Using GIMP software


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harnamsc

Senior Member
Mar 15, 2008
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#1
Greetings to all, I'm a Panny G1 DSLR user and I'm thinking of using GIMP instead of the laggy Silkypic software (came with the camera) as I'm on a budget and can't afford to splurge on Photoshop CS. I've been browsing the forum and reading blogs on GIMP but I can't seem to figure out if it can do what I need? I'm hoping those who have used GIMP before can help advise me. Basically I want the following:

1) Auto-detect and import photos to separate folders (based on date of capture) when I connect my camera to my laptop using USB

2) Convert and auto-resize photos from RAW to JPEG small sized (i.e 1500 x 2100 pixels) as I print mostly 5R sized photos

3) A feature that allows me to crop images while maintaining the length/height ratio. The reason I want this is because the last time I cropped some photos for a fren, the photos were not the correct length/height for printing and had to be cropped further at the photo printing store :embrass:

4) A feature that allows me to select a few objects in the photo and preserve their colours, while changing the rest of the photo to black and white

5) A plug-in for Windows that allows me to view the photo camera settings (i.e. F stop, shutter speed, flash, exposure, white balance, focal length) from explorer directly. I.e. WITHOUT having to load the software. I want this as my laptop isn't exactly the fastest and I'm getting sick of having to wait for Photoshop or Silkpic to load, just so I can double-check the settings of a few photos. I want to be able to mouse-over or right-click a photo directly from Windows Explorer and see the camera info immediately. I don't care if the pop-up window covers half my screen, its speed I want, not an optimized view


I've not tried any other photo-processing softwares other than Photoshop 8.0 (very old) and Silkypic, so my knowledge about processing software basics is very limited. If anyone here has some comments or knowledge to share, I'd really appreciate it.
 

CS TAN

Senior Member
Sep 3, 2007
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#2
GIMP a bit techie for some people. Yahoo's Picasa is one that is easy to use and have most of the functionalities that people need.
 

pl4sMa

New Member
Mar 6, 2008
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Singapore
#3
GIMP a bit techie for some people. Yahoo's Picasa is one that is easy to use and have most of the functionalities that people need.
As said by bro CS TAN, GIMP would be a very powerful tool. Though it's not exactly straightforward. If you'd like to discuss more, can drop me a PM and I won't mind. Do note that I'm using GIMP under Linux, I don't know if the Windows version got any difference.

Another option, as he mentioned, is Google's Picasa (not Yahoo).

Basically I want the following:

1) Auto-detect and import photos to separate folders (based on date of capture) when I connect my camera to my laptop using USB
GIMP definitely can do this, as long as your camera is detectable by your OS. So, just ensure that you have your Windoze driver for your cam ready.

Picasa is also the same

2) Convert and auto-resize photos from RAW to JPEG small sized (i.e 1500 x 2100 pixels) as I print mostly 5R sized photos
Achievable in GIMP. Tools -> Image -> Scale (If I'm not mistaken, I'll reconfirm once I'm home)

Haven't been able to do this under Picasa (Linux version)

3) A feature that allows me to crop images while maintaining the length/height ratio. The reason I want this is because the last time I cropped some photos for a fren, the photos were not the correct length/height for printing and had to be cropped further at the photo printing store :embrass:
GIMP can also achieve this. Tools -> Image -> Crop (like I said, I'll reconfirm once I'm home)
There's an option to lock the aspect ratio

Picasa is the same.

4) A feature that allows me to select a few objects in the photo and preserve their colours, while changing the rest of the photo to black and white
Selective coloring (I hope that's what you meant) can be done in GIMP, though not exactly a one stop button.

In Picasa, it's a one stop button if the object is circular and of a certain radius.

5) A plug-in for Windows that allows me to view the photo camera settings (i.e. F stop, shutter speed, flash, exposure, white balance, focal length) from explorer directly. I.e. WITHOUT having to load the software. I want this as my laptop isn't exactly the fastest and I'm getting sick of having to wait for Photoshop or Silkpic to load, just so I can double-check the settings of a few photos. I want to be able to mouse-over or right-click a photo directly from Windows Explorer and see the camera info immediately. I don't care if the pop-up window covers half my screen, its speed I want, not an optimized view
Can't help you on this one.
On Linux, I use digiKam for these kind of quick skimming through of the photos.
 

harnamsc

Senior Member
Mar 15, 2008
725
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Singapore / Melbourne
#5
Thanks everyone, I'll install both GIMP and Picasa and see how they work out? From what has been discussed, both applications are valid contenders.

