I have photoshop, and have had it for years. You wanna know how many times I have used it? Maybe 5. It is a pretty intense program and using it always takes more time that it should.
I have found a couple of (Free) online options to use.
PicMonkey is my FAVE. It is free (for now, they will probably charge an annual fee once they have a larger user base) and is really user friendly. You can do most basic edits and it has a ton of special effects which is really nice. You can also make collages with several photos.
Here is an example of a picture I edited using Picmonkey.
Before- A picture of me a my girls about a year ago.
After- I airbrushed, Used the Cross Process feature and darkened the edges.
Another Program is Ipiccy. It has pretty much the same functions. It is easy to use. Really the only difference for me is the layout. It has many fun effects like Lomo, Burst, Cross Process, and Vingnette, plus many many more. Ipiccy is a little more in depth and has a few more options.
Here is a before and after with Ipiccy.
Before- Lucas on his first day a preschool last week
After- I airbrushed, lifted the curves, upped the color saturation and sharpened. I darkened the edges and added a title.
Ribbet is the most similar to Picnik. If you never used Picnik you missed out. It was the BEST. They shut it down this spring and many many people have been waiting for the next best thing to come along. It is almost the exact same layout as Picnic was. It has a great selection of effects, is probably the easiest to use, but you have to register to use a lot of the premium features. It is free for now, but they will probably charge an annual fee down the road. I had a Picnik account and it was $29 per year, and let me tell you it was worth every penny. I used it all the time. Ribbet may become my go to program. I even made my little title block at the top of the page in Ribbet.
Here is a before and after using Ribbet.
Before- Picture of Ezra with his new tree.
After- I airbrushed it, I removed a little ketchup on his chin and I used the vignette effect to darken the edges.
So there you have it. Three FREE and easy photo editing programs. They are way cheaper than Photoshop and much much easier to use.
Give them a shot, let me know which one you love the best.
Again, here they are.