An open source photo editor
You probably know the term used about a heavily manipulated photograph. "It´s been photoshopped"
The term is referring to Adobe´s Photoshop - the huge state of the art photo editor. It´s very powerful, very professional, very useable but also extremely expensive.
I, for one, find it nice to know that there are alternatives out there. In this essay I will mention the open source photo editor called "The Gimp". And I will not only mention it - I will recommend it to everyone. For photo-editing it´s as powerful and useable as Adobe´s Photoshop - and it´s free of charge.
Many of my photos are not photoshopped - they´re gimped.
Recently a more user friendly version has been released. Less nerdy than the previous ones, yet somewhat different than the average photo editor you might know. This is not a complete tutorial teaching you all there is to know about The Gimp - it´s merely a guide in how to get started. So, here goes:
The first thing you have to do in order to start using The Gimp is downloading a so called "Runtime Environment" making the editor able to work under Windows. When having downloaded this and installed it, you´re ready to download and install The Gimp.
Both can be downloaded for Windows here
When you open The Gimp for the first time, you´ll find a lot of confusing windows opening right in your face. Don´t worry - it´s just for show off. Click away everything but the important. You´ll end up with a screen looking much like this
The above screendump shows The Gimp ready for work with an opened photo.
Now, start playing. You´ll have to learn how to use the different tools in the toolbox to the left. Experiment, make errors, experience successes.
When you get stuck - which I think you will - go to this expanded tutorial. It´s way better than anything I could have written.
Enjoy your time with photo-editing. I´s fun, it´s rewarding and it´s inspiring. It takes some skills. You´ll get those if you take the time and effort.