Effective photo processing in Gimp

Having recently read an article on Photoshop processing on Habr , I wanted to tell how you can do practically the same thing without using monsters like Photoshop, and without rebooting windows.

So, a few simple tools that can significantly change the photo:

The curves


Curves are a very flexible and powerful tool. Changing white balance, inverting colors, changing contrast - all this is a special case of using curves. You can use wrapper tools, such as Color-> Brightness-Contrast , but you can do the same with curves with a greater degree of control over what is happening.
Take for example an image that lacks contrast:

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By opening the Color-> Curves tool , you can see the brightness histogram, and from it we have no really black color in the photo. In addition, the histogram shows that dark colors prevail in the photograph.
We need to make black turn black and increase the overall image brightness. To do this, we move the beginning of the curve to the beginning of the histogram, and slightly bend it up in the area of ​​light shades.

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In addition, using the curves, you can adjust the brightness separately by color channels. I bent down a little the curve of the blue channel to give the photo warmer tones.
The result of applying the curves:
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Healing brush


The healing brush is a tool to help get rid of minor defects. Acne, moles, wrinkles, dust, scratches - all this can be removed with a healing brush. You can select a treatment brush either in the toolbar or through Tools-> Drawing-> Treatment Brush . To use the brush, holding Ctrl, click on the place in the photo, which will become a replacement model. After that, you can sketch defects, the treatment brush will copy a portion of the image from the place you selected, and change its brightness so that it matches the surrounding pixels at the place of replacement.

Here is an example of the work of the healing brush + a slight increase in the contrast of the curves:
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Unfortunately, I did not find a photograph with obvious skin defects, but I hope the difference is visible.

Levels


Levels are a simplified version of curves. In principle, everything that you can do with the help of levels, you can do with the help of curves, as evidenced by the button “Change these parameters as curves”. But the levels have one bonus that allows you to quickly and easily adjust the white balance. In the dialog box of the Levels tool, we have 3 pipettes available, which you can specify where the photo should be white, black and gray. In most cases, it is enough to use only one pipette.

We have the original image. The photo seems cold, although it’s 25 degrees outside, and the skin has an unnatural blue tint:
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There are no black or white areas in this photo, so take a gray dropper and measure it by hair
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The result is now much more like reality:
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There are many more great tools in Gimp, including scaling without warping the key elements that the latest Photoshop is so proud of. I talked only about the basic correction tools that I use when processing my photos, without resorting to using any Creative suite and other ultimate editions of programs.

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