Ruth wanted to know about getting started... good point. In this post I mentioned briefly that I am using Photoshop Elements 6 and the CD course from Scrapper's Guide. This week we updated to Photoshop Elements 7 for two reasons. The first is that there are some advanced photo editing abilities in the new version that were previously only available in the full Photoshop, which we can't afford. The second is that Costco has an awesome deal right now - $79.99 for the software which includes Scrapper's Guide's new training CD which includes a "My Story" set to tell your own personal history. I believe the CDs sell for about $29, so if you were wanting to buy one and don't have the photo software, now would be the time.
For general photo editing and most scrapbook page building, all of the major softwares are pretty equal. If you are doing more advanced photo editing, look into Adobe's products. They are popular for a reason. They work! My opinion, but I am joined by a lot of professional photographer's in that. I have seen some amazing work done in Microsoft's Digital Image Pro. I would say second in popularity is Paint Shop Pro and I have seen quite a few people use ACDSee. Some people have used GIMP which is a free software imaging program. I have no experience with that - Amy do you want to weigh in? Both Microsoft and Adobe offer free trial versions, generally for 30 days. Others might as well.
Two Peas In a Bucket has great articles on getting started. I have had my current account there since 2003 but have been hanging out there since they started about 1999. They draw from a wealth of knowledge in the scrapbooking community (paper and digital, photography, arts etc.). It's a fun place to spend some time. Yes, you can spend money there as well, but they have a lot of free kits and their information is free.
For help on Photoshop Elements, I can not recommend highly enough, Scott Kelby, who is my favorite photo guru. :o) How can you not love a man who in each of his books credits his Lord Jesus and the Mama of his babies (his wife)?! He is considered THE Photoshop guru and has online photo courses that Hubby and I plan on taking. This book is what I use with my PSE 6. The instructions are with photos of what he is actually doing and the instructions are step by step and make sense. His books are a little expensive, but they are WORTH about 5 of the other books available on the same subject!
When getting started doing digital, for me "seeing is believing". Watching Linda do the different steps made sense. Others might learn by reading. You might check your library. Also CK Media has put out several special issues on digital scrapbooking and have a Magazine. Most of the major scrap sites do have free tutorials.
I'm NOT an expert, so I don't want to come across as a "know it all", it's just that many have commented on wishing to learn about it. I thought it would be fun to do together. By all means, give me any suggestions, tips etc that you have found. I'm all ears! :o)