The Gimp

GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. An open source application, GIMP is freely distributed and readily available to anyone who wants to use it. It has the capability to perform image authoring, photo retouching, or enhancements of existing images, and generating pictures or composing images. GIMP works just like Adobe Photoshop and it has the potential to be a convenient alternative. The software runs on Windows XP or Vista, MAC OS X, Linux, and Sun OpenSolaris. This application can be attributed to Peter Mattis and Spencer Kimball, who are the developers of the program.

Compared to a multi platform photo editor like JPhotoBrush Pro, GIMP can be downloaded for free on the web. However, JPhotoBrush Pro, a commercial graphics editor, offers more enhanced features, newer effects, and transformations. This type of software is more suitable for professional works.

Even if GIMP can just be used as an alternative or an option to bigger and more established graphic editors like Adobe Photoshop or Corel Paint Shop Pro, it is still useful in professional image processing. Its features are very similar to that of Photoshop and Corel Draw. Moreover, GIMP has a wide range of plugins or scripts that can help in the enhancement of your work.

Since GIMP is an open source application, it makes sense that the program’s features are not as comprehensive as that of larger graphic editors. There are certain features that are not present in GIMP. One is a lack of support for modern color space models and advance color management. It doesn’t have the native CMYK support. Lab colors, duotone support, and adjustment layers are not available as well. Also, it does not support RAW formats. Plug-ins may allow for some of these lacking features and file formats to become available, but the GIMP code needs to have a rewrite, which may not take effect until the release of the latest GIMP version.

The introduction of GIMP as a marginal alternative to other image editors is a nice breakthrough, considering that it is readily obtainable and downloadable. However, it still requires more features, such as those found in Photoshop. If you are a casual user and do not use many of its plug-ins and features, then GIMP is a good choice. But if you are engaged in professional work dealing with graphics enhancement such as film production, print publication, and professional photography, Photoshop may be more suitable.