Now, I am sure that this post will generate some comments (sent or not) about GIMP. I have not used GIMP because at home I have a full version of Photoshop CS. However, at work right now I do not have any image editing abilities other than what the standard "Paint" application and Microsoft Office offer. Nearly everyone knows that those options are horrible. I tried installing GIMP some weeks ago, but the install conflicted with a GAIM/Jabber (now called Pidgin - that story is yet another reason to HATE AOL) installation I have and I really do not want to mess with that.
I then began searching the web for a "free image editing program". While I cam up with some very interesting and sometimes x-rated results, I found nothing but links and references to GIMP. This is indeed a testament to the user-base of that particular program. I eventually gave up the search.
Just today, a co-worker mentioned another program that I did not find in the previous searches. This program is called "Paint.Net". I just downloaded and installed version 3.05. I must say that although I have not used it to perform any major image enhancements, creations, or alterations, this program has been immediately impressive. I am sure that since I am a Photoshop user, I will soon become disappointed, but I do not plan on needing to perform any major image editing tasks at work anyhow.
Here are my initial impressions:
So... For the rest of you who are looking for something basic to perform image enhancements, this may be a good place to look before dropping $100 or more on Photoshop Elements.