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GIMP 2 for Photographers: Image Editing with Open Source Software Paperback – 19 Nov 2006

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Rocky Nook; 1 edition (19 Nov. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933952032
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933952031
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1.2 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 834,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


A great book for anyone with more than a passing interest in improving their photos
-- samzenpus,, October 2007

In conclusion, I would have no hesitation in recommending GIMP 2 for Photographers ... a simply essential purchase. -- John Allen, Perl Mongers, October 2007

From the Publisher

GIMP2 for Photographers is a beginner's guide to the only open source image editing tool which provides a low-cost alternative to expensive programs such as Photoshop. Topics include the basics of image editing and simple adjustments, as well as advanced techniques using layers and masks, stitching of panoramic images, and preparation of high-quality black and white images. The most important editing functions are presented in individual, easy-to-follow workshops.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Written clearly from a photographer's point of view (the author is a photographer who also teaches image editing), this book takes a task-oriented approach, looking at the types of editing operations that a photographer would require and then showing how to perform each task in the GIMP.

Rather helpfully, the GIMP software (for Windows, Mac, and Linux) is included on the book's accompanying CD. This means that you can follow each tutorial using the exact same version of software as the author, which really helps to build confidence that you're doing everything right.

As well as the GIMP application, the CD also includes all of the sample images used in the book, and for each editing tutorial the "final" image is provided so you can check your own work against the expected result.

Even more usefully, the CD contains an electronic copy of the complete book as a PDF file, so you can keep it on your laptop as a reference guide, invaluable when editing images on location (or on holiday!).

So, the CD gets full marks but what about the book itself?

After showing how to install the software, the author takes us through basic GIMP operations - opening and saving files, cropping, resizing images, and printing. Once these basics are out of the way, the book moves on to a series of examples based on "real-life" image editing scenarios.

These examples are very well chosen, both in the fact that the vast majority of the technques shown are genuinely useful, but also in the way that they are ordered. Each example introduces a new feature of the software, building up your knowledge as you work through the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rarely do you find such a clearly and carefully written guide as this. it really is a gem. I found it far more informative than anything I have read elsewhere. Suffice to say that, as a retired social scientist with a very basic knowledge of optics and newcomer to digital photo editing, I found GIMP 2 for Photographers the bees knees, the real business. My heartfelt appreciation goes out to someone who can write so clearly and with such care for the reader. Its such a rare thing to find in a technical writer. Even his exposition of the sources and downloads is crystal clear and very carefully presented. Buy it, you will not be disapppointed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rather then being a detailed guide to photo-manipulation and enhancement, this is more a beginner's guide to The Gimp from a photographer's perspective. So, you get a detailed guide to installing the software and a lot of information on the various tools - what you don't get are detailed lessons on the more esoteric photo-manipulation techniques (eg using the channel-mixer to convert a colour photo to a great B&W image) - for this, you'd have to get a Photoshop book and then see if you can recreate the effects using The Gimp.

The style of writing is also a little bit tortured, being a translation from a German book.
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Format: Paperback
The book was originally supplied without the CD-ROM - which arrived three weeks after I had contacted Amazon customer services. Nevertheless I began using the book and made reasonable progress by substituting my own images for the ones on the CD and modifying the exercises slightly. When the CD arrived I reverted to the specified images, but even with the correct images some of the instructions are hard to follow. Also the description of key elements of the software are rudimentary.

Part of the problem stems from the fact that the book was written for a previous version of GIMP 2 (the current version is 2.6). This is compounded by the original text being written in German. It has suffered pretty badly in the hands of the translators and editors: blocks of text are repeated unnecessarily (which can be confusing); the instructions do not always flow smoothly; and the sentence construction is clumsy.

This is all a great pity - the book is attractively produced and in its original form (language and software version) it probably worked very well.

I have since invested in "Beginning GIMP - From Novice to Professional" (Akkana Peck) - which appears to be more comprehensive and more up to date.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars 23 reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential guide to using THE GIMP 28 Aug. 2007
By W. F. Borman - Published on
Format: Paperback
GIMP 2 for Photographers provides essential help-by-example in the use of the many advanced GIMP tools. It does not claim to be a complete manual, and does not address the paint and art creation aspects of the GIMP. It does an outstanding job demonstrating its use in the advanced photo editing procedures that are normally well beyond the capability of common photo editors, such as the ones bundled with camera software.

The GIMP is often included in desktop Linux distributions. A CD included with the book contains recent versions of the GIMP for Linux, Windows and OS X. It also contains practice images for use with the examples in the book.

After an introductory chapter, the book presents chapters covering correcting and touching up images, using masks and layers - painting, filling, and color tools, and working with black-and-white and color images. A typical exercise describes how to improve a scanned image. The initial image is tilted and needs to be righted, using the angle tool to measure the degree of tilt to be corrected. A moiré effect is removed with the Gaussian blur tool, the levels and curves tools are used to correct the tonality, and contrast is increased for better definition. The different options available for these tools are briefly discussed. Another example shows how to restore an old, faded and scratched picture using various cloning and healing tools.

The use of layers and masks is shown to modify an originally dull landscape photo. The colorless sky is replaced with a blue sky with natural-looking color gradient and some light clouds and a setting sun low in the sky is added. The text tool is then used to convert the image to an Easter card.

Some of the examples towards the end of the book are getting complex enough to go beyond the scope of ordinary photo editing but serve to demonstrate some of the most sophisticated tools available in the GIMP.

