Software: Adobe Photoshop 5.1
Tutorial: Practical Photoshop
The true power of Photoshop is in many ways not the effects you can do to an image (ie: make cars out of flames or make text look like a baseball), but the flexibility it gives you to change your mind.
Before Photoshop, air brushes were the medium of choice when it came to making special effect images. It seemed every guide to air brushes had section on creating flames or creating textures. The images created with a air brush can be pretty amazing. So what does that have to do with this image?
While creating this image, I was able to do quick experimentation on the in almost no time. I less than two minutes, I was able see three different variations on the sails on the boat. I was also did some experimentation on the look of the waves. It took almost no time at all. If this had been created with an air brush the design would have to be worked out before you start creating. This is an advantage since you have to know your images layout before you start creating with an air brush, but there is very little room for experimentation once the image is in progress.
I guess the true power of Photoshop is the ability it gives you to experiment/play around with your images. Photoshop give you the ability to pay what if!