I use GIMP

by Friday, 06 May 2011

I use GIMP not photoshop

because I find that:

  1. Photoshop doesn't run too good on Linux
  2. It costs money
  3. GIMP is easy to use

Introduction to GIMP:

I've put together a very simple tutorial here about how to use GIMP.
In this introduction/tutorial, I will show you how you can make over/under exposed pictures look a bit better.
To get started, you can download GIMP here: GIMP DOWNLOAD
It runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.

The Tool Box:

The tool box is the most essential part of GIMP.  It allows you to pick every option that you need with every tool.
Learning how each tool works is pretty easy.  Play with it.


The Main Window:

This is where you image will be opened.  You can even drop a file directly onto this window to open the file.

The Layer Dialog:

If you don't see the layers window, you can turn it on by going to the main window--> Windows-->Dockable Dialogs--> Layers.  Layers controls what element is on top of other elements, etc


The Tutorial

Color Curves:


First, open a picture you would like to edit.

Then go to main window-->Colors-->Curves.  At this point, you should see the above window

This is the best tool for adjusting brightness as well as contrast.



The best way to use this is to move the top point close as you can to the right. It is best if you can keep that dot before you cross over into where the “color mountains” begin to climb up from the bottom right. This first step will really brighten up your picture (generally).



Now do the same with the bottom left point. This will add slightly more rich contrast to the picture without making it too dark. Keep in mind that if this step makes the picture too dark, you may want to only do so much. Play with it.

Last, but not least, you will get to add another point by simply clicking on to the straight line between the two points. Unless the picture is over exposed, you generally drag the point upward. If you are happy with the way the picture looks, just press okay. If you messed up, press the reset button and you should be ready to start again from scratch.


Saving is pretty easy, but it is important in GIMP that you assign a file extension when you save. Make sure you set the extension to .jpg



In addition to the light curve, I like to edit the entire brightness/contrast at the end sometimes. This tool can be selected from Main Window--> Colors--> Brightness-Contrast.  It is pretty self explanatory.
Leave comments if you've got questions.
I'm by no means an expert user.  I just happen to have to use it everyday.
Below is a comparison of before and after.  I think one side looks a lot tastier than the other.


Ryuhei Yokokawa is a Seattle-based web-developer.

Personal Website: http://ryokokawa.com

Work Website: http://y-designs.com

Email: ryuhei@y-collaborative.com

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