Monday, 26 June 2017

Editing My Photos With GIMP: The Burn Tool

I had used the "dodge" tool in GIMP a few times which makes the object you are working on a little bit lighter, but so far I hadn't had much call to use the "burn" tool which makes things darker.
I didn't really know what practical uses it could have until I started playing around with it and then I found out just how useful it could be!

It is a really handy and easy to use tool which as it makes things darker, also brings out their detail a little bit more. It works in exactly the same way as the dodge tool, except you just have to press ctrl as you're using it to get the burn tool rather than the dodge tool.

The effects can be subtle or obvious depending on how many times you go over the area that you want to darken. You can easily darken a whole picture or simply selected elements that you want to bring forward a little bit.

(It was a really foggy day!)

The burn tool in GIMP is a really clever thing, I don't quite get all of the uses it could have yet, but I am sure I will get there. 

Related Post: The GIMP clone tool

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Cornwall Gold

Cornwall Gold is a tourist attraction near Redruth in Cornwall, it is home to some of the most beautiful jewellery in all of Cornwall and is a popular day out for a lot of families. Set in quite a secluded area, Cornwall Gold is a peaceful place where kids can play, build their own bear or even pan for gold whilst the adults can go and admire the inspiring collection of amazing jewellery.

And it's not just for gold lovers, they also have an extensive collection of pearls and silver for everyone to admire. You can read about some interesting history relating to the gold mining business and see some of the old equipment that would have been used a long time ago. You can also see some jewellery being made in the workshop.

And if the history of high end jewellery is not your thing, you can have a round of crazy golf or have a meal in the rustic looking restaurant. 

The build your own bear workshop and gold panning sessions are not just for little kids, big kids can partake too! 

It is totally free to enter and there is free parking, but with so much for kids to do, you may want to take some cash with you! 

Coming Up: The GIMP burn tool

Friday, 23 June 2017

Editing My Photos With GIMP: Curves

After watching "Master Of Photography" On Sky Arts, I heard one of the contestants talking about how she played around with the curves in editing, I had heard the term a few times before, but not really looked into it very much. So I decided to see what I could do with GIMP and what kind of impact it would have on my pictures.

After having learned my lesson about GIMP, I looked at a tutorial before I started playing around with any photos, and I am glad I did, GIMP calls it "the most sophisticated tool for changing the colour, brightness, contrast or transparency" And they're not kidding it is a really powerful tool and quite frankly, the power was in the wrong hands! Even after carefully reading the tutorial I was still struggling to get things even remotely natural looking, but after a lot of practise, I think I have started to get the idea.
The original picture
After adjusting the RGB curves

There are so many things you can do with the curves element, and it is not just useful for colour pictures, you can use it on grayscale pictures too, and if you turn your picture from grayscale back to RGB, you can do even more!
The original 
Grayscale with curve editing, I think it gives it a bit more depth.

The curves tool in GIMP can really help to improve a picture if you are using it correctly, and after some research I found it is something a lot of people avoid. I can sort of see why, it is quite confusing, but I really do think that once you get the hang of it, it could be a massive help.
The original lacked a bit of colour 
After adjusting the curves it looked better

Up Next:Cornwall Gold

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Editing My Photos With GIMP: Unsharp Mask

One thing I did not factor in when I thought about taking pictures in Cornwall was sea mist. Kind of an important area to miss I know, but it honestly never occurred to me that sea mist would cause a problem with taking or editing the pictures.

But after taking a few photos on some misty days I soon realised that it would be a challenge to take a clear picture when the sea mist was thick, in fact it was a near impossibility. So I decided to try and edit the ones I had taken using GIMP, still learning all of it's many features I decided to try the "unsharp mask" filter. It is apparently the most popular way to make a picture look sharper (despite it's name it does make pictures look sharper) and at first, like most things in GIMP it seems difficult, but it is actually really easy.

After looking at a tutorial to see how to use unsharp mask in GIMP, I decided to try to use it to make a few pictures I took a couple of months back with a bridge camera a little bit better.

After the first few attempts just made the picture look worse, I decided to look at another tutorial, this time from GIMP and things got a little better, I was losing some colour quality, so I needed to try the long way round to sharpening the picture as suggested on the GIMP website. The results were much better, and even though they are not totally clear, they do look sharper.

The difference isn't huge but it's a little better

                           I used the "burn" tool on this too to add some definition to the background 

Coming up: Curves 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Editing My Photos:Colour Balance in GIMP

I never realised how much could potentially be done to a picture in editing until I started using GIMP. There are so many things to help improve a photo just a little bit, or a hell of a lot.

Colour balance is something I try really hard to get right with the camera, rather than in editing, but for the pictures below it was my very first time using my DSLR so I hadn't got the settings quite right, so being able to change the yellow tinge in editing has been kind of a blessing but it is still something I would like to avoid having to do as I would like to get it right first time around. But I know that's not always possible.

After trying a few different things to help remove the yellow tinge, I thought colour balance would be my best option, should have gone there first really but oh well. As a beginner, the idea of messing around with colours in my pictures was a bit intimidating, but I knew I needed to give it a go as you never know when you might have to do it.

The original picture.
After adjusting the colour balance.

I didn't do anything fancy, I just played around with it until things looked a bit better than they did before. Adjusting the colour balance is easy and it can help improve the lighting on a picture dramatically.

I am still getting the hang of it, as it's pretty tricky but I would welcome any advice anyone has for me!

I think I may have adjusted the yellow/blue balance too far in this one? 

Coming Up Next: Unsharp Mask

Tuesday, 20 June 2017


The fishing village of Polperro in south east Cornwall is not somewhere I have visited very much, but whenever I do I am always struck by how much it seems like a beautiful place to live.

It's like living in an actual postcard, the views are unspoiled, the streets are winding and the views are amazing. Polperro attracts visitors from all over the globe hoping to absorb its chilled out pace and take some of the peace and quiet back home with them.

Polperro high street might seem small but it actually has some really diverse, unique little shops, including the famous "Smallest Shop in Kernow" There are also a few galleries that sell stunning works by local artists, go in and browse and you will definitely find something you like.

Whether you want to sit in a beautiful Cornish pub and eat or have fish and chips by the sea, you have plenty of places to choose from. But if you do have fish and chips by the sea, hold on tight to them as seagulls aren't shy in Polperro.

The views in Polperro are stunning no matter where you look, but as it is famous for its walks, try going for a walk up to the cliffs to see the amazing views. You will be tired, but you won't be disappointed.

If you don't feel like walking, you can take a boat ride around the harbour, they run on a regular basis and they are a brilliant way to see Polperro from a different perspective.

If you like beautiful views, interesting shops and delicious food then I definitely recommend Polperro.

Yes you can see that clearly, it is a Christmas shop!

A friendly and beautiful welcome

Not a resident but a handsome little guy.