Is there a cheaper alternative to photoshop that has some of the features?

Hi guys I am a total noob. Sorry to disappoint you photoshop fans but I am looking for some advice on a cheaper alternative to photoshop that still has some of the features I need.

The main reason I want it is for making fairly simple posters for events for family and friends. I downloaded the photoshop free trial version an loved it but, as you will see from the attached example, I really don't think the large price tag for photoshop would be justified given that I will probably never use most of its features (I'd love to learn but simply wouldn't have the time).

In the past id try to make these pictures using the software alreay on my computer like Word or paint, but that was just a nightmare. I need something a bit more than that and am happy to pay but photoshop just seems very expensive.

The difficulty in asking this question is trying to list exactly which tools I would need, so I will try to just describe in a general way. Typically I'd just be getting pictures (photos) from the Internet, and some of my own, and combining them together (us this called making a composite??). So one important tool would be a way to cut an object nicely out of its background. If then need to put that onto another picture. An example might be where I have a photo of someone riding a horse and I want to he'd rid of the horse and make it look like they're riding a hippo, the hippo picture coming from the Internet. The important thing here is that it doesn't have to be perfect or seamless - I'm not trying to trick anyone into thinking the picture is real - but I just want it to look reasonably neat to friends and family, who won't really care if it looks a bit fake. The problem when I've tried to cut pictures from backgrounds using the freehand lasso tool on applications like paint is that is just looks terrible. I need something a bit cleverer than that, or something that could smooth the edges. Hopefully you know what I'm getting at here.

apart from that, I'd need basic things like being able to rotate and resize but I'm sure that would be standard on anything you suggest?

anyway the attachment is an example of something I did with photoshop (like putting the bacon on the geese's backs). I'd perhaps like to be a little more ambitious in future though. Does anyone have any suggestions as to some suitable software for me please?

Ps I'd probably want to do posters between A4 and A2 size.


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Hi guys - thanks very much for the help. I gave gimp a go and it seems like it can do the job (and probably a whole lot more). The only thing was it didn't seem very keen on letting me set up an A2 size file to start off with? Anyway I ended up going with A3 as the pictures I could find probably weren't high enough resolution anyway. Here is a reduced version of the first effort at this year's goose roast poster.



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Haven't used GIMP but I saw it's interface in our school laboratory..It's almost the same with PS.

Anyway, the poster is intended to be humorous right? :p