What I do use is a free software called Photoscape. And sometimes I also use Picnik. I do pay for the premium version of picnik, because I love the extras. But, it can be free too!
Now, let's do a little tutorial. First, we'll use Picnik to enhance. Then we'll finish it off in Photoscape. We are going to use a picture of my girl- because, well, she really likes her picture taken. So, I have a lot on hand.
First the raw picture:
It's okay, but could use some touch-ups to be more eye-catching. So, first I would start in Picnik. After, the obvious photo uploading, rotating and/or cropping you would choose the CREATE tab, then TOUCH-UPS. I always first choose EYE BRIGHT. (there are many more cool touch-ups available I am not covering, but you can play with- like for wrinkles, becoming more tanned, blemish removal, & airbrushing, just to name a few.)
Then I adjust to brush size 28, and 64% lighten, leaving your fade at default 50.
Zoom in and ever so carefully, just run the little circle over the white and the iris of the eye. Then, if teeth are showing, run over those too. (There is another section for whitening teeth- but really, the eye button does the same thing and you're already there.)
And, now, viola, you have bright eyes and teeth. Now, choose MASCARA. This tool will in fact make it look like you have lucious black lashes- however, it's actually a tool for vibrance in general. I also use it to enhance the lip color and freckles, in addition to the eyes.
See the difference? Now, choose the EFFECTS tab and we will apply a vignette-which is just a fancy term for adding black around the focal point so it pops off the page. I always reset the defaults to full size and strength.
And, then you have this finished product to compare to the original below.
But, there is more! I usually apply a frame or other enhancement. And this is when I prefer my Photoscape.
You choose editor at the top, then find your photo from your hard drive. Then, choose the photo. Select the frames choice menu.
I really like to apply the pocket, which looks like this:
Then, you can also apply the fold frame, which just looks like its laying in a stack of pictures. To add multiple frames on to one picture, simply click the photo+frame button. Below, both pocket and fold are applied:
Now, pocket and wedding:
And, pocket and tape:
You can do all kinds of stuff! Photoscape is best explored by just playing around! I also love it because it has a screen capture feature. You can capture any screen easily, even on sites that don't normally allow it. (Shhhh!)
I hope this helps you with your adventures in picture editing. Feel free to leave questions and I will get back to you! To me, things are best learned hands on, so get busy! We may even host a little photo contest at the end of summer.