There are tens of different softwares to choose from. Some are free of charge, some are very expensive. Some offer just very basic tools and are extremely easy to use, others provides with hundreds of complicated options and require lots of training to utilise them well. So it is not easy to decide what to choose if you are just a new starter in the photo editing world. This is a selection of the most popular options:
Adobe Photoshop CS series
This is probably the most sophisticated and widely used software available on the market. The number of tools available is massive and if you know how to use them you will be able to achieve spectacular results. The two downfalls of this software are the price (which is very high) and the complexity, which means that if you want to be able to use this software effective you do need to undertake some sort of a training. Currently the latest Adobe Photoshop series is in CS5 which offered another upgrade and simplify tool for the user to deal with their assignment and design.
Adobe Photoshop Elements
This is simplified version of Photoshop and if you are only starting your photo editing journey than it is all you need. Great thing about Elements is that this software is available free of charge. It is very often included with your camera when you first buy it, and if not than you can download it from the internet. The only downside of this software is that it provides limited number of tools, so when you become more familiar with photo editing you might want to apply some other techniques which are no achievable with Elements.
This is the biggest competition for Photoshop. Price wise and functionality wise it is similar to Photoshop, so it is simply a matter of personal preference whether you go for Corel or Photoshop (similarly to choosing between Mac and PC). This software is complex and you will need some training and lots of practice to become familiar with it and use it confidently.
If you are just an amateur photographer using point and shoot camera and don't really want to spend your time editing every single photo with complicated software than Picasa is the way to go ( I can tell you this is one of the LAZIEST software for the newbies) . Picasa photo software is a free editing software available from Google ( YES, It is free PICASA ! ) .To use it you don't really need to know much about photo editing, as all the functions in Picasa photo software come with auto mode, which basically means that you click on one button and the software fixes the photo for you. It is extremely easy to use and probably the best place to start your photo editing education. Picasa photo software is seriously even a newbies that can handle it and play with software easy and in great flexibility.
Thus, it's up to you which software platform is suitable for you to take your picture and refine it to the best of the best picture for the publics and portfolio. But well, for my personal opinion that, Adobe Photoshop is the best software that can optimized my photo to be the best quality to show to my friend. So, how's yours ? Get it now ......