Photoshop's popularity is as high as its price tag, a stunning $999 list. (That's "stunning" as in Taser.) You can, of course, find it for less, even for free if you are willing to prowl the Internet's dark alleys looking for a steal. Really. A steal. But PhotoFiltre will make you an honest artist/designer/photographer without making you hock your grandmother's wedding ring or your soul.
The important difference between PhotoFiltre and the more effusive Photoshop is PhotoFiltre's simplicity--in use, not in what it can accomplish. Tools and menus are more evenly distributed, reducing the need to plough deep into the program's interface just to flip an image 90 degrees. PhotoFiltre lacks some of Photoshop's professional abilities, such as layers, as well as more arcane features, such as stitching photos into a panorama and altering perspective. But PhotoFiltre has an arsenal of plug-ins that provide some tricks of their own, such as a filter that emphasizes shadows, highlights, or both without you having to select the areas of dark and light. A beautiful rippling water reflection is only three clicks away. In fact, most effects take only a few clicks. PhotoFiltre doesn't have Photoshop's jam-packed dialog boxes that permit the fatally fastidious to fiddle with a photo for hours. PhotoFiltre is fast. It's simple. It's powerful. It works. And it's free for personal use.
Note: This installer includes the Ask Toolbar for Firefox and Internet Explorer. It can be uninstalled separate from this program.