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Sorry IE 6 users. You may not be able to see the pictures in this post. If you have trouble viewing the images in a modern browser, please let me know.

In the age of digital photography, almost everyone performs at least a few edits on their photos. For simple thing, programs like F-Spot or Google’s Picasa may be enough, but you may also need something more. That’s where Gimp does an excellent job, offering more tools for editing your photos. As with many applications, though, Gimp’s most powerful features come from plugins that let you do more than you could with Gimp alone. Here are three excellent Gimp plugins for photographers.

Adding vignettes

A vignette is an effect that usually makes the corners of a photo darker or lighter. When overused, it can look like a circular photo in the center with fuzzy edges, but a small vignette effectively focuses the viewer’s eyes on the subject without them even noticing. As a general rule, if you can look at a photo and tell immediately that it has a vignette on it, the vignette is too big.

Adding a vignette

Adding a vignette

You can add a vignette like this with the Vignette Script plugin. It allows you to define the area around which you would like to apply the vignette as well as customize numerous aspects of the vignette itself.

Fixing over or under exposed parts of an image

Sometimes it’s simply not possible to correctly expose all of an image. Particularly in landscapes where the sun lights parts of the picture while other parts remain in the shade, parts of the picture may be almost washed out or too dark to see. In the example below, I faked a very dark image where only the subject is properly exposed.

Fixing under exposure

Fixing under exposure

The fix, of course, was a Gimp plugin. This one is called Contrast Fix. It will fix parts or all of am image that is to dark or too bright.

The finishing touch – adding a frame

Once you’ve editied your photo, you want to present it nicely. One common choice is to put a border (or frame) around the image, as in the example below:


Everything looks better in a frame.. right?

The plugin that produced the image above (or, well, the border at least) is simply called Line Border. You can adjust all the sizes and colors and position text in multiple places.


Hopefully some of these plugins will help you when you are next editing photos. What other Gimp plugins or external tools do you use in your photo workflow?

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6 comments on this post.

  1. Uncle B says:

    Gimp rules! Ubuntu is free, so is Gimp, how can we lose? That other software outfit is facing financial downturns as the poorer Americans turn to the wiser Ubuntu, and Gimp to replace very costly upgrades both in Photo shop, and the Windows 7 fiasco! Open Source rules the day! Even large corps in the states using Ubuntu and OpenOffice software as a cost saving improvement over that other brand! Whole school-boards converting! Whole countries looking our way! See: Soon, young computer devotees will have cheaper faster machines and open, not proprietary shackled software to enjoy on a whole new level, as computing languages were meant to be, not “Taxed” by Corporate U.S.A. interests as is now prevalent!

  2. [...] on the Web OpenShot — Video Editing Made Simple Boot splash evolution in Mandriva Linux 3 Gimp Plugins For Photographers Gimp for Beginners Part [...]

  3. [...] posted 3 Gimp Plugins For Photographers | Linux Loop Share and [...]

  4. manny says:

    rip ie6

    1. InTheLoop says:

      manny – More than time.

      Transparency support in images is a really, really important thing that IE6 does not support. I actually gave up worrying about IE6 when I first did this design. I figure as long as you can basically read the content, that’s enough for such an old browser.

      1. manny says:

        hm ie6 will go the way of the dodo (err i mean wap browser)

        any browser that is not supported by youtube is basically already in hell

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