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GIMP Tutorials April 9, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in Links, photography, tutorial.
1 comment so far

About a year ago I abandoned (well, mostly abandoned) my desktop computer – quite the ghetto box running Win98 – for a totally hot, totally enjoyable iBook. At the time I needed to find some image software that was – free – and so I went with The GIMP, The GNU Image Manipulation Program. I would highly recommend this to anyone – in fact, anything I’ve come across with the GNU philosophy has been impressive and it’s just a neat idea. Open source, yes please. And this is from someone who is far from a developer of any kind whatsoever, just someone who uses computers and likes free stuff.

Anyway – so iPhoto is pretty great, for someone like me who was way late into digital and someone who generally doesn’t do much manipulation of any kind. I have been (mostly) satisfied with it. iPhoto Buddy has really upped the satisfaction as my library grew too big and I started using multiple cameras. I have an EX-Z30 Library & a 350D Library, for instance. iPhoto has its limitations, though, it really is for the most minor of touch-ups and if you take good photos that should be fine for the most part. However, some digital darkroom techniques are just too cool to be so in the dark about them. It’s not the same as spending time in the dark & stinking of chemicals, but I am enjoying this on another level.

Anyway – I have had The GIMP for quite some time and I understand that it’s a powerful program – I understand this because I don’t know how to use most of it. But, I figured it was time to learn. And what better place to start than The GIMP’s own TUTORIALS.

I began with the Tutorial on Selective Colorization – that is, taking an image and having most of it be black & white with only a few small things (or one small thing) in colour. Y’know, like greeting cards with two little kids in black & white holding a bright red rose or something. Like that.

I found the tutorial very easy to follow, so if you’re just starting into this sort of thing I would recommend diving right in with it. You just follow their easy steps to create your image and it can be such a dramatic effect that it is terribly satisfying and will give you the confidence to try more techniques and eventually play around with this one to see what you can do. Here’s what I came up with, the second image I tried though I think it’s much cooler than the first.

I used the tutorial on a picture I took in Toronto of a street car crossing Spadina somewhere..

I’m a fan of the technique and will surely be looking for places to use it!