Adobe Photoshop (or graphics programs like it, such as the freely downloadable GIMP) allow you to do amazing things like photo repair and reconstruction, signs, banners, birthday cards, business cards, folders, etc.
Above are samples of finished works for my business called Trickphoto.com, which, in addition to artistic or business needs, also does scanning, repair and archiving to dvd for your precious photos of family and pets, which can be lost forever in a disaster! That's no joke, btw; watch a person being interviewed on the news after they've sadly lost their home in a tragedy and they always say: "What can't be replaced are the photos." Think about that. I can restore an old photo like the lady on the left, or the Veteran or the little boy and then you get it saved on a dvd that you can take to a printer and get a framed copy of for your walls or a family album. We can also do this all through the mail, so I can work from the originals, unless you can scan them @ 300 dpi minimum.
These examples of photo repair, book covers, flyers, CD cover designs, even a colorizing of an M.C. Escher piece of art in the lower right corner, are only a fraction of what I've done professionally. But check out the Viet Nam vet's complete reconstruction where he lent me his actual uniform so I could scan the medals and uniform cloth to get it all super sharp. I asked for $200, he gave me $400.00!
In my teaching of the basics of how to do any of this stuff, I cover everything. I suggest that the serious student get a Wacom graphics tablet such as their "Graphire" model with a six inch pad. I do not work for either Adobe or Wacom, but to get results like I do, you'll need a tablet and a wireless mouse comes with it, along with a great wireless, no battery stylus that acts like a paintbrush or pen or whatever. It is the only way to do convincing clouds, strands of hair, etc. (Look closely at my hair in the photo at the top of the site, see how it looks real along the edges against the background? A perfect example!) If you watch the dvd extras of any computer graphics-laden movie like "Lord Of The Rings", you see these artists working and that's what they are using; just look at their desktops when they are being interviewed. They are very dependable and well-built, and mine even was in a flood 8 years ago and still works perfectly. That being said, you do NOT need a tablet to learn but it is an eventuality that you will come to if you're serious ... and I sure wish these companies would pay me to be what they call a "product evangelist"!