to be extremely convenient. There is a minor learning curve to working with a tablet, but once you do, you'll wonder how you ever did any kind of real editing with a touchpad or a mouse. Buy it on Amazon and help support The Photo Video Guy
3. Grey Card
Putting a grey card in the first shot of a sequence will make your white balance and exposure management much simpler. You can certainly get more sophisticated tools such as the ColorChecker Passport that I like very much and use myself, or the dedicated Lastolite popup grey card (and white card for video) but even a basic grey card works well. Put it in your bag and USE it and you'll be surprised at how much better your images are when you edit them. Buy the Passport or Lastolite on Amazon and help support The Photo Video Guy.