Regarding point (5), if neither GIMP nor Picasa provide such plug-ins what software can I get that provides this function please?
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#6
Regarding point (5), if neither GIMP nor Picasa provide such plug-ins what software can I get that provides this function please?
AFAIK, the explorer should show these exif data if your image is jpg. For RAW you need to get a plugin, iirc.
 

harnamsc

Senior Member
Mar 15, 2008
725
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16
Singapore / Melbourne
#7
AFAIK, the explorer should show these exif data if your image is jpg. For RAW you need to get a plugin, iirc.
Really? Well somehow for my laptop it doesn't. When I mouse-over it only shows the picture dimensions, date taken and camera model. It doesn't show the exif data, even when I right click and goto "Properties" there's no link or tab that shows the exif data either.
 

NeTHaCk

Senior Member
Dec 8, 2004
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#10
GIMP is a powerful too, almost or close as powerful as Photoshop if you know how to do it properly. some swear by GIMP , some by photoshop. I love GIMP as much as i love photoshop. the only reason why im still using Photoshop as i'm more familiarised with it.

if you've used photoshop before, GIMP looks close to photoshop. as far as i know, all your basic needs(except file backing up feature thingy, im not sure can or not) is there. just try downloading it and play around with it. i have gimp on both linux and windows, as well as photoshop cs3. picasa is a straight forward programme that is very useful and simple
 

harnamsc

Senior Member
Mar 15, 2008
725
0
16
Singapore / Melbourne
#11
Okay, I've been playing around with Picasa and GIMP. I've not had a chance to do any serious photo-editing, but I thought I should share my first thoughts and findings so far:

First run after installing:
Most websites and blogs will warn about how Picasa will scan your entire computer for any and all pictures and catalog all of them. For me the experience was not as long or tedious as most complaints were, then again I've only got less than 3000 photos to catalog as all the photos from my earlier cameras have been archived to an external HDD. There was a prompt asking me if I wanted to use Picasa Photo Viewer as the default instead of Windows Picture and Fax viewer. All I can say is, USE IT! The Picasa Photo Viewer is a joy to use, the UI is so smooth and mac-like. I already think its worth installing Picasa for the Photo Viewer alone.

GIMP had no problems or customizations with the install. It ran without any errors and was able to run immediately after installing.


Loading Time:
IMHO, Picasa is the winner as the UI loads quicker than GIMP. The difference is about approx 10 secs versus half a minute.


First Impressions:
Picasa is definitely faster and easier to get the hang of. The UI is simple and easy to use compared to GIMP. But it quickly becomes apparent that GIMP has a lot more functionality than Picasa, as mentioned by NetHack the layout and controls of GIMP really do resemble Photoshop. After playing around with both applications, Picasa is probably better for simple and quick jobs like cropping and resizing, while GIMP is the better choice for heavy duty photo-editing, especially if layers are required.


Watermarking Photos:
Picasa is a quite disappointing in this respect. GIMP allows a user to create a beautiful transparent or semi-transparent watermark, which can be saved as a layer template meaning you can reuse that watermark as often as you like simply by loading and merging the layer to your photograph. As for Picasa, oh dear. The watermark feature can only create non-transparent auto black or white text which is either black or white depending on the background colour its created on. It does have a default bottom right corner position setting which is nice, but the only way to create a transparent watermark is via the Insert Text feature which does allow you to choose fonts and transparency, but it cannot be saved as a template. I.e. you'll need to create your watermark from scratch every time, or load an existing photo (note: text must have been created by Picasa), highlight and copy the text, then paste the text into each photo you want to insert the watermark into. And personally I find that the semi-transparent watermark created by GIMP looks nicer than the one created by Picasa.


After this I'll be attempting to import and convert RAW files, perhaps try some simple photo editing and touching up, and maybe try the special photo effect mentioned earlier like leaving the subject in colour while turning the rest of the photo black and white.
 

Squid

New Member
Jun 10, 2004
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#12
....... I'll be attempting to import and convert RAW files, ......
Do extend your experimentation to include Rawtherapee or Ufraw for RAW conversion. Rawtherapee will run standalone and port processed image to GIMP, when configured correctly. Ufraw will run directly from Gimp. :)
 

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