Striking as it may be, the above photos are a "before" editing and "after" editing. No idea where that green overlay came from though. That wasn't there before editing. Hmm. Anyway, the great part? This photo of Homemade Cinnamon Roll Ice Cream was edited in a free photo-editing program!
There are two great options for FREE photo editing:
Picnik.com - This website allows you to upload a photo and edit it right there online. There are auto fixes, color & exposure settings, resizing, red-eye correction, and other basics. You can also add text and borders. All of these editing tools are free. Picnik offers an upgraded edition for a monthly fee, but for basic photo editing the free version is just fine.
Gimp - This is freely distributed "image manipulation" software, as the creators call it. In plain English, this program is almost exactly like your basic Photoshop but it is free! As far as I can tell, it has all of the basic tools that Photoshop has, it uses the same symbols for the tools and they are used all in the same way, making it a cinch for anyone who has used Photoshop. This is the program I use most of the time, since it gives me much more control. If I need to simply "pop" or resize a photo for use on Examiner or a blog, then I do it quickly at Picnik. But Gimp is fantastic for really working with photos. There is a Mac and a Windows version available.
Happy Free Editing!