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Customer Review

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Free software, one book = Amazing results Yeah, that can't lose, March 12, 2013
This review is from: The Book of GIMP: A Complete Guide to Nearly Everything (Paperback)
"The Book of GIMP" (GIMP stands for "GNU Image Manipulation Program", and GNU, I'll leave up to you. There is history here worth exploring...) is a dazzling book full of pictures, illustrations and deeply technical, but fully comprehendible and comprehensive information on GIMP. And, the plethora of pictures only make sense, given what GIMP does.

GIMP is one of the most successful (and this is super-important) free software applications - ever. Free, as in "You don't have to pay for it... No strings attached." Additionally, you don't have to commit to one given platform or operating system to use GIMP. GIMP is developed and maintained for GNU/Linux, Microsoft Windows, Apple's Macintosh OS X, Sun's OpenSolaris and FreeBSD. Supported image formats are comparable to the most popular image and graphic formats found in large-scale commercial products, and is extensible through a large library of plug-ins. The Plug-ins allow you to customize and enhance GIMP for what you need.

The feature set in GIMP is huge, and anytime you add lots and lots of features to an application that deals with the complexity of image (let's think photos, and you're a professional photographer) manipulation, there is bound to be LOTS of information that is good to know, or good to have a complete reference. Well, that's this book. GIMP touts itself as the alternative to other commercial products in the same space that cost literally $1000+. To get the full value out of GIMP, one would first think, "Well, it's FREE. My expectations can't be that high!" Think again. YOU might not be paying anything, but there are people that have dedicated themselves and sweat equity to GIMP. In those terms, this application is invaluable. It's full of one thing that many commercial applications isn't: Pride. And it shows.

Now, back to the book. GIMP is free, but "The Book of GIMP" isn't and you should know why you would want to pay for a book for software that's free. Fair question. The book deals with the complexity of GIMP in a way that is presented in a very concise and very prescriptive way. The book is broken up into sections and chapters that deal with specific challenges in the work of massaging images - retouching photos, editing graphics, and so on - that make up the day to day work of the amateur to professional graphic artist or photographer. This book presents hundreds of pictures and images that guide you through how to use the tools in GIMP to achieve the very real professional results that GIMP is capable of. Over-exposed photo? Great - there is guidance for that. Red eye got you down? No worries. GIMP can solve that. Need to enhance and retouch a photo? This book can show you how. Need to modify an image because the boss changed his mind after the product was signed off? Yep, can do that - no problem.

There are over 600 pages in the book, full of glossy photos, clean images and very impressive results from using GIMP to achieve a certain look. There are also lots of images of the actual GIMP interface so that you will know what you are looking for, what you have to do to tweak this color, change that saturation, and so on. The completeness in the book's treatment of GIMP is a true testament to how important this application really is.

In this reviewer's humble opinion (My family is rife with artists and graphics people...), GIMP is as full-featured as you will likely ever need for your image manipulation tasks. So, this book just saved you some four figures in commercial software. Buy the book - complete the package. I can literally assure you. This is a purchase that you won't have much remorse over. And, if you really, really feel bad that you saved $950+, the good people with the GIMP Project take donations to fund their continued efforts to provide a FREE product of amazing quality to the masses. <hint, hint>
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 19, 2014 5:54:04 PM PDT
Paul Allen says:
I like this review. I was hesitant to buy the book because the Gimp software only cost me 10 bucks. But after reading this review, I have decided to take the plunge. I am not a professional, but I love editing pictures and making them better, but don't want to spend a bundle on Adobe Photoshop. Thank you Richard Kinsland for helping me decide.
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