Sunday, January 10, 2010

GIMP 2.6 - Mixed Media Experiments

This was quite refreshing. I started with two of my favorite photos I took some time back. The first an image I took of two young girls, two latino sisters, playing in the sand on the beach at Santa Monica Pier, their pretty long hair blowing in summer breeze. It was a much cherished photo in my own collection. Ever since I took that picture (image available for download on stock photo sites), a different image has formed in my mind, that of it taking on an impressionist look, perhaps of an oil painting or a water color feel to it. I wanted to paint the image on canvas then a thought came to mind that I should work with GIMP's artistic filters to see what it would look like. Well, below are the end results. I am actually a little embarrassed, because I had just transformed my photo into art using GIMP filters (the wonderful software technology) and not with my paint brushes. talk about feeling guilty :(

The second photo was that of a lone canoeist kayaking in the channels of Santa Barbara harbor on a beautiful Sunday morning. I had driven up to Santa Barbara with my sister who was visiting from the east Coast. While strolling along the boardwalk and soaking in the beautiful scenery, I saw canoeist pulling into one of the channels dotted with sailboats tied to their slips. I sprang to action, shot a couple of frames and they are some of my favorites. It was a perfect day, blue sky, sailboats reflecting in turquoise water.

This was probably the first time I have truly tested GIMP ever since I installed it on my laptop a few months back. I am a Photoshop user, and until now have used GIMP sparingly. All in all, GIMP operates very similarly to Photoshop CS. The only things to be mindful of is that it does crash from time to time, not major and all I have to do is relaunch it. Apparently they have fixed it in later versions. GIMP is a freeware, and I could not have asked for more from an open source freeware.

If you want to really dig in and use all the functionalities of this great freeware, you can spend a little money getting this book Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional, Second Editionfrom Amazon. It is a mere $31 and well worth the money!!

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