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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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?