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on 8 March 2013
I have been using GIMP, initially 2.6 and now 2.8, for some time for processing and retouching my photos. I bought this book in Jan 2011 so I have been using it on and off for a couple of years. I see that an update for 2.8 by the same author is due in May 2013, so I thought a review would be timely.

The book is very comprehensive and detailed. It is organised as a series of exercises (with the necessary sample images and other resources available from the included DVD). The material is well and clearly explained and the exercises are covered in a clear, step by step approach. They tend to start off with very detailed hand-holding and then the hand-holding is withdrawn as things progress and the instructions become somewhat terser. I rather like this approach - it avoids becoming patronising which is one of the pitfalls of this sort of detailed step by step approach.

Its subtitle is "Image editing with Open Source Software" and it does indeed cover several other pieces of software in some detail, particularly the raw converters UFRaw and RawTherapee. The DVD includes copies of GIMP and the other pieces of Open Source software mentioned.

It starts off with the basics of loading and saving images, cropping, resizing and various basic touching up: colour correction, removing spots and scratches, sharpening, etc. There is extensive coverage of working with scanned images, which I find particularly useful as I have an extensive collection of 35mm slides and need to deal with these from time to time when organising materials for talks.

A number of common filters are covered in some detail for things like red-eye removal, perspective and lens distortion correction, frames and vignetting and dealing with under- and over-exposure. It then moves on to layers and masks with a series of exercises covering things like replacing the sky in an image, removing increasingly more complex objects from their background and building composite images. I have found these exercises very useful and have returned to them a number of time when I need to remind myself how to do some of the more complex tasks.

There is a brief appendix "A Forecast on GIMP 2.8", but this book was written a couple of years before the release of GIMP 2.8 and cannot therefore say much about the changes. The user interface of GIMP 2.8 has changed somewhat (especially the single window mode and the major new "Gotcha" of separate Save and Export commands in the File menu) but, in general, the exercises work perfectly well in GIMP 2.8.4 (the current version at the time of writing). I will be interested to see the updated version of the book when it arrives!

Overall, I would thoroughly recommend this book both to the new comer to GIMP and to the more experienced GIMPer who wants to remind themselves about some of the more complex stuff.
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on 23 September 2011
An excellent introduction based on tried and tested college courses. The layout, picture quality, explanation and examples are all very good. The production of the book (clarity, paper quality, layout) is in a different league to the competition. The author presents the Gimp making no assumptions about slavery to Microsoft, so Mac and Linux users are well served.
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on 17 January 2012
After turning on Google's Safe Search feature I found this book as a gift for my Dad for Christmas.
He has starting using the basic tools and has already commented at how it has expained the basics of histograms, tone, changing lighting and simple manipulation.
He loves it!
Great book for Newbies to Gimp 2.6!
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on 20 March 2013
I requested this book as a Christmas present (2012) and so do not know if it was actually bought from Amazon. However I have now had several months to use it.

In my view the book is good up to and including section 3.2 removing red eye. But once it begins on use of layers I find it becomes more and more confusing. For example it starts using the term 'alpha channel' without explaining in simple terms what this is, even though it is a crucial part of GIMP. I had to look it up on the internet, print the information off and stick it in the book.

For me things really got confusing with the section 3.6 Freshening up a Dull Sky. I have tried about 5 times to understand this and still can't get the worked example to work.

This is all the more frustrating because it was precisely because I wanted to understand layers and how to use them that I asked for the book.

I can only hope that the updated version on version 2.8 is much, much better on this aspect
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on 28 June 2012
If you want to learn the ins and outs of the GIMP, this is probably the book for you. It is well laid out, and explains, not only how to achieve results, but a good deal of technical background, so that you can understand what you're doing as well. If you haven't used GIMP, I suggest you do, as it's a very viable alternative to other (expensive) software - and then buy this book.
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on 15 August 2011
This book takes the struggle out of using GIMP, the free image manipulating program. It contains a set of exercises which, step by step, improves your knowledge of the program and your dexterity at using it. The DVD at the back of the book contains all the photos that you need for the exercises, and also GIMP itself, and its plug-ins. The text is clear and concise, despite the fact that it is written by a German and translated into American. I'm only half way through the exercises, but my own photos are beginning to look better. Come on, photo takers, get GIMPing and save yourself a lot of money by using a free program that is almost as good as the market leader..
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on 5 June 2012
This book is well printed and bound. It can be used as an excellent structured learning course and then as an useful reference manual. It covers everything that most people would want from the GIMP.
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on 6 March 2013
GIMP is not just any old open-source software. It is one of the best, in many respects a genuine challenge to PhotoShop. And this book is an excellent companion to its subject. I chose the print edition with care; so had no hesitation in buying the ebook. I strongly recommend it!
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on 5 April 2011
A well presented book which was well written and presented so that anyone from beginner to a experienced photographer could learn how to use this excellent free software. It was a pleasure working through the exercises contained on the accompanying CD.
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on 28 June 2011
Excellent all round guide a to a cheaper sort of photo editing software. And the program itself is free to download!
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