I got an question submitted to the site the other day from Haley about Photoshop alternatives and thought there may be others with similar questions. (Haley, I tried to write you back, but your email kept bouncing, hopefully this will help you out.)
Photoshop is a really powerful program, but it comes with a price tag (Amazon lists Adobe Photoshop CS4 at $641.99), but the good news is there are a lot of cheap (or free) alternatives that may work for you.
One option is just to go with Photoshop Elements (PC or Mac) at only $74.99 is considerably cheaper, but can still give you most of the functions that those of us who don’t make a live as graphic designers need. It’s heavy in photo editing features, but still gives some of the advanced images tools as well.
Another option that is closer to full blown Photoshop is called GIMP. GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, and is an Open Source project so the cost to you is nothing. Remember you get what you pay for, and it’s definitely not as polished as Photoshop, but is incredible full featured for a free program. You can find the PC version HERE. And Mac you can get the basic version HERE, but if you want a version that doesn’t require X11, I would check out SeeShore (If you don’t know what X11 is, stick with SeeShore).
There are some other cheap or free options depending what platform you’re on:
I know I’m only scratching the surface here. What other options have you’ve found that might help Haley out?