If you take digital photographs, you really need to buy and use Adobe Photoshop.
Unless you take loads of images buy Photoshop Elements.
Elements is a cut-down version of Photoshop, but has about 70 per cent of the functionality for about 10 per cent of the price.
You can find it for about £60 (it comes free with some cameras and scanners) and you will be able to transform your images with it.
Use manual adjustments with it, and don’t fall into the trap of using the included “artistic filters” on everything.
Images from a lot of digital cameras nowadays can look dark, because some cameras deliberately underexpose the image so the highlights are not burned out – once a highlight is burned out it is not recoverable.
Photoshop enables you to adjust your image so it is the correct density without burning out the highlights.
This adjustment and other basic adjustments are very easy and quick to do in Photoshop.
Look at the difference a basic density and cropping make to the two images with this article.
Did you know that Beck Photographic runs regular training courses on Beginners DSLR and Beginners Photoshop?
Find out more here.