Trying GIMP

It’s been eating away at me for some time now that I should get a proper photo editor. Laziness and frugality mean I’ve been using a combination of some software that came with one of my cameras along with Flickr’s online photo editor, Piknik. Mostly this allows me to scale (change width/height), reduce quality, and crop photos, which gets me by for my Plant of the Month proto-blog and various other little tasks. However, there is not much flexibility in reducing photos (finite options), and I want more features, for instance something to help me make favicons and design a business card.

A little worried I would get stuck in a cycle of over-analysis, I started researching. I quickly found GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) and decided to give it a try. Pros: it is free, flexible, feature-rich. Cons: hard to learn, even with the newer supposedly easier version 2.6. A couple of observations so far on this note: what to do e.g right-click, shift-click etc. doesn’t seem all that intuitive to me. I think this is probably an initial reaction, though, and once I learn the style of the interface I will overcome this hurdle. The other observation is that there are tons and tons of menu options. I’m reminded a little of Microsoft Excel, in a way that I may come to appreciate: many of the menu items have keyboard equivalents, so if I take the time to learn the shortcuts I can move faster than with the mouse.

More next time.