Fundamentals of Photo Editing in GIMP Series (14 Lectures)

Below is a collection of 14 video lectures I put together to help you learn how to properly edit your photos in GIMP. This lecture series is designed for beginners and goes through each of the major photo editing features found in GIMP 2.10.  You’ll learn everything from how to open an image into GIMP, to how to make crucial image adjustments, to exporting your images out of GIMP once they are finished!  The series is only available to Premium Members (not available on YouTube). Enjoy!

1. Introduction: What is GIMP & WHy Use it to Edit Photos?

The first video in my Fundamentals of Photo Editing in GIMP series provides an introduction to the GIMP program. It also goes into specific reasons why you would use GIMP over other software to edit your photos. This is a great starting point for those of you knew to GIMP!

2. Opening an Image in GIMP

Now that you have been provided with an introduction to GIMP, it’s time to dive into the first task you’ll need to know to begin editing your photos in GIMP. In this video, I show you the easy process of opening your images in GIMP.

3. An Introduction to the Image Window

The third video in this series provides an in-depth explanation of the image window – which is the main area where you will be editing your photos. From the basics to help you understand the general GIMP layout, to hidden features, it’s good to know your way around the Image Window.

4. Scaling and Cropping Your Image

Next up is a video on how to resize your image, called “Scaling,” and how to adjust the aspect ratio or reframe your image through cropping. These are very important tasks as they dictate the final size of your photo, plus they can help speed up your workflow if you are using a less-powerful computer.

5. Adjusting the Shadows & Highlights

The first major image adjustment tool I’ll cover in this series is the Shadows-Highlights tool. With this feature, you can adjust the balance of the shadows with the highlights to improve your lighting, among other benefits.

6. Getting Your Colors Right with the Color Balance Tool

Having excellent colors in your image can really make or break an image – and that starts with using the Color Balance tool. With this image adjustment feature, you can readjust the colors in your image for a more balanced result.

7. Adjusting the Levels of Your Image

The levels adjustment feature allows you to adjust both the contrast and the colors of your image. I’ll show you how to adjust the shadows, midtones, and highlights slider to get a more balanced final image.

8. Bring Out Color Intensity with the Saturation Tool

Now that your image colors and contrast have been balanced, you can bring out the intensity of the colors in your image using the Saturation tool. This image adjustment feature, which is one of the more basics tools in GIMP, can give the colors in your images that “pop.” 

9. Warm vs. Cool: Adjusting the Color Temperature

Deciding whether an image should have warmth or look cool (meaning cold) will depend on the composition and colors of your photo. This video covers the tool to help you change the color temperature of your image, which can help better depict the mood of the image.

10. Adding Contrast with the Curves tool

The Curves tool in GIMP is most similar to the Tone Curve found in programs like Lightroom and Darktable. This tool allows you to add or remove contrast to your image, as well as adjusting the colors in your image. For this video, I’ll simply show you how to add contrast using this common tool.

11. Touching Up Photos with the Heal & Airbrush Tools

Now that your photo has been adjusted to your liking, you can start performing important photo manipulations to your image to apply desired finishing touches. In this video, I show you how to retouch your photos using the Heal & Airbrush tools. These powerful tools can perform common tasks like erasing blemishes or improving complexions.

12. Sharpening an Image (Unsharp Mask vs. High-Pass Filter)

Want to know how photographers are able to get such sharp images? Truth be told, a lot of that happens in-camera, but there are ways to make your images sharper inside of photo editors like GIMP. In this video, I show you the two best/most popular methods for sharpening your images. This includes using two tools – the Unsharp Mask and the High-Pass filter.

13. Frame Your Photo Properly with a Vignette

The last thing you’ll want to do before exporting your photo is add a vignette. Doing this will frame your photo and give it that professional look. Plus, it draws the viewers eye to the main subject of your photograph. Luckily, GIMP has a great tool for easily adding vignettes to photos.

14. Export Your Images in a Variety of Formats

The last video in this series shows you how to export your images out of GIMP so you can upload them to the web or print them. One of the great things about GIMP is that it supports a variety of file-types, making it easy to export to the file you need.

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