First there's Photoshop, then there's all the other stuff to get the image into PS or manipulate it once it's in there.
I almost always shoot RAW in my camera so I use Capture One DSLR to convert the images. However, that that said Canon has updated the software that comes with the 10D (and other digital SLR's) and it's much much better than ZoomBrowser - EOS Viewer Utility - EVU. I'm playing around with this for small batches and very much like the color rendition of the conversions.
For browsing images, printing the thumbnails that I file and producing the galleries that you see here Breeze Browser is my favorite. I'm also becoming very fond of the raw conversion interface and results as this program uses the Canon dll's for conversion. Very nice results second only to Capture One.
I've started to use another excellent BreezeSys utility - Downloader Pro. With this I can download the images into directories based on the shooting date. For photo jobs I reconfigure it to download to a directory based on the job number. Very handy to keep things organized automatically.
When scanning slides or negatives from either my slide or flatbed scanners I prefer to use VueScan over the vendors software.
For cleaning up noise in an image Neatimage is one of the best, although other programs are also very good. Check Luminous Landscape and Digital Outback Photo for reviews of other products.
I also use several of Fred Miranda's actions specifically the SI - Stair Interpolation, WP - Web Presenter and DV - Digital Velvia.
For putting together panoramic images I'm using The Panorama Factory.
Color management: for my monitor profile I'm using a Colorvision Spyder. As the version that I have only works with a CRT I'm considering the new Optix XR from Monaco or an upgraded Spyder. Reviews of the Geytag Macbeth Eye One Display aren't quite as good.
Color Mechanic Pro from Digital Light and Color. A friend showed me this Photoshop plugin so I downloaded it and after 2 minutes playing with it I gave it an OMG rating (Oh My Gawd!) A fantastic tool for PS including Elements. Basic version for 8 bit RGB only is $30 and the pro version for 16 bit RGB/CMYK and other extras is $50. Go for the Pro version.
For my photo galleries, I'm starting to use Simple Viewer from Airtight. Another to consider is Gallery.
For my PDA (Windows version) There is a group of applications from Jonathan Sachs that are wonderful and include: DOF calculator, sun & moon position, multi timer, exposure guide.
Miscellaneous software: I keep recommending a particular virus checking and firewall software to friends that are having trouble with Norton and McAfee. I use Trend Micro and their products. They are very well known in the corporarate world and less so in the consumer sector. They are perhaps the most reactive and bullet proof product out there today. When I was in telecom and working with the IT Security 'Spooks' of all the products that they looked at, this was the best and the one we used.
HeliconFocus - a program that creates one completely focused image from several partially focused images by combining the focused areas.
last updated 9/9/06 6:00 AM