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It’s Monday and time for another tutorial.  I have decided today to do some basics.  I don’t know how much you all know, most of you will know this, but I know there are some of you out there that have no idea, so today is for you.

I am also going to use different software, it is the software I started with.  One of the good things about this software is that it is free, and you can just download it from the internet.  It is called GIMP and it is available from here for windows.  Someone asked me in my class if it was any good if it was free.  Well yes it is good.  The reason it is free is because it started on Linux and is part of a whole software development thing that they have going on.  Developers all around the world work on it.  There is a lot of free software for Linux, it is fantastic.

So back to GIMP, here is what it looks like when it is opened.

I have done this tutorial using Ubuntu, so my desktop is a little different,  and the image in the background is the image on my desktop, not my image though.

Next you need to right click in the window where the image would be, then click on file, then open, and get your image from your computer.  I have chosen this dark, crooked image that I took inside one of the buildings in the city.

One of the first things I would do would be to straighten the image.  In GIMP, that means rotating the image until it seems straight.  On the tool bar that is on the right of the image window you can see the rotate tool, I have circled it in red, click on it.

A rotate icon comes up on the cursor and you can click on the image and turn it, or you do it using the slider in the Rotate window, which is on the left of the image.  Once you have the image where you want it to be, where you think it is straight, then click Rotate, I have circled it in red.

Now you will need to crop your image, you can see how the image seems crooked now.  So back to the tool box, this time click on the crop tool, it looks like the pointy end of a craft knife, I have circled it in red.

Once you have clicked it, you go back to your image and click on one corner, inside where the image should be and keep it pressed and drag it to the diagonal corner.  You get a rectangle or square, if it isn’t quite how you want it cropped, in GIMP you click inside the squares in on of the corners and move it to where you want it.  Once you have it where you want it you simply double click inside the window and it will crop the image for you.

There is the cropped image, it now looks straighter and is looking far better, except the image is quite dark, I would like to lighten it up a bit, so I am going to use levels for this.   To get levels, right click on the image, go down to Colours, then over to Levels, click on it.  It takes quite a while for the levels window to open.

If you look at the level window, there is a slider with what looks like a historgram over the top.  There are 3 markers underneath it, the one on the left is for the blacks and makes the image darker.  The one on the far right is for the whites and makes the image lighter.  The one in the middle controls the shadows, and depends which way you move it.  I tend to move the left and the right ones up to the bulk of the histogram area.  See the next image.

You can see where I have moved them to, and hopefully you can see how much the image has lightened up from the previous one.  This doesn’t always work, if an image is too dark, or too light, then nothing is going to help it.  Once you have the markers where you want them then you press OK.

My image is ready now, and I want to put this image on my blog, so I need to resize it.  I don’t like uploading massive images, you can see from the scale image window, that this image is really large.  I tend to make my images for my blog around 800 pixels to 530 pixels, or there abouts.  To resize your image, right click on your image, go down to Image, and then press Scale Image.  You will get the Scale Image window that is in the image above.

Change the size, make sure it is for pixels, or millimetres, or however you change your images.  I use pixels for my blog images, I change the largest size to 800 and then press enter, it then changes the other side automatically, you don’t need to work that out yourself, thank goodness. Once done, press OK.

Your image will go very small in the window.  To make it full size, as in how big the image is for real, press the number 1.

There it is, how big it actually is.  The thing with pressing 1, it might only work in Ubuntu, so you might have to make the image large, using the magnifying glass for that. The image is just about all done now.

I have watermarked the image (last weeks tutorial), I have saved it and it is already to upload to my blog, and here it is.

The image has been given a quick edit, and really doesn’t need anymore for this blog.  I hope that helps many of you work out how to do some simple things with your images.

Most of the stuff I have done with GIMP, you can do with most other editing software.  The set up is often different, but the names are usually much the same and the way they work is pretty much the same.  If you have any problems, let me know.  Good luck doing your images.

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