How to make see-through text in GIMP 2.8

This is a tutorial on how you can create text with a photo or illustration as the background. It can also be used to empower the message of a photo with a message. I use GIMP 2.8.4 for Mac but it will work just as good with an older version of the software on Windows or Mac. The effect takes just a few minutes and the result can be used for many different results.

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Using the heal brush in GIMP 2.8

A few days ago I wrote a short tutorial on how to use the “Heal” tool in Adobe Lightroom. The “Heal” tool is however not unique in Lightroom so if you don’t have Lightroom you can instead use GIMP (The GNU Image Manipulation Program) which is a free photo editing application.

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Using the heal brush in Adobe Lightroom

Many times when taking pictures outside or when travelling we come home to see that there have been dust or other distracting particles on our lenses that gave blemishes on our photos. If you are using Adobe Lightroom this is however an easy fix in Develop mode.

This is a quick guide to how you use the Heal tool in Lightroom and I am using version 4.1 but the tool has been around since at least version 3. If you do not have Lightroom, please read the article on how to get the same result using GIMP!

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HDR effect using GIMP

The HDR effect has been heavily overused lately but that should not keep it out of your photos. There are a number of photos which can really be strengthen of this effect and one of these are portraits of faces full of details. For this guide I will use a photo of an elderly man I found at Flickr where we will aim to lift the straws of beard but also the texture of his skin to make this photo really pop out.

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Colorize a black and white photo in GIMP

This is a quick tutorial on how to use GIMP for colorizing a black and white photograph. The technique is described in general instead of in detail since each photograph will be unique in its own composition. The photograph I used is of Albert Einstein (and I borrowed the photo from this site) and this is one of my favorite photo of him since there is something beautiful over the playfulness in his smile.

The same technique can be used for Adobe Photoshop or other software as well and the method we are using are similar to what we did earlier when we exchanged a selected color in an image.

Let us begin!

  1. Start off with a black and white photo. The wider spectrum of grey tones and the more dynamic the photo is, the better the end result will be.
    Black and white photo loaded in GIMP
  2. Create a new layer
    New layer
  3. Select the brush tool and with the new layer selected, paint with a warm orange color over all parts of the portrait where you want skin.

    Advanced:You can start of by a large brush and go into more details using the eraser afterwards.

    A mask is created for where the skin in the portrait is

  4. When you have painted parts of the photo where there is visible skin, with the selected layer in the Layers toolbox, change the blending type to multiply. Using the transparency of the slider you can adjust the strength of the color.
    Colored layer is set to Blending type 'Multiply'
  5. Do the same for the other parts of the image you want colorized, adding a new layer for each new color. Set each layer to blending type, Multiply when finished.
    Repeat the proces
  6. When all parts have been colorized, right click on any of the layers in the Layers toolbox and select Flatten image.

    Advanced:Using Color adjust, you can set the overall color to meet your goal or to tweak the full color range. It can also be used to ting the part of the photo which was not colored into a warmer or colder tone.

  7. Done.