GIMP! -not so 'gimpy' anymore?!


For any of you who are into retouching or manipulation of photographs, there is awesome and amazing news you should know about, especially if you abhor the pricing of Adobe Photoshop.  GIMP  has recently announced, on top of their new release of 2.8 with optional full single window mode, a development version able to incorporate full 16- and 32-bit picture editing, along with EXR and HDR layering.  SWEEEEET!!!

If you aren't too excited or wondering what all the giddy is, I suggest you download a version from their stable release download page for your correct OS (unix/linux, windows, mac) and try it out. There is also an installable Help, or try F1 for context help in the program itself, and for extreme die-hards there is 'The Gimp Bible' floating out there somewhere in pdf land too..
So you might also be  wondering well why would you want to do such a thing? the program you have works 'just fine' you keep telling yourself? I'm sure that like most others that I have talked to about their editing programs, that same program is some freebie with nowhere near the power or capability found in Gimp. After myself having used those same other programs, and found them lacking in either editing, speed, fluidity, or stability issues, I keep finding myself rolling back to my lovable affable Gimp, always cuddling it like a lost love I somehow did wrong to. Adobe Photoshop I have tried, but even Elements drags a lower-end PC to a near- absolute halt. Why deal with self-torture when the closest thing to Adobe is a soft warm fuzzy GIMP?

But if  you like your proggie, stick wid'it... just me and my thoughts man.. me and my happy thoughts..


Archaic and Simple Beauty...

mmm..  preciousss...
   Okay I'm definitely a nutter I suppose. I find beauty (and sometimes ugly) where most people miss or find things as the opposite. If you have visited this blog enough, it should be more than enough apparent that film as a photographic media is still a high viability option at my end, although I do also find purpose and use for the digital end. Case in point is how ecstatic 50 rolls of Kodak Color film sitting in my fridge for storage can still make me 3 months after buying them on the cheap at 1 dollar apiece. -and yes 80 percent are not past expiration either. Cold storage? yes! although I dont think the 'freezer' option other film users on the net say is okay is quite viable, after all I WILL use it soon enough.
   Next in line after having bought nearly a gazillion 36-exposure rolls, is learning to develop the film itself. That, however, seems to be a pressing issue at this point. Having never developed film, save for as a 1-hour lab tech, I can't really say that I believe things will go well the first time. Sure, places on the net say it's sweet-as-pie-'n'-ice-cream to do, but that's presuming you're glorious with BW film, which is negatory experience in my realm. I already have an awesome developing tank to do 3-35mm rolls or 2-120's, and found a Tetenal press color developing kit, but silly me forgot things like a proper thermometer, film squeegee, bottles, and a dark-changebag! ...duuuh!  Hmmm- maybe digital isn't so bad after all. Wait! hahaha!  -silly me and you! Move into medium and large format for gallery prints and guess what then? I suddenly realise I don't have 6K (minimum) for a 40-60 MP digital 4x5 camera!  -somehow I'm guessing most people don't either unless you're like a photographer, whose name conviently excapes me, who can make only 1 picture for only 1 collector and precharge $60-K for it.. somehow I don't think that fits many of us, or even commercial photographers that are well known in their industry.
   So the moral of that story? Laugh all one can, 'archaic' film is still here to stay for serious artwork, maybe not so much for commercial work -unless of course money isn't anything to you. Am I putting down everyone with a digital (compact) camera? Heavens NO!  "Different strokes for Different fo'ks", as Sly and the Family Stone say. Not to mention it actually adds another dimension of fun to photography if one's really into it.

Blanche Bachelor Button
Nikon D80, 1:2; FastStone color-adjusted
   Well.. now how's that for ya? I go on and on about film, and then something like this just about makes me bawl (yes i'm a softy sometimes). I believe the above might actually be an artprint for matting and hanging upon some empty wallspace at 8x8 inches printed. Pretty sweet indeedy. Originally the original .NEF (that's Nikon RAW file) was slated for the trash bin as the purples on this bachelor button wasn't exactly spectacular in definition. In fact, I thought maybe I didn't focus this properly or it had hand-blur, as all my macro closeup shots are hand-held at 15 or 30 of sec and naturally lit, which accounts for a high percentage of dumpers, not to mention personal frustion. Leaning on advice from 'the Pros', I often give one final shot at every pic in some BW / desaturation view just before dumpage. Many professional photographers NEVER dump a 'bad' pic and often keep it for years coming back to it later, realising that it actually is of merit and salvagable. However, not many of us can afford that kind of storage space, and my personal advice to all you amateur photogs out there is keep it for about 6 months, 4 views, and then dump it for goodness sake. Take the BW, somewhat color-twisting, or cropping treatment to it a few times to see if it is salvagable to your liking. Remember also, that it must be appealing first to you: and secondly, if the photo is for a client or personal printing, make sure it can print at 300-dpi at the size required. Some items do fine at 250-dpi for digital photolabs, but for artprints or shows 300-dpi is the min, about 500 (if memory serves) is the max needed. Published print is usually 150-200-dpi, but submit it at 300-dpi or it might be refused.

hunh? what was that all about?
squirrel caught in the act,  300mm, no crop

Clover Study 1; Gimp -dodge+burn

Ant on micro-budding Flower; 1:1

'Tree Spook 1', FastStone color-adjust