Tag Archives: Gimp

Truly a classic: Pont du Gard

Looking up from the river bed.
Looking down from a viewpoint on a nearby path.

These could have been from anytime in the past two millennia.

The Pont du Gard is so old and classic, in the antiquities classic way, that I couldn’t resist giving a black and white conversion a try. If you’d like to compare, I posted it in color on my other web site: Real golden Arches: Pont du Gard.

I use the Gnu Image Manipulation Program (a.k.a., the GIMP) with the Nik plug in for the conversion. If you are interesting in using the GIMP for black and white I have a post about how to do it: Black and white digital photo processing using the GIMP.

Published for The Weekend in Black and White.

One-to-Three Photo Processing Challenge

One-to-three is a monthly photo processing challenge on my other web site, theSquirrelChase.com. I’d love to have you join in: The challenge is simple: take one photo and get creative with it by processing it three different ways. Then share the results, with a link to this month’s post. I’ll do a start up post on the first of each month including a round up of entries from the preceding month, so we can all share in the creativity and fun.

Here’s my October 2021 contribution:

How to get the looks above:

I used filters in the G’mic plug-in for the GIMP and in Topaz Studio 2. I was looking for effects that would make the bicyclists stand out better.

The GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program) is open source (=free!) software that compares to Photoshop. G’mic (also open-source) is a plug in that has over 500 filters. Both of the G’mic filters I used are in the Artistic group.

Background

Since having to isolate due to the pandemic, last spring, I’ve been doing a lot of experimentation with photo processing and I thought it might be fun to share some of the things I’ve discovered and see what others are doing.

I’m hosting the challenge on the other site to try and keep my WordPress.org skills.

Link to the One-to-Three Photo Processing Challenge.

One-to-Three Photo Processing Challenge

One-to-three is a monthly photo processing challenge on my other web site, theSquirrelChase.com. I’d love to have you join in: The challenge is simple: take one photo and get creative with it by processing it three different ways. Then share the results, with a link to this month’s post. I’ll do a start up post on the first of each month including a round up of entries from the preceding month, so we can all share in the creativity and fun.

Here’s my September 2021 contribution:

How to get the looks above:

This month I experimented with some of the looks (presets) in Topaz Studio 2.

Background

Since having to isolate due to the pandemic, last spring, I’ve been doing a lot of experimentation with photo processing and I thought it might be fun to share some of the things I’ve discovered and see what others are doing.

I’m hosting the challenge on the other site to try and keep my WordPress.org skills.

Link to the One-to-Three Photo Processing Challenge.

One-to-Three Photo Processing Challenge

One-to-three is a monthly photo processing challenge on my other web site, theSquirrelChase.com. I’d love to have you join in: The challenge is simple: take one photo and get creative with it by processing it three different ways. Then share the results, with a link to this month’s post. I’ll do a start up post on the first of each month including a round up of entries from the preceding month, so we can all share in the creativity and fun.

Here’s my August 2020 contribution:

How to get the looks above:

The GIMP Illusion filter is found in the map group: Filters>Map>Illusion. I used type 1.

The second one is the Sharp abstract filter in the Artistic group of filters in the G’mic plug-in for the GIMP.

For the third version I used the impressions filter in Topaz Studio 2.

Background

Since having to isolate due to the pandemic, last spring, I’ve been doing a lot of experimentation with photo processing and I thought it might be fun to share some of the things I’ve discovered and see what others are doing.

I’m hosting the challenge on the other site to try and keep my WordPress.org skills.

Link to the One-to-Three Photo Processing Challenge.

Colorless love and peace

I experimented with black and white processing using the pictures I took of my love and peace rose yesterday for this week’s mid-week monochrome. The raindrops stand out more strongly in black and white.

Bud of the heirloom rose, love and peace, turned to black and white using the GIMP.
This bud’s for you.
The love and peace rose in full bloom. The black and white treatment is in the GIMP.
In full glory.

These were changed into black and white using the GIMP. A post describing the technique I used is: Mountain landscapes in black and white.

The color images are:

The photos were all taken with a Sony RX10iv camera, iso 100 and aperture ranging from 4 to 6.3, focal length of 8.8mm (24 in 35mm equivalent). I use Raw Therapee to convert the raw files to images and do the initial edits then switch to the GIMP to do final editing, including the conversion to black and white.

Mountain landscapes in black and white

As I mentioned we went to The Mountain last week. (“The Mountain” is Mount Rainier.) Inspired in part by the old black and white photos on the walls of Paradise Inn and in part by the Lens Artists Photo Challenge for this week, I’ve spent some time experimenting with photos from our trip in black and white (a gallery with the color photos is at the end of the post for comparison).

