About 95% of my tutorials are Photoshop Tutorials.  That is probably frustrating for the less fortunate that do not own Photoshop.  It is extremely expensive, I did not spend $900 on it, I didn’t hack it either!  My wife is a student so I got the student version of CS5 for $300 registered in her name.  For me that is a reasonable price.  When I think about it, I probably spend about 40 hours a week on  Photoshop so $900 for that much entertainment isn’t bad either, but cheaper is always better.  The good news is, there are free alternatives to Photoshop!

I recently took a look at a lot of artists on Redbubble that use Gimp as their primary image editing software.  Gimp is 100% free powerful editing software with a very similar feel to Photoshop.  I quickly set it up to emulate my template in Photoshop.  You can work in layers and do almost every layer blend mode Photoshop does, Overlay, Screen, Luminosity etc.  I picked it up and very quickly was on my way to Post Processing some of my HDR images from the Hakone Garden trip my wife and I took.  The Gimp website offers many free very helpful plugins as well for it’s users.  As soon as I have a couple more hours logged using it, I will create a Gimp Video Tutorial.

The Interface:

The Good:

  • It’s FREE!
  • It resembles Photoshop very well.
  • You can work in layers.  Not very often can you work in layers in free photo software.
  • With a little bit if poking around and playing, you can find exactly what you want.  I have a learning curve because of my Photoshop knowledge.

The Bad:

  • It runs a bit slow.   I couldn’t figure out how to configure more RAM allotment to the program.

The Bottom Line:

I highly recommend Gimp to anyone on a budget who wants to make clean edits to their photos while using layers and layer adjustments.  Very powerful program for the price!

Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer, he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it's all about the art and process synergy. He dives deep into complex topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside-the-box thinking so that you can use these tricks in your workflow today!
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