I am a digital camera user and a frequent PhotoShop user. I really enjoy
using the layers feature to montage images and text. This can be great fun
for students to create surreal compositions. Because of their familiarity
with other computer programs, students are learning to use it much faster
than they did several years ago when I started having them make photomontages.
Two years ago I used PhotoShop to help prepare a design for an award
winning set for Fiddle on the Roof. I did it by digitally photographing in
a pencil drawing and using the PhotoShop Paint bucket to add the color.
Once it was colored, I used the Eyedropper to sample the colors and used
the Paint bucket make a set of paint chips for the set painters to get the
colors from the local paint store.
There are lots of things in PhotoShop I have not yet mastered. I would be
pleased to be included if you set up a group. So far as how Photoshop
compares to other programs, I have not used others enough to say much about
it. As a teacher, I paid the educational price for my home copy. Adobe
offers lab pack prices for classrooms, if you have enough computers to make
it worthwhile. At this point I do not expect to upgrade from release 6 to
7 unless I discover that it has something I can really use.