For the last several years I have used Photoshop Elements on my mac. It’s a good alternative to the full-fledged Photoshop, at a fraction of the cost. Photoshop Elements can usually be purchased for less than $100. I’ve recommended it to a number of people, but it’s now been replaced as my main image editor.
If you use a mac computer, you really need to check out Pixelmator. For only $29.99 from the Mac App Store, it is in incredible bargain (I picked it up on a half-price sale for $14.99 last year). It has a beautiful user interface, and the feature list keeps growing. With the latest Pixelmator 3.0 fx update, the software has really surpassed Adobe Photoshop Elements, at one third of the cost.
I use Pixelmator for photo editing, for logos and web graphics, and for sermon series graphics. With layers, layer styles, shapes, and advanced text editing, Pixelmator is a versatile program. It even has a full-fledged Vector mode called Vectormator. The best way to find out how it works is to watch the video overview below.