Gimp Versus Photoshop – Removing damage from a soft-focus photo
For any budding restoration artist, there are tools to help you do it yourself for FREE. What are these? I hear you ask.
Introducing GIMP, it is a free tool that works a lot like the leading photo editor, Photoshop. – “GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages” – Quote from gimp.org
I’ve played with GIMP in the past but thought id try it again due to the version 2 release. For photo manipulation, I have no doubt it has some very useful features for changing an image. It is a very powerful piece of software and clearly achieves amazing results. For restoration purposes, I tried to understand the interface and learn the skills needed to repair the dust and splotches from an image. To be honest I got frustrated and had no idea how to use it. I did not spend enough time getting to know the layouts, it is so different from what I use. I jumped on the forums for some help. Patrick David who I bumped into on Google+ who knows his GIMP very well, kindly did a video for me on how to remove this damage. The video is below.
GIMP is very capable software and yields excellent results, and it is FREE! I then went on to explain the process in Photoshop.
The reason why it works so quickly in Photoshop is that the image is not in sharp focus. This means the dust and scratch filter makes light work of removing a lot of the damage. The sharp-edged damage is easily distinguishable from the main image and easily separated for removal. In a sharp image where dust and scratches are no different from the actual image data, where they have the same sharpness and match the size and shape of the details within the image, a completely different approach would be needed. That will no doubt be another video.
A while after uploading this post I was approached by Lynda.com (now LinkedIn.com to become an Instructor in photo restoration and provide video courses on photo restoration. This post was a worthwhile investment! If you want your photo restored by a certified photo restoration instructor stop by the main photo restoration service page and see how you can hire me.