Free Image Tool? Yes Please!

by crystal wilson 

 Images, visual representations, are very important in all aspects of life, and business is no exception.  Who hasn’t been about to publish something, and wished that they could just crop that edge, or feather our a detail?

Image adjustment software can be quite expensive.  Can you imagine the delight that would come with the knowledge that there is a free option that works well?

Prepare to be delighted.

Gimp is a program that allows you to work with photos, create buttons, and prepare images and visual aids.  It can be downloaded for FREE at  www.gimp.org.
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When you download the Gimp software, you will be prompted a number of times to allow certain things, and download add-ons, etc.  Somewhere in that maze of pop-ups, if you do not read carefully, you will download 2 or 3 other programs.  One of them will show up as pop-ups on your side bar whenever you go online, and one is an add-on for Mozilla Firefox (at least mine was.  That may be tailored specifically to the browser you use.)  These are not damaging to your computer and are easily un-installed , should you, like me, blindly click your way through the download and install process.  Lesson learned. 

Moving on, this program has all the basics and then some as far as functions go.  It is not likely going to fulfill the needs of a professional photographer, but for anyone looking to touch up, enhance, or add to a pre-existing image or photo it is more than sufficient.

A sampling of available tools:

  • Colour PIcker
  • Crop
  • Rotate/Flip
  • Add Text
  • Calligraphy
  • Smudge/Blur
  • Airbrush
  • Lighting Effects
  • Red Eye Removal
  • Artistic Filters
  • Restorative Filters
  • Image Layering
  • Alignment Assistance
  • Measuring Tools
One of the nicest features with Gimp, is that at the bottom of the work screen you are given easy to follow instructions based on the tool you have chosen to work with.  To make the most of this program, I suggest spending a good amount of time learning the ins and outs, but it is easy enough to do a great job on a simple project on the first go-round as well.

Here is a before and after shot of my daughter.  I used the cropping tool, and the cartooning filter.  I also added a subtle sparkle effect, and brought her image forward.
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Gimp is a great free resource for image manipulation.   It is user friendly, fairly straight forward, and it has more options that I thought possible.
There is definitely a bit of a learning curve, but it is worth the effort.
Give Gimp a try.  Your future publications will thank you.