Choose an Image Editor
Of course, it wouldn't be digital photography if you couldn't process your images on the PC. In the old days of film, photographers modified their images in the darkroom. Even casual photographers wouldn't end up with unretouched images, because the guy at the one-hour photo shop tweaked colors and exposure during the developing process (whether you wanted him to or not).
These days, everything is up to you--you just need a photo editing program to get started. Even if you don't know much about photo editing, you've probably heard of Adobe Photoshop--the full version (Adobe Photoshop CS4
) is a US$600 professional editing tool, and it's probably more than you need. Photoshop Elements 8
is a far more affordable, consumer-friendly program that has plenty of editing muscle for polishing your photos. Another popular contender is Corel's Paint Shop Pro X2
You don't have to buy a program to start editing, though. Microsoft's Windows Live Photo Gallery
containssome rudimentary photo editing tools, and it's free. Also free are programs like GIMP
, both of which are superb and powerful photo editors.