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.
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. :)