For anyone who aspires to make good photos great, there's Paint Shop Pro X. You'll be able to learn as you go with a built-in Learning Center that lets you choose automatic photo fixes or precision editing controls for fine-tuning.
PSP X rocks!2/12/2006
I do a lot of amatuer photography and some graphic editing for my websites and business presentations. I liked Adobe Photo Shop but I did not like its price or complexity. Several years ago I changed from a limited use version of Photo Shop to a full-blown version of JASC's (now Corel) Paint Shop Pro. Back then it was version 5 or 6 and about one-tenth the price of Photo Shop. I've upgraded over the years and now use Corel Paint Shop Pro X (version 10) and I've got to tell you, the new version just kicks butt. PSP X now has a Learning Center which is an embedded help system that shows up on the left of the program. The Learning Center guides you through all the cool things you can do and only shows the stuff that's available to choose from until you click on something, then it shows everything that's available at that level. It's really cool how easy Corel makes it to do detailed things. For example, if I want to remove a scratch from a photo, I choose "Retouch and Restore" which says right under that selection, "Remove flaws from your photos". Then I click on "Scratch Remover". It guides me through everything I need to do to quickly and easily correct the photo to my liking without having to remember where all the commands are off the menu. I really like the ease-of-use this provides me, because I really don't want to become a graphics designer, I just want my pictures to look their best without requiring a ton of work on my part to get it done. Of course there are some seriously advanced capabilities available as well but I rarely use them because almost everything I want to do to an image is right there in the Learning Center. So PSP X does all the things I need a photo or image editing system to do, at way less than what I'd have to pay if I wanted to do the same in Photo Shop. I think it's a "must have" if you take a lot of photos or do web development at any level. In addition to PSP X, I also use Corel (formerly JASC) Photo Album 6 which lets me post an entire website of photos for family members and friends to see. Photo Album can be a standalone application but it also integrates directly into PSP X. When you want to do more than just basic editing on a photo in Photo Album, you just click the PSP X icon and it brings up the photo in PSP X. You can then make whatever changes you need in PSP and save the picture, then when you click back on Photo Album your image is updated, simple as that. Pretty cool and highly recommended!