I have recently started playing around with google's Picasa and have been having a lot of fun! It is no photoshop, but for right now, it is just what I need. Not to mention that it is free!
I had tried another program PhotoPlus but found it was way to complicated and I just do not have the time I need to really figure how to use it. So I figure that I will stick with Picasa to do the basic stuff and when I have some time, I can try to figure out how to use PhotoPlus.
Picasa allows you to organize and edit your photos. Nothing too exciting, but enough to play around with and get started. You can fix red-eye, add fill light, play with contrast, saturation, fix crooked horizons, sharpen the focus and do lots of special effects like black and white. I really like the interface and found it really easy to get up and running.
Like I said, it is not near as powerful as Photoshop, but for right now it does exactly what I need.
It allows me to take a picture like this:
And turn it into this:
And did I mention that it is free?
Now I just need to figure out how long to keep the backups that it makes…I am going to start running out of disk space soon…