i was talking to a friend, and he said "if you want to become a serious photographer, you need to learn photoshop". i think that is an interesting point of discussion... before people say "your friend doesnt know what he is talking about", i should say that he is not an artistic/creative type, so his opinion is simply that.
but, that got me thinking, is it true? in an age where LR (and Aperture) is a powerful tool for processing and touching up, is PS a necessity for most photogs, who do not need to do any composition outside of composing the shots itself? i am not talking about commercial photography or graphic design, but rather speaking to the serious hobbyists/amateurs, as well as pros who shoot weddings, models, etc
beyond that, are PS and LR the de-facto, must-have, software? where does freeware such as GIMP fall on the spectrum?