At this point I haven't been brave enough to purchase a software program for editing and altering photos. For now I use the free ones out there. As you can imagine the free ones aren't as advanced as say Photoshop and don't offer as many options but it is a good place to start. I use 4 different editing programs each offering me something a little different as well as many tools that are exactly the same. piZap for instance offers cut and paste editing, something I would like to get good at.
Here are my first 3 attempts. Crud and simple I know but you got to start some where.