Re: [Gimp-user] Looking for photo editing for dummies

On 2020-07-13 13:55:18 Thomas Alex via gimp-user-list wrote:
Downloaded GIMP and watched an hour of GIMP tutorials and am now as
confused as when I began. Looking for a program that will enhance, sharpen
and pull detail from shadow. It would be awesome if it had an “auto”
selection. Or an easy-to-use slide scale. But better than the one that
comes with Windows. I’m still in search of a program designed for dummies.
Thanks for making GIMP free. But would very much appreciate a much, much,
much simpler version.

        As I am pretty much a dummy when it comes to modifying photos with Gimp, I 
suppose that I am qualified to answer with some dummy-type suggestions. :-)
        For adjusting colour, contrast, gamma, etc., the tools in the Color menu are 
pretty good (considering that I usually just tinker around a bit with various 
of them until I get something acceptable.  For colour images, the Color 
Balance, Hue-Saturation and Brightness-Contrast tools work well. The Color 
Balance tool lets one adjust the shadows, midtones and highlights separately, 
while the Hue-Saturation and Brightness-Contrast tools work on the image as a 
        The Curves tool allows one to adjust the colours by bending the diagonal 
line.  Click on the line to add an adjustment node, then move it 
up/down/left/right.  Add additional nodes to tweak the levels.  Note that one 
can move the end points of the line up/down/left/right as well.  One can also 
adjust individual colour channels (red/green/blue/alpha).  One can save the 
setting for use on other images.
        The Levels tool allows one to adjust the colours, contrast, etc. another way, 
by sliding the pointers back and forth.
        The Auto tools might be what you're looking for; they probably do what the 
ones above do automatically, but might not produce what you're expecting 
(Gimp doesn't do AI :-) ).

        For smoothing or sharpening images, use Blur, Enhance, Noise etc. found in 
the Filters menu.  Some of these, e.g. Noise, work best on colour images if 
the image is split into separate colour layers (Colors -> Components -> 
Decompose/Recompose).  I haven't done much with these.

Was able to enhance my photo of a hummingbird somewhat on GIMP but then it
took 20 minutes to find a way to get it to my desktop and I still don’t
know how I did it.

        If you use File -> Save, Gimp will save your work as an *.xcf file, which 
contains all of the settings that Gimp knows about your file.  To write it to 
disk in its original or another "external" format, you must use File -> 
Export As or File -> Overwrite.  (This is a "feature" that was added to Gimp 
a while back, causing a bit of confusion for everyone but the 
developers. :-) )

        I hope this is helpful.


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