The Mountain is classic, which makes it a great subject for black and white. Every year is both the same and different, depending on the weather and when we can get reservations. This year was on the early side, although the hot weather we had last month sped up snow melt some.

View of The Mountain from Kautz Creek, just inside the Nisqually Entrance.
Myrtle Falls at Paradise.
Tatoosh range from a trail at Paradise.
Clouds and mountains.
Reflection Lakes at Mount Rainier.
Stevens Creek

In this post I have focused on landscapes, on my other blog I posted some black and whites of wildflowers from last week using the same processing methods: Mount Rainier wildflowers in black and white.

How to get the look:

For these photos I used the Gnu Image Manipulation Program, a.k.a., the GIMP to create the black and white images. I used two different tools, both found in the Desaturate submenu of the Colors menu: Desaturate and Color to gray. I put the color to gray image over the desaturated one and experimented with different blend modes. In the cases above I chose the soft light mode. Then I adjusted the opacity of the color to gray layer to get the effect I liked.

The steps were:

  • Load the image.
  • Resize the image and sharpen it (resizing usually softens an image).
  • Fine tune the tone and contrast using either the levels or the tone curve (black and white often looks better if the contrast is greater and the whole range from black to white is used). In the photo of the falls I used layer masks to use different settings for the falls, which were in shadows.
  • Make two duplicates of the adjusted image.
  • For the top layer I used the Color to gray filter (Colors>Desaturate>Color to gray). Adjusting the parameters to suit the image.
  • On the lower layer I used the Desaturate tool (Colors>Desaturate>Desaturate). I tried all of the methods available and chose the one best suited to the photo.
  • For the Color to gray layer I changed the layer mode and adjusted it’s opacity.
  • I added a vignette to some of the photos.

If you are interested in trying out the GIMP (a free, open-source program) for black and white here is a post that explores some of the tools available: Black and white digital photo processing using the GIMP.

Color images used for this post:

Five petals

A rock rose.
Columbine

The only fives that caught my eyes this week.

The rock rose was converted to black and white using RawTherapee, an open source program, and the Columbine was processed using the Nik Silver Effects Pro plug-in for the Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP). I added a vignette and a focus blur in the GIMP.

If you are interested in checking out Raw Therapee or the GIMP there are a few posts here: The photo processing tools on my belt.

For Cee’s Black and White Challenge: Five.

Something new

I know it’s not nice to criticize Mother Nature, but the weather this past week was…well…conducive to staying home in front of the fireplace. Fall is still glorious, although the winds have thinned the glory. But while you can go out in just wind, or just rain, the two together are daunting.

I don’t have a lens-ball. They are trendy right now, and I am seeing lots of creative photos using them. The problem is that I don’t just shoot hand-held. I shoot hand-held holding two leashes plus, more often than not, a bag of dog doo. The thought of trying to toss a lens-ball into that juggling act is scary.

But, while trying to avoid the news-when-there-really-isn’t-any-news media blitz of the past week, I happened onto a tutorial to use the GIMP (gnu image manipulation program) to add a lens-ball effect to images. Here are my projects so far:

I haven’t gotten very adept yet, but I’m getting better and this has a lot of potential for future creativity. It is certainly a relaxing activity, almost a form of meditation.

How to do it

I assume that the Adobe Photoshop users can do something very similar. The tutorial I used was this one:

Tutorial for creating a lensball effect using the GIMP.

A warning: I find that this guy talks too fast for me. He has great information, but he tends to blurt it all out at once. I made myself a step-by-step Cheat Sheet so I wouldn’t have to go back and re-watch every time I want to do this. Included below, in case you want to give it a try, it might be helpful as a companion to the video. If you are not familiar with the GIMP the cheat sheet probably isn’t enough on its own.

