GIMP Image Editing Tutorials for Photographers

These tutorials show step-by-step techniques for accomplishing a variety of photographic “digital darkroom” tasks using the GIMP image editor. Even if you use another image editing program such as Photoshop you will find that tutorials apply to that program with only slight modifications.

Click on the picture thumbnail to view the tutorial.

Many of these tutorials were written when GIMP 1.x was the latest version. Now GIMP 2.x is out and some menus and keybindings have changed. All the 1.x tutorials will work in GIMP 2.x if you look for the commands under different menus. Thanks for your patience while I update the tutorials. As I am extremely busy these days, it may take a while. If you are interested in helping, let me know.


These tutorials do not assume much prior knowledge.

Tutorial Link Notes
Under construction! Working effectively with the GIMP. New GIMP users transitioning from other image editing programs find the GIMP’s interface spartan and confusing. Here are some tips on ramping up to an effective GIMP workflow.
Removing red eye Removing red eye. Learn how to remove the dreaded “red-eye” effect from candid flash photographs.An article I wrote based on this technique was published in the February 2003 edition of Linux Journal. [2002/11] New script available to automate the process!
Converting color images to B&W Converting color images to B&W. Learn a variety of different ways to convert your RGB color images to black and white. There are more ways than you think!Note: this has expands upon and supersedes the older Channel Mixer tutorial.
Reducing CCD Noise Reducing CCD (sensor) noise. Digital cameras are prone to sensor noise, the digital counterpart to traditional film’s grain. Learn how to ameliorate the problem of sensor noise.
Under construction! Using Filter Pack for image enhancement.
Under construction! Correcting white balance.
Under construction! Simulating negative manipulations.
Under construction! Simulating Polaroid transfers.
Sample Toning Classic B&W toning by sampling other toned images. Learn a dead simple technique for matching the toning of one image in another. A trivially easy way to do sepia, selenium, platinum, palladium, cyanotype and other classic tonings!
Under construction! Correcting chromatic aberration.
Removing Haze Removing haze using local contrast enhancement. Got a picture with a lot of haze? Scanner giving you dull, lifeless images? Try this simple and effective technique for improving the image.


These tutorials use layers and layer masks. They are slightly more involved. If you need an introduction to layers and layer masks I recommend that you start with the digital split neutral density filter article .

Tutorial Link Notes
A digital split ND filter A “digital” split neutral density filter. Savvy photographers often use a neutral density filter to compress the dynamic range of a scene to allow the film or sensor in their camera to properly expose it. Learn how to tweak images with large underexposed areas to appear to have been properly exposed using an digital analogue of this technique.An article I wrote based on this technique was published in the April 2003 edition of Linux Journal.
Creating a contrast mask Creating a contrast mask. Learn an effective technique for reducing excessive contrast.
Sepia toning Sepia toning. Learn how to simulate traditional sepia toning.See the experiment on the effect of the layer mask on the tinting.
Simulating film grain Simulating film grain. Learn how to achieve the effect of “artistic” film grain in digital camera-based images.
Gaussian Blur Overlays Gaussian blur overlays. Learn an interesting method to giving photographs a soft, “dreamy” feel.
Removing Hot Pixels Removing hot pixels and dark current noise. Learn a fast and effective technique for removing hot pixels (dark current noise) from nighttime and long exposure digital camera images.
Simulating Infrared Film Simulating infrared photography. Learn how to simulate the look of photographs taken with black and white infrared film.
Under construction! Power dodging and burning. Learn a powerful, alternative technique for selectively lightening and bringing out detail in shadow areas (dodging) and toning down highlights (burning).
Simulating Fog Simulating fog or clouds. Learn a technique for adding realistic looking clouds or fog to your images.
Vignetting Vignetting. Learn a technique to simulate a subtle lighting effect that draws the viewer’s eye to your subject.
Texturing Photos Texturing photo surfaces. Learn how to make your photos take on a matte finish, or other interesting textures.
Creating Virtual Mats and Frames Creating virtual mats and frames. Discover a straightforward technique for generating polished-looking mats and frames around your images.Now works with GIMP 2.2 !
Smart Sharpening, Redux “Smart” Sharpening, Redux. Sharpening images is a necessary step in the digital image workflow, but it can exacerbate sensor noise or film grain to unacceptable levels. Learn effective ways to sharpen without affecting the noise.


These tutorials are somewhat complex and may require skill with tools like paint/smudge/clone/convolve, advanced use of levels/curves, filters, channels and selections.

Tutorial Link Notes
Salvaging an image with blown out highlights Salvaging an image with blown out highlights using GIMP surgery. Digital cameras, like slide film, are notoriously unforgiving of overexposure; overexposed areas tend to blow out to completely white highlights with no chance of recovering the lost detail. Learn how to salvage such images.
Blending exposures Blending different exposures to increase dynamic range. Learn how to combine two different exposures of the same scene to create composite images with greater dynamic range than the film or sensor would otherwise be able to handle.
Selective colorization Selective colorization. Learn how to convert color images to black and white and then selectively restore color to certain areas for artistic appeal.
Simulated DOF Simulating shallow depth of field. Photographers using prosumer-level digital cameras have very little ability to effectively employ shallow depth of field techniques because of the small sensor size these cameras use. Learn a powerful technique to simulate shallow DOF for enhancing portraits and other images that could benefit from shallow DOF.
Soft Focus Portraiture “Soft focus” portraiture. Portrait photographers sometimes employ special “soft” lenses to impart a glowing, flattering and “dreamy” feel to their subjects. Learn how to simulate this effect digitally.
Cosmetic Retouching Cosmetic (“glamour”) retouching. Learn how to effectively retouch images to enhance skin tone, remove blemishes and wrinkles, whiten teeth, etc.(I recommend that you read the previous companion tutorial on soft focus portraiture first.)
Replacing a Background Replacing a background. Replace a background in a photograph with a completely different one.
Replacing a Foreground Replacing a foreground. Select a subject out from a plain background and paste it into a new one.


  1. […] photographers, here are tutorials by the GIMPguru I think you’ll find very […]

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  2. […] In this portrait image I made some other changes in the background of the picture like hiding some part and applying a blur filter. There is a lot of free tutorials about Gimp. To make those changes I used this link : […]

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