Adobe Photoshop has been used for many years for photo editing. I personally find it a cumbersome program, albiet very powerful. For those that have not gone through formal photoshop training (this includes myself) or can't stomach the cost of Adobe Photoshop, there is an alternative.
Serif PhotoPlus X3 (www.serif.com/photoplus/) is a powerful photo editor and can perform the most common photo editing tasks with ease. One of the best parts is that you do not need to spend lots of time researching how to perform a certain actions. Easy access to specific functions are a few clicks away (see example above).
After installing the PhotoPlus X3 I used it for 30 - 45 minutes and produced the results below.
Cost Comparison (Full Version)
Photoshop $699.00 vs PhotoPlus X3 $79.99