My cheat sheet

  1. Load image.
  2. Make a new, transparent layer with a circle at the center:
    1. Define center of image using image>guides>new guide by percent (50%), one each vertical and horizontal.
    2. Use ellipse select tool from tool box or shortcut e. Aspect ratio 1:1.
    3. Make sure foreground/background colors are black & white. Drag black (foreground) to circle.
    4. Use Ctl-shft-a to deselect circle.
  3. Warp background to go into the sphere:
    1. Duplicate base layer.
    2. With duplicate layer active: Filters>Distorts>Spherize. Adjust angle of view to get desired effect.
  4. Next fit warped image into the circle:
    1. Place guides around the circle: alt-click on circle layer or layers>transparency>alpha to selection. Image>guides>new guides from selection. Cntl-shft-a to deselect.
    2. Select warped base image layer.
    3. Shft-s or select scale tool from tool box. Holding cntl key scales from center, holding shft key maintains original aspect ratio.
    4. Click and drag until the warped image matches the top and bottom guides.
    5. Unlink the x and y values in the scale pop-up menu. Then refine the warped image to lie within the guides. Once things are lined up click on “scale”.
    6. Drag the scaled layer to the top of the layers. (so it covers the black circle).
    7. Hide the corners of the circle: Alt-click or Layer>transparency>alpha to selection on the circle layer. Right click on warped background layer>add layer mask>selection. Cntl-shft-a to deselect.
  5. Make the ball look more realistic by flipping the sphere and adding shading:
    1. Shft-f or transform group flip tool. Choose vertical. Make sure you are on image not layer mask on the warped layer. Hover mask over circle and click. This inverts the circle.
    2. Apply shading using the “sphere designer tool”.
      1. Duplicate the circle layer. Drag to the top of the layer stack. Good idea to rename it “sphere”. Layer>crop to content. Hover inside the black circle and hit delete key.
      2. Go to Help>search and run a command or /. Type “sphere” then double click on “sphere designer”.
      3. Click on the lower light layer to adjust the color the dark shade.
      4. Click on the upper light layer to adjust the orientation, extent and, if you desire, the color of the light source. The source orientation can be adjusted using the x and y values and the z value determines its extent.
      5. When you have the shading as you want it click okay.
      6. Scale the shaded circle to match the warped image circle. Get the scale tool by typing shft s or getting it from the tool box. Make sure the x and y values are linked to keep the circle round. Adjust to make the circles match then hit “scale” in the dialog box.
    3. Copy the sphere shading layer.
    4. Then change the blend mode for the two shade layers.
      1. Make the top most layer “overlay” (this makes the light part of the shading stand out.
      2. Make the lower layer “linear burn” (this makes the darker part pop a bit.
    5. Refine the look by adjusting the opacity of the two shade layers: rule of thumb is to make the overlay layer about 60 to 70%, and the linear burn layer between 20 and 30%.
  6. Toggle the guides off: View>Show guides.
  7. Add an outer glow to the sphere:
    1. Alt-click on one of the sphere layers.
    2. Create a new layer (sphere glow) transparent.
    3. Open the paths tab.
    4. Convert the selection to path (hover over the icons at the bottom of the paths panel to get the description to pop up. Sometimes this takes a bit of time. You know it’s done when it shows up in the paths panel.
    5. Use the stroke to path (It is accessed by an icon at the bottom of the paths panel). To make sure the line will be solid click on the plus sign beside line style. Also make sure the foreground color is white, then click “stroke”.
    6. Filters>blur>Gaussian blur with size 20 or so (depends on image size).
    7. Back to layers panel. Cntl-shft-a to deselect. Change layer mode to linear light. Adjust opacity.
    8. Duplicate sphere glow layer. Lock alpha channel (little checkerboard icon at the top of the layers panel).
    9. Select foreground color, use eyedropper to select a color from the picture. Drag the new color onto the layer. Adjust the layer mode, to burn or linear burn.
  8. Adjust the focus and blur for realism:
    1. Background layer: duplicate it, on duplicate filters>blur>lens blur. Adjust radius and highlights for desired effects.
    2. Hide background layers. Create new layer from visible. Turn off all the layers used to make the sphere.
    3. Use filters>blur>focus blur and adjust the parameters to give the sphere a more 3-d effect.

What do you do when winter-y weather sets in?

Blend modes

I’ve been having tremendous fun ever since I discovered twirling, many thanks to Bren of Brashley Photography and her Twirling Tuesday. In addition to just plain fun, it’s been a great help as I try to come to grips with the blend modes in the GIMP (they are the same in Photoshop). It is amazing how many different effects one can get from one photo.

Taking this photo of a peachy-orange deciduous azalea:

The two spun up layers are these:

Using different blend modes there are a stunning number of very different effects, here are some examples:

Then layering the original onto the different blended spirals using different blend modes you can get even more effects, including these rather trippy ones:

I find it fascinating, fun and rather relaxing to take a picture and see how many different looks I can get.

If you want to give it a try Bren’s post has directions for doing the twirling in Photoshop and my post Putting a twist on it using the GIMP has directions for using the GIMP (which is open-source=free).