I highly recommend this book as an excellent and essential guide to using the GIMP. Adobe's Photoshop Elements 5 may have more bells and whistles, but the GIMP will let you do most of the same editing steps for free. Of course, Linux users don't have a choice and are fortunate to have this powerful editor available.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Opens up the GIMP for those of us stuck in the basics. 10 Jan. 2007
By BeanWorks - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is a tutorial. As it states right at the beginning of the introduction, it is not a reference guide, but is

"designed to facilitate your entry into the world of digital image editing with the help of the GIMP...You will learn the fundamentals of digital editing, familiarize yourself with common image editing tools and their functions, and acquire a working knowledge of the GIMP 2 program."

And that is exactly what it does. The tutorial style is almost like being in a classroom. The steps are explained, then set out in detail, starting with pixels, color, resolution, and file formats. Towards the end of the book there is less explanation, as the exercises build on what has already been learned and focus on new ways to use the tools.

This really is not a beginner book. It assumes a certain amount of knowledge about computers, cameras and scanners. But you don't have to be an expert in any of those areas. In fact, although the book discusses importing RAW formats and scanning images, the actual editing exercises are done with images included on the CD which comes with the book. Also included on the CD is the entire book in PDF format, copies of what the exercise images should look like after the editing exercises, the GIMP program for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux (with source files), plugins for the program, and a copy of Irfanview, a free image viewer and conversion tool (for Windows).

Although intended for all formats, the book presents material from a Windows-centric perspective. I worked through the exercises on a Mac, however, and had no problems, thanks to the GIMP having virtually the same interface across platforms.

As seems to be the case with all books, this one is not without a few flaws. There were many typos, although few of them really serious. It would be better if there was an errata page (having marked them all in the book, I could probably put up one myself at this point). Some of the tools could use more explanation. I wish the beautiful, color screenshots were bigger. But my biggest surprise was the book itself: I don't think I've ever had a cover on a brand new book start separating from the book after only one week.

I have been using the GIMP for a couple years already, but there was a lot in the book that was new for me. In fact, I wish I'd read the book a few weeks earlier: it would have saved me a lot of time on a Christmas project! Despite the flaws, and even with the defective cover, I'd recommend it. It will give you more than a working knowledge of the GIMP.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GIMP 2 It will get you up to speed in no time 16 Jan. 2007
By T Michael Testi - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you are doing digital photography, and these days, who isn't, then chances are you will be in need of an image editing program. If you have the money, you can spend around $600 for a copy of Photoshop or, for less functionality, you can get Photoshop Elements for about $100. But what if you are just starting out, or on a tight budget, or you work in a Linux environment? You can get GIMP 2 For Photographers, which contains both a beginners' manual for GIMP 2 as well as the GIMP 2 software on an enclosed CD. You just may find that you do not need any other product

This book began as materials that the author has used and refined in his workshops and classes.

For beginners just getting into image editing, as well as those who are starting to work with GIMP 2, GIMP 2 For Photographers is an excellent addition to your library. It will get you up to speed in no time and lay the framework for your future success.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GIMP 2 Review - originally posted on [...] 3 Jan. 2007
By Christopher Marshall - Published on
Format: Paperback
GIMP 2 for Photographers from rockynook books comes with a pretty useful CD that includes a PDF of the book, some Finished Images, Sample Images and Programs (GhostScript, and GIMP for MSOX and Windows), and if you are anything like me and would REALLY like Adobe Photoshop but want to see exactly how much you can do with the free (and very good) GIMP, is a book you should consider purchasing.

In fact to be totally accurate I use GimpShop as well.

First, the blurb on the book:

"Image editing has become a key element in the photographic workflow. Image editing tools, most notably Photoshop, are usually sophisticated and deep applications - and are fairly expensive. The only open source tool in this market is the GIMP, which has developed into a powerful, multiplatform system running on Linux, as well as OS X and Windows. This book has evolved from the classroom materials which the author developed and taught in courses and workshops on image editing with the GIMP. It covers the basics of image editing and guides the reader through the functions and tools of the GIMP from simple adjustments to more advanced techniques of working with layers and masks. The more important editing functions are presented in individual workshops. Moreover, the book covers the stitching of panoramic images and preparation of high-quality black and white images."

Second, my views:

This certainly isn't a reference book. It is a well constructed tutorial which makes good use of the sample on the enclosed CD to take you through a number of exercises to develop your skills and your confidence. Made up of five (5) chapters:

* Basics
* Using the GIMP: Correcting and Touching Up Your Images
* Using Masks and Layers - Painting, Filling and Color Tools
* Working with Black-and-White and Color Images
* Appendix

I found that it struck a good balance between generic tasks i.e. layering, creating and editing a path, cropping and clipping etc., with some good GIMP specific tasks i.e. Typing in the GIMP, artistically manipulating shadows. The one thing that it proves without doubt is that "managing" your digital photography isn't a skill that you will learn overnight. It is complicated, frustrating and time consuming, but as the book proves it is possible.

Will I buy Photoshop? Possibly - but not for a year. This book has given me enough skill and confidence to explore and practice with GIMP for at least that long.

About the author: Klaus Goelker is an architect and photographer who lives and works in Munich, Germany. He also teaches courses on image editing at a local art school. He chose GIMP to teach this class because it was free and yet powerful enough to do serious photographic image editing.

Target Group: Photographers, Designers, Illustrators
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GIMP 2 for Photographers 21 Jan. 2007
By Edward Laskowski - Published on
Format: Paperback
Author Klaus Goelker has nicely covered the features of this complex application with this tutorial guidebook. It is printed in full color throughout, including headings, keywords in the text and filenames. The book also lists a number of web sites where additional software add-ins to the GIMP can be obtained. The book comes with a CD-ROM which has the GIMP 2 software, as well as all the sample images.
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