Tag Archive: GIMP


GIMP is a good free software for photo-editing. It has most of the capabilities you will require of its commercial counterpart Adobe Photoshop. What’s more with the right plugins, you can extend its capabilities. Here I’ll tell you about some GIMP plugins which will primarily be of interest to photographers. They will make your photo work-flow easier & faster.

GIMP-logo

Vignette – As the names suggests, this adds a vignette to your photo. Vignette can be used creatively to allow viewer’s eye to stay within the frame. Most of the photos will benefit from a small amount of vignette. The vignette plugin allows you to choose parameters like vignette colour, softness, darkness etc. It does its job very well.

Lomo – Want to mimic the look of a LOMO camera? This plugin will do it for you. It saturates the colour, adds a vignette(there is also an option for double vignette) & some other parameters for fine-tuning the output. Have fun!

Split Tone – Split toning is another beautiful effect. This plugins lets you select the two colours for split toning(as oppose to just two offered by most other programs) & end up with results beyond your imagination. Give this a try.

Darla Contrast Fix – This plugin aims to normalize the contrast in the photograph. With the right settings, it can make a photograph. However, this plugin requires some practice & knowledge of the parameters before one can get consistent results regularly.

National Geographic – Have you always wondered at the quality of the photos published by Nat Geo? They are sharp, contrasty & look as if edited by professionals. This simple plugin will put the same power in your hands too. This is a great plugin & as Darla Contrast Fix, this too requires practice before you’re able to get consistent results on a regular basis.

G’MIC – Stands for GRECY’s Magic for Image Computing. This is a grand-daddy of plugins. It is so packed with various image manipulation tools that I wonder even if someone will discover all of them in lifetime. Right from the basic sharpening, noise reduction to advanced like soft glow. This covers it all. And did I say, each of the tools come with several more options to fine tune the output? Yes, this is one hell of a plugin.

Off-course, there are many more plugins in the GIMP repository but these are the few I use on a regular basis & find to work properly. If you have your favourite GIMP plugin not listed here, do share it below. Will benefit all. :)

Star-trail photographs are mind boggling to look at. Its one of the most beautiful vista of nature. However most of the times when it comes to post-processing the photos after shooting a star trail can be a pain. Here is a small GIMP plugin which will help you elevate all that pain & concentrate more on shooting part of star trails. The plugin is known as ‘gimp-startrail-compositor‘. You can download it here.

92-365

Continue reading

Do-It-Yourself : 18% Grey Card

If you’re serious about exposure & colour balance in your photographs, you must use an “18% Grey Card”. Though today Auto White Balance has come a long way & gives pretty great results most of the time, it does gets fooled at times under tricky mixed lighting situations. Here the grey card will come at your rescue. It will also prevent a lot of your time during post-processing & save you the hassle of correcting WB & exposure. In first part of this article, I’ll teach you how to make a 18% Grey Card for yourself. I highly recommend to make this DIY 18% Grey Card to understand(practise) about exposure & colour correction. This DIY 18% Grey Card isn’t technically perfect but will still give you close to accurate results in your photographs. Once you get a hang of exposure & colour corrections in depth, consider purchasing the commercially available Kodak 18% Grey Card for accurate results.

Things you’ll require:

1) Image Editing Software supporting Layers. I recommend GIMP, its great & free too.

2) Printer(Alternately go to your nearest cyber-cafe to take a printout)

3) White Card-Board(Thick)

The Instructions:

Click to Enlarge

1) Open GIMP. Hit File>New. In the new file creation dialog box, select A4(300ppi) & click OK.

2) Now go to Layer menu & select ‘Duplicate Layer‘.

3) Now press ‘Shift + B’ to select ‘Bucket Fill Tool’. Ensure that ‘Black’ colour is selected as foreground colour. Now click the cursor on the duplicated layer & the layer should be filled with black colour. Now from the GIMP toolbar adjust its opacity to 50%. Save the file as tiff.

4) Now just take a printout of this file on an A4 paper sheet. After that, cut the printed A4 sheet into four equal pieces & stick the pieces over the white card-board. Ensure you cut the card-board pieces slightly bigger than the grey card pieces so you can hand-hold them without ruining the grey area.

There you’ve it. Your 18% Grey Card is ready to use. Keep these four pieces in a ziplock bag & into your camera bag. In the next article, I’ll teach you how to use these grey cards.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 80 other followers

%d bloggers like this: