There are many great software options available. Photoshop CS is the cadillac of photo editing. It's also very pricey and complicated. Some other options include:

Free

Gimp http://www.gimp.org/
GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks asphoto retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages. (more...)

Picasa...from Google. Provides basic editing and excellent organization
Ifranview...More advanced options
Photofiltre...another more advanced program

Great gimp content from the 21stcentury tech wiki

http://21centuryedtech.wikispaces.com/GIMP

gimp.jpg
gimp.jpg

At the Woodside Tech Lab there is site licensing for Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop Elements. So why is GIMP the photo editing, creation, and manipulation program that is the favorite? Because it is free! You may be thinking that it should not matter since the others are already owned by the school. The reality is, programs that are most popular to students are the ones that they can also use at home. The most accessible programs for middle school students are ones that are free. A free program allows for some sense of equality in the growing digital divide. As educators,we must recognize that it is important for both technology and educational opportunities to find no boundary between the classroom and the home. In this sense, GIMP fills the need for a robust photo manipulation program that is in many ways equal to programs that can cost upwards of several hundred dollars. This page is dedicated to GIMP and the open source community that supports it. I am providing some material that allows GIMP to be learned and used in the classroom. I am hoping that others will share their ideas. Here is a video about GIMP, where to get it, and how to install it.


Learn about GIMP and be sure to download it. Learn about its features and look over its user manual. Take a look at these commonly asked questions.

Learning GIMP - Here is a set of links and documents that can be used by teachers and students to learn about GIMP.

I created a ten page activity packet called external image msword.png rose1_all.doc. It allows students to go over and learn about some of GIMP's most popular features. Feel free to download and use it. You will also need pictures to complete the activity. I have supplied them below. Right click to download them.
vase.jpg
vase.jpg
rose.jpg
rose.jpg
leaves.jpg
leaves.jpg

Once again, you cannot beat free. The GIMP Site offers the following tutorials for free. They range from [Beginner | Intermediate | Expert | Photo Editing | Web | Script Authoring]. Have fun learning more about GIMP!

Atomic Learning offers great video clips for learning about software. Take a look at the Atomic Learning GIMP Clips. Your school may already subscribe. If not, a teacher log in account can be created for under one hundred dollars a year.

I really liked this collection of 25 Videos To Help You Get Started showing great effects for using GIMP. It also provides some wonderful educational ideas.


Activities for GIMP - Here is a partial collection of activities I have used with students involving GIMP.

Editing Photos - Download this external image msword.png GIMP_edit.doc. Then Right click and download each picture. Students must use photo editing skills to make necessary fixes.
pic_rocks.jpg
pic_rocks.jpg
night_garden.jpg
night_garden.jpg
river.jpg
river.jpg
hotel_lobby.jpg
hotel_lobby.jpg
charelston.jpg
charelston.jpg
chicago.jpg
chicago.jpg
atlanta.jpg
atlanta.jpg
roller_coaster.jpg
roller_coaster.jpg


Picture Mock Up - One of my favorite activities allows students to create a mock picture of a fictional event. First, they practice using this external image msword.png lochness_word.doc and the pictures I have included below. Feel free to download these pictures of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Lake Michigan. Students will also need their own Loch Ness monster which I let them choose from a bag of various dinosaurs I purchased at a dollar store. (I downloaded a picture I shot so you can try the activity without spending a buck. The last shot is my final creation.) Using a digital camera students take a picture of their future Loch Ness Monster. When they are done they create their own pictures and then each one writes a paragraph to describe the picture. Give it a try. They are now ready to create their own mock up! Please feel free to share some creative GIMP ideas so they can be posted here for others to use.
lake_mich.jpg
lake_mich.jpg
mountain_nc.jpg
mountain_nc.jpg
loch_dino.JPG
loch_dino.JPG
lochness.jpg
lochness.jpg