My personal rule is every post has to have a photo to make my blog more visually appealing and interesting. I am not a photographer IRL and I had no clue what I was doing when I started blogging in November 07. I still have no clue but I have taken thousands of photos so I am learning as I go. Most of my photos have no post processing at all other than cropping. I do use Picnik on some photos, which is a really sweet tool within Flickr that lets Photoshop impaired people like me play with their images.
Still, everyone knows Photoshop is the tool to use if you are serious about your images. There are a few impediments to using Photoshop. First is the cost as the software is very expensive if you have to buy it at the full retail price which is more than $600. The second problem is Photoshop is not intuitive (at least for me), there are about 734 tools and they can be complicated to understand. Clearly, it takes an investment of time to learn even the basics of how to use Photoshop. I do think you need a PhD to take advantage of all the tool has to offer. Either that or a lot of time and patience, which are two things that are always in short supply for me.
I am lucky in that I work at a University and we get big discounts on software so I was able to buy Photoshop for very little money. Months ago I took the plunge and bought Creative Suite 3. I have tried over and over to teach myself how to use this handy dandy software. I read books. I use the "help" section and I still had no idea what I was doing and I was getting frustrated. So, over the past few days I got more serious. Again my employer came to the rescue with a free online course that allows me to watch videos at my convenience that walked me through the basics.
I still have about a million miles to go but this is my first attempt at post processing a SL photo in Photoshop.
This picture was taken at La Reve, which is one of the most beautiful sims in SL and deserves a full post, which I intend to write. But first, I need to play with some images in Photoshop.