View Full Version : Enhancing photos in GIMP

November 10th, 2006, 05:16 PM
I've got a batch of photos that I've taken that got too dark - anyone know how to fix that in GIMP (or any other free program)?

Bender the Robot
November 10th, 2006, 05:21 PM
Download, and use, 'LightZone' - http://sonic.net/~rat/lightcrafts/ .

The 'Zonemapper' and 'Tonemapper' tools should be of some assistance to you. Yes... it's free.

November 10th, 2006, 05:48 PM
Or, you could use DigiKam (one of the default KDE programs) - organises your photos, interacts with your camera, and has lots of photo enhancement features, including a one-button photo fix which I find cures almost anything :D Why not d/l it and see? It has as much functionality as Picasa without the bloat IMHO

November 10th, 2006, 07:17 PM
I love the gimp for photo editing, but for this specific operation (making dark photos brighter) I have yet to find a tool as powerful as Google's Picasa.

November 10th, 2006, 07:23 PM
I really like lightzone as well! Very intuitive and good results.

Some tutorials: http://web.mac.com/fabio.riccardi/iWeb/Site/Blog/Blog.html

November 10th, 2006, 09:00 PM
you can use the brightness-contrast, hue and saturation controls to lighten the photos. when you brighten the photo, you'll also reduce the contrast. when you increase the contrast, you'll increase the saturation of some of the colors. increasing the saturation of some of the colors will alter the hue. etc., etc...

November 10th, 2006, 09:43 PM
In addition to Fuscias suggestion, I recommend the use of levels & curves:


A little experimentation will sort you out ;)


PS. Don't forget layers - You can copy the fore/background & edit them separately (version 2.3 has a useful foreground selector, otherwise the select by colour feature is often ok).

November 10th, 2006, 10:17 PM
While I love the GIMP, I'd recommend LightZone for digital photo editing. However, it is a java app, so it's a little memory intensive, but I've had some great results from it.

But as someone mentioned above, Google Picasa is really the best for something like this. It's intuitive, easy to use, and even gives you a little more control if you desire. Try it out.

November 11th, 2006, 03:16 PM
Thanks a lot people, I guess I'll go for Picasa for the time being (I'm lazy, I know) and see what results I get.

November 11th, 2006, 11:38 PM
I find that Picasa produces low quality images. Here's a comparison between them:


Picasa (using fill light):

GIMP (using curves):

And by the time Picasa has loaded, you could have Gimped a few photos ;)


November 11th, 2006, 11:41 PM
fair enough :) I usually have huge photos that I size down later so picasa has turned out decent pics for me. Another thing is I don't save them, I export with the highest quality available. But then again I prefer lightzone over picasa anyways. I'd like to learn gimp but it's a lot of stuff to learn and i seem to be having less time to play with everyday