In Part 1 of this tutorial series, we covered some of the most basic elements of photo editing, cropping and scaling (resizing) photos, along with adjusting the brightness and contrast of photos. Then, in Part 2 you learned how to use the GIMP's powerful layer, pattern, and text tools by editing a photograph in our digital darkroom. If you do not know how to use the Gimp to crop and scale photos, adjust brightness and contrast, add text or a pattern to a photo, or create and work with layers, then you should go through the Part 1 and Part 2 tutorials.
You later can apply the basic skills, elements, and principles that you learn in this tutorial to edit and manipulate photos, clipart, scanned images and other digital graphics. You also can use the GIMP to design and create all sorts of stunning computer graphics and images from scratch. However, today's tutorial focuses on editing an already existing image with the GIMP.
Originally, GIMP was a Linux/UNIX program. However, it has been ported to the Microsoft Windows platform -- that effectively makes GIMP a cross-platform (XP) program. There appear to be some Mac versions of the GIMP now also.
If you already have read Part 1 and Part 2 of this tutorial series and our GIMP Overview article, you might want to skip right on down the to the Into the Digital Darkroom section of today's tutorial. It's on page 2.
The GIMP and Adobe Photoshop are comparable, digital-darkroom, software products as to features, functions, and usability other than some advanced professional and prepress stuff in Photoshop. The basic photograph and image cropping, scaling, color-brightness adjustment, color-contrast adjustment, text, and layer operations covered in Parts 1 and 2 of this tutorial series, plus today's tutorial, are just as easily-done and well-done with the GIMP as with Photoshop.
Moreover, GIMP is free and Photoshop costs $699. Because GIMP is an excellent, pixel-based, image manipulation and editing program and because of licensing and pricing issues, we chose to use the GIMP rather than Photoshop in our digital darkroom. More about the GIMP and Photoshop further on in this article.
For more information about The GIMP, please see our article Overview of The GIMP - a free photograph and digital-image editing program. Also, to get up to speed with today's tutorial please see the first part of our GIMP tutorial series, How to Use GIMP for Photo and Image Editing. It shows you GIMP desktop basics and how to crop and scale (resize) photos, along with how to adjust the brightness and contrast of photos and images. Also, please see the second part of our series, Introduction to Layers.
Overview of Today's GIMP Tutorial
In today's tutorial, let's use the GIMP's powerful layer and pattern tools to frame one of the photos we took as part of our review of Microtek's S1 digital camera. The Microtek S1 is a very nice 2.1 MegaPixel camera that is compatible with the GNU-Linux operating system, although Microtek lists it as only a Mac and Microsoft Windows compatible camera. More about that in our upcoming review of the Microtek S1.
The purpose of today's tutorial is:
Thus the focus of today's how-to article is on applying GIMP's layer and pattern tools. You will learn how to use these tools by editing a digital photograph.
If you have a digital camera, the GIMP is an important tool that you should have in your digital darkroom. The GIMP is included with many prominent GNU-Linux distributions. If you have a major GNU-Linux distribution such as Mandrake or SUSE, you likely already have the GIMP.
If you are an MS Windows user you might not already have the GIMP installed. The good news is that whichever of the above listed OSs you use; you can download and install the GIMP at no charge to you. Download links are in the Resources section at the end of this tutorial on page 4.
Figure 1, below, shows the GIMP version 1.3 opened in SUSE Linux Professional 9.0 and the KDE desktop. The barn picture to be framed is in the upper right of the screen shot.
Preview of GIMP 2.0
Since this tutorial is based upon GIMP 1.3, it should also be applicable to GIMP 2.0 when it is released. Because GIMP 1.3 is the development version for GIMP 2.0, today's GIMP tutorial and Parts 1 and 2 of this tutorial series are in effect previews of GIMP 2.0.
The tools used in today's tutorial also are in GIMP 1.2.x. Thus, this tutorial also is applicable to GIMP 1.2.x.
The Hands-On GIMP Tutorial
There is no one, single, way to go about taking pictures or editing them. There are different tools that you can use, even within one photo-editing program. Moreover, there are different ways to use those tools. The way this tutorial shows you how to do your digital-darkroom work is just one of many approaches.
This tutorial shows you the mechanics of basic photograph and image editing with the GIMP's powerful layer and pattern tools. Unfortunately, photograph and image artistry is beyond the scope of today's tutorial. However, it is much more the photo artistry than the editing mechanics that makes great photos and graphics. Nevertheless, even the digital-photo artist needs first to learn the how to use the digital-photo editing tools.
Some of the instructions in today's tutorial direct you to the Menu Bar on the canvass window. However, the pre-1.3 versions of the GIMP do not have a Menu Bar on the canvass window
If you do not have a Menu Bar on the canvass window, alternate click (right-click if you are using a right-handed mouse) anywhere on the canvass. That pops up a menu that has the same menu options, as does the Menu Bar on the canvass window.
How to Use GIMP for Photo and Image Editing:
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