My photo editing needs are pretty modest, not much more than what we did in the darkroom.
I learned basic procedures on Adobe Photo Deluxe, a predecessor to Elements. It was Bundled with my first (1997-98) digital camera, a 2 megapixel Minolta Dimage V that had a crazy tethered lens that you could remove from the camera and shoot around corners or stick it down into a confined space.*
I also noodled around with Paint.net, and together they made a very crude version of Photoshop.
Then I tried Photoshop, and for my needs found it too complicated.
I tried GIMP, which I found to have no soul-it was like kissing your sister- and it was just as complicated as Photoshop.
All of this was before the debut of Lightroom.
As I looked into my next editing software, I learned that some of them offered asset management, and because I lack the Organization Gene, this seemed attractive.
ACDSee Pro 5 seemed to fit my needs, was modestly priced, and the tabs and keyboard commands were what I was used to in Windows. For an old dog, not having to learn new tricks was a good thing.
For my purposes, this software does a very good job. I particularly like the Light EQ feature, which, like an audio equalizer, breaks the dynamic range down into sections that can be adjusted with individual sliders.
It seems that the screen on my new laptop has such high resolution, that the Version 5 display gets squeezed down, so I upgraded to Pro 10.