When most of us are looking for a photo-editing tool, we immediately think of Photoshop. Adobe’s program is powerful and popular, but it’s pricey at $100—and that's for the “light” version called Photoshop Elements.
Meanwhile, $20 per month is the standard charge for individual one-app subscriptions to Photoshop Creative Cloud. Adobe offers a free in-browser version called Photoshop Express Editor, but it’s very limited and only allows you to edit JPEG files.
A better free alternative is to turn to the open-source world and a popular program called GIMP. The GNU Image Manipulation Program is the standard photo-editing tool included or available to most Linux distributions. GIMP is also available for Windows (XP and up) and Mac.
I was watching an issue of CNN’s “Forensic Files” early this morning when I was surprised to see GIMP on TV. A murder had been committed and the local anthropologist lacked software to compare a skull with a portrait to verify the identity of the victim. A local computer guru was able to use GIMP to compare photographs of the skull with the portrait. That set the police on a course towards solving the crime. It turned out the truck driver did it. DNA from a tooth compared to some surgical evidence confirmed GIMP’s conclusions.
What was interesting is that Forensic Files mentioned that GIMP was available to anyone for a $free download. I liked that. The software licence, GPL, described in generic terms the public can understand got out there.
That would be the oddly-named GIMP (acronym for: GNU Image Manipulation Program), an open source, high-end image editing and creation alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop and its now open-ended, monthly wallet-siphoning distribution mode for tasks like photo retouching, image editing and composition, and image authoring.
The split was the result of GIMP’s concern over policies at SourceForge, primarily SourceForge’s use of DevShare, an installer for Windows that bundles third party software offers with FOSS downloads. In addition, the GIMP folks had reservations about potentially deceptive “download here” buttons on ads being served by the likes of Google’s AdSense.
For those that may have extra time this holiday season to devote to open-source tasks, the GIMP graphics program still has many features they're after and aren't yet up to their v2.10 release.
gimpusers.com: Celebrate one year of GIMP Magazine! Issue#4 offers very interesting and cool stuff about GIMP and some really awesome photos!
beginlinux.com: GIMP – GNU Image Manipulation Program – has long been recognised as the premier Free Software package of its type. If you want to do serious work with photographs and you don’t want to pay anything (or you like your software free and open) GIMP is the first place to come.
nicubunu.blogspot: My Photoshop course continues and in the classes where my homework was targeting the computer display my plan worked flawlessly: I used GIMP to do all the work and when done just saved as .PSD, I enjoyed the experience a lot. Now this strategy hit a roadblock:
nicubunu.blogspot: I will look at few basic tools in both apps, the tools which one expect to be taught in the very first classes when learning one of those apps. I will highlight the areas where GIMP does better.
gimpusers.com: On the weekend Michael Natterer implemented a new feature that was often requested by painters: Canvas rotation.