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Book Review – GIMP 2 For Photographers by Klaus Goelker

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If you are doing digital photography, and these days, who isn’t, then chances are you will be in need of an image editing program. If you have the money, you can spend around $600 for a copy of  Photoshop or, for less functionality, you can get Photoshop Elements for about $100. But what if you are just starting out, or on a tight budget, or you work in a Linux environment? You can get GIMP 2 For Photographers, which contains both a beginners' manual for GIMP 2 as well as the GIMP 2 software on an enclosed CD.

This book began as materials that the author has used and refined in his workshops and classes. It is a how-to guide on using GIMP 2. Mind you, this is not a reference guide. It is a learn-by-doing manual that will instruct you on how GIMP works. By using hands-on examples, this book will walk you through many of the solutions that needed to create that perfect photograph.

This book is broken up into four chapters. The first chapter, “Basics”, is an introduction to digital editing. It describes how to install “The GIMP” and how to load and mange your photos on the computer. The author does a very good job of explaining the basics of the different types of graphics files used for photographic work. He also describes the conversion of RAW files to other formats.

In chapter two, “Using the GIMP”, he takes you through the process of opening, editing and touching up your images. This covers working with camera-generated as well as scanned images. Here you will learn about color correction, removing dust, spots and scratches. Even more importantly, the author takes you through the use of histograms, white balance and, in general, how to work with images.

Chapter three covers the use of layers and masks. You will learn how to remove red-eye, working with converging verticals and freshening up a dull sky. You will also learn about adding text to an image as well as lighting effects and shadow layers.

The final chapter works with black-and-white images, converting color to black-and-white, coloring grayscale images and brightness contrasts. This is a chapter that works with various techniques including the use of cropping and channels.

For beginners just getting into image editing, as well as those who are starting to work with GIMP 2, GIMP 2 For Photographers is an excellent addition to your library. It will get you up to speed in no time and lay the framework for your future success.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.
  • George Fragos

    This book sounds like just the ticket for learning Gimp. I’ve learned however that it’s written from a Windows perspective. As a Linux user I’m a bit disappointed and don’t want to risk the money for yet another book about open source applications described in detail, with an entire chapter, how to do it in Windows followed by one page of “if you have Linux.” I’ll have to find a copy in a bookstore to see if Linux is short sheeted once again.