I admit I am a Photoshop addict (I get all giddy when a new one comes out), I learned Photoshop in college (Photoshop 7) and never looked back. I have been using Photoshop for over 15 years I am NOT an expert. I truly believe you will never be an expert in Photoshop because it changes with every update. You can be knowledgeable in Photoshop but unless you designed the program or wrote an extensive how to book on Photoshop (like the book I used in college) you are NOT an expert. I know there are people who are way more knowledgeable than I am in this subject and I think that is so important when it comes to using software and programs like this. The minute you think you are an expert someone else will come along and knock you off that pedestal. The other thing I constantly see is people flaunting the fact they use Photoshop, “I’m an artist I use Photoshop.” This drives me insane because it makes the average person feel like oh they must be an artist because they use Photoshop. Just because you can afford to buy a program (and you flaunt it) does not make you an artist. Photoshop is a tool that can enhance a piece of work or can destroy a piece of artwork, I like to phrase it like this: It can be used for good or for the very bad (I have done it!) I also despise people who think because they use the best stuff on the market (paint, brushes or software) that makes them a good artist. I hate to break it to them it does not, it is about skill if you don’t have the skill (whether it is through practice or a natural ability) nothing will help that. I also want to state you DO NOT need a MAC to be a real artist. I love my Mac don’t get me wrong (I would not change a thing about Hurley) but I used a PC for eight years to create graphic design pieces. Macs are better when it comes to graphics but honestly if I would have never gotten Vista I would probably still have a PC. I know this posts sounds extremely cynical and that was not my intention I am using this point as a gateway into my discovery of the photo editing software GIMP.
Gimp is a free software and if you can get past the name (I think of Pulp Fiction – see the above photo) it is a nice photo editing program. It supports layers (like Photoshop) which is a huge bonus when it comes to photo editing software. You can also save the file in psd format which is really cool.
|This is the same photo modified in Photoshop CS5. I used the auto color feature.|
I can honestly say if I posted the top photo no one would have questioned that it wasn’t done in Photoshop. I do wish that Gimp used the Command Key instead of the Control Key (Apple) because the Command key is bigger – lol. I will admit Gimp is a nice FREE program and it supports way more than any free photo editing software out there. In my humble opinion it is a nice alternative to the very expensive Photoshop (starts around $1000). I am still learning the program (Gimp) so I know the very basics but I must admit once I get the shortcuts down it will go much smoother.
I included the links for Gimp and for Photoshop so you can experiment with the programs. Keep in mind the Adobe Photoshop is a 30 days Trial so after 30 days you will need buy the software in order to use the program.
Adobe CS5 Photoshop 30 Day Trial
I plan on doing some basic tutorials for Gimp and Photoshop like making a blog banner and designing your own blog button, when I have the time. All in all I think Gimp is a wonderful software program and if Photoshop wasn’t second nature to me I would be using it. I do plan on using Gimp more I think it will be a nice change and help me familiarize myself with the program so I can actually write a tutorial. I also want to show people you don’t need Photoshop or a Mac to create amazing art work on a computer. I also think flaunting it (Photoshop and Macs) is wrong. An artist should never brag about the tools he or she uses to create a project, because it is not the tools that you use to create a project it is the creation that matters.