When I started taking photo, I wondered why they never looked as good as the professionals. Maybe they had better cameras... well yes they do, but they are also masters of photo editing. With a little software, the world of photo beautification will be at your fingertips. (Yes, photo beautification is the official term.) Here are the three main programs I've seen referenced around the blogosphere...
Picasa - free
Picasa is what I use right now. It's easy and FREE, which has been great for me as I venture into blogging all thrifty-like. With Picasa, you can edit your pictures, share them on the web, and import them directly into Blogger (since they're both from Google). It's a great way to start making your pictures pretty for you blog or to share in general.
Here's my favorite picture from Day 13 with some editing via Picasa.
Since I'm pretty familiar with Picasa (and it's not very tricky), this adjustment took me about 5 min. I think it's a pretty great improvement. And FREE, don't forget free!
Photoshop - $700I can't vouch for Photoshop except that a lot of pro-bloggers out there use it and have BEEutiful pictures. Photoshop is definitely an investment, so unless you have the cash to burn, consider your needs carefully before taking the plunge. It's super powerful software, which also makes it feel a little overwhelming at first (from what I hear). But, if you stick to it, the rewards are super. Look at what it can do!
Photoshop Elements - $80
I've never used Photoshop Elements either, but from research and reviews I've read it's a beginner-friendly photo editing program that gets you into some more advanced photo adjustments. It's easier to navigate than Photoshop and a LOT cheaper. It doesn't have all of the bells and whistles, but what it does have comes really really close with a little know-how. It's a great in-between if you're not ready to shell out the money for Photoshop, but need something a little more powerful than freeware.
We're going to take some more time to explore these over the next few days. Do you edit your photos? What photo editing software do you use?