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31 May 2013

How to Create a Textured Background Using GIMP Filters

What's Behind It All


What do you do if you have a nice photo of a person, animal, or other image, but the background is ugly or distracting, or you're really interested only in the main subject? Well, the first thing you can do is remove the background. (See Which Tool Should I Use to Cut Out an Irregular Image?) But then what? Now you have an image just hanging in space.

King Vulture Cutout Image
I feel like something is missing.

This novice-level tutorial explains one technique you can use to create a textured background for your image by using various GIMP filters and overlaid layers.

21 May 2013

A Non-Destructive Adjustable Way to Sharpen a Photo

Honing Your Photo-Sharpening Skills


A while back I read an article on gimpedtutorials.com called How to Make Images Super Sharp in Gimp 2.8. It's a shame this tutorial no longer exists because it contained some really useful techniques. Fortunately, I saved a list of the steps and have been using one of the methods fairly often to sharpen my photos. The nice thing about this method is that it involves using new layers and layer modes and doesn't make any changes to the original image. It's also easy to adjust the sharpness by simply sliding the layer opacity up and down until I like what I see.

I'll use this photo of fuzzy little prairie dogs to illustrate the steps for sharpening an image.

Prairie Dogs - Original Photo
Psst! Hey! Look at that!