Adobe Photoshop is not cheap. There are certainly more affordable photo editing software applications available on the Internet but there are reasons why Photoshop is so popular among professional web designers, photographers, and graphic design specialists.
The ability of Photoshop to allow you to work in layers makes otherwise complex designs easy.
If you are learning how to use Photoshop to do your graphic designs than make sure you pay special attention to the section on how to use layers.
To illustrate how layers work imagine you have a piece of paper. This piece of paper is your background. You could leave the background white or paint it any color you wish.
Now, let's assume you want to add a photograph of a sunset. Your photograph of the sunset is on a transparent paper and you lay it over the top of your background. The sunset image is on your first layer.
Now, let's assume you want to add some text. Your text is on another sheet of transparent paper and you lay it over the top.
This is your second layer.
You can add as many layers as you wish. You can also change the order of the layers. For example, if you decide you want the text layer to be behind the sunset layer you can move the layers easily with a few clicks of the mouse.
This is essentially the same way you create graphics and complex images in Photoshop.
The beauty of layers is that if you decide for instance that you don't want a sunset and you would rather have an image of a beach you can simply delete the sunset layer and add an a new layer for the beach image without disturbing the background or the text layer.
Working in Photoshop with layers allows you to experiment without fear of damaging your original image. Layers also allow the user to make changes without disrupting other elements of the image.