GIMP iconMost everybody has heard of Photoshop, the industry standard for photo editing.  Not so many people know about GIMP, a free, open source application with many features similar to Photoshop’s.  GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program.  GNU is a unix-like computer operating system, a free alternative to the Windows and Mac operating systems. 

GIMP is one of the older applications written for the GNU OS.  It was released in 1995 as a semester-long project of students at the University of California, Berkeley.  Now 17 years old, GIMP has been refined by many users’ feedback.  It has a huge user base, and continues to be improved and updated.  Although GIMP originally was designed for the GNU operating system, today you can download free Windows and Mac OS X versions.  If you’d like to have a Photoshop-like toolbox, but can’t afford Photoshop, you might consider downloading GIMP.

I have been volunteering as a photography teacher at a local school for youth offenders.  That school owns a dated version of Photoshop, but I’m going to be using GIMP instead, because when the students graduate from that school they will not likely be able to afford Photoshop.  Below are the lessons I will be presenting to them, using GIMP.  I might as well share those lessons with the public.  Please stay tuned!

     — TCDavis

Using GIMP you will learn how to:

  • crop a photo
  • straighten a horizon
  • adjust hue and saturation of colors
  • adjust brightness and contrast
  • correct blemishes with clone stamp tool
  • use the curves tool to improve clarity
  • combine image elements with layers
  • resize photos
  • change the resolution of photos
  • save photos in various formats

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