A picture is worth a thousand words – but what do you do with a thousand pictures? One love we in the Sandwich Generation often share is that of photos of our beloveds. Thanks to the gifts of all of my talented children, I am truly blessed with thousandS – yup, you read that S correctly – of photos. Pictures of kids and grandkids, of parents and grandparents, and of places we’ve been and places we wish we’d been. They all excel at making good use of those pictures – online, in Creative Memory albums, as part of a dvd, and more. But for those of you who are more like me, OK on computers, but not as gifted creatively, here are some things I’ve discovered that have helped me have fun with the photos too.
Photoshop is a wonderful piece of software that is very complicated and VERY expensive. Photoshop Elements is also wonderful and much less expensive. Then there is the really frugal option, GIMP. GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program and is a totally free software program that is usually compared to Photoshop. You can find the latest version at http://www.gimp.org/downloads/ . You click on DOWNLOAD GIMP 2.6.0, save it, run it, and voila, a photo editing software package that is, indeed, very close to Photoshop. One slight warning, it can also be as difficult to work with as Photoshop. You know how it goes, the more goodies they build into the program, the harder it is. There are some books on how to use GIMP (very expensive ones) you can purchase through Amazon. Or you can stay frugal and find some free ones online. I just discovered them today so I can’t tell you how good or bad each one is, but there were some that looked especially good! I found and copied these onto my hard drive to use as reference:
The GIMP website has a manual for GIMP 2.4. The most current version for download is 2.6 so that should cover most of what GIMP offers. You can find that at http://docs.gimp.org/en/
The GIMP cheat sheet, located at http://www.lugod.org/presentations/gimp-saclug.pdf , is dated 2003 so I’m sure there have been some changes. Nonetheless, I will be keeping this close at hand as I’m always trying to remember which button does what. If I used the program every day I wouldn’t need it, but since I only do it in the spare time I can carve out between caregiving, grandparenting, blogging, and Awana-ing, I need all the cheat sheet help I can get!
If you really want to dive deep into GIMP, here is a GIMP users group site, which offers, among other things, a tutorial of 2.6. http://www.gimpusers.com/tutorials/gimp-2-6-new-features.html
Well, that should keep us busy for at least a day. Tomorrow I am planning on telling you about some other great and free (or downright cheap!) options for photos. Until then, I hope you have fun working with GIMP.