Saturday, September 27, 2008

Check out and Gimp

Last week I recommended Google’s Picasa and Microsoft’s Photo Story 3 to those of you who have adopted and are tutoring a novice. Two "free" programs that because they’re user friendly with no significant learning curve are excellent programs to help your adopted novice expeditiously begin a productive digital photo editing adventure.

However, if your novice is willing to invest the time they would have to invest to master state of the art photo editing programs such as Paint Shop Pro and Corel Paint, I suggest you have them download ( and Gimp (

Both of these programs are free, state of the art photo editing programs. But both have significant learning curves that will turn off those novices interested only in instant gratification or are willing to be "forever a novice". features:
* A simple intuitive and innovative user interface.
* Layers (often found only in expensive professional software).
* Special effects to include blurring, sharpening, red-eye removal, distortion, noise and embossing as well as, 3D Rotate/Zoom to add perspective and tilting.
* Adjustments to help tweak an image's brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, curves and levels.
* The ability to convert an image to black and white or sepia-toned.
* Tools for drawing shapes, a curve tool for drawing splines or Bezier curves, a Gradient tool, a zooming tool and a Recolor tool
* A Magic Wand for selecting regions of similar color and a Clone Stamp for copying or erasing portions of an image.

GIMP features:
* An Interface that allows you to customize Gimp’s view and behavior the way you like it.
* A widget theme that allows you to change colors.
* Widget spacings and icon sizes to custom tool sets in the toolbox.
* A full screen mode that allows you preview your work as you edit your work.
* Photo enhancements to include fixing perspective distortion caused by lens tilt and the ability to eliminate lens barrel distortion and vignetting.
* Digital retouching to include a cloning and a healing tool.

Although there are many other excellent digital photo editing programs, I believe the ones I’ve mentioned last week and this week will provided what your adopted novice will need to begin a photo editing adventure without having to invest even a ‘ha’penny’.

Please keep in mind although the programs I’ve mentioned are state of the art, you should always create a System Restore Point before installing any one of the program - just in case.

Here’s wishing you a Good Boot,

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