Saturday, May 10, 2008

'Ol Blue Eyes and Gimp

I've always been a huge Frank Sinatra fan! I've got too many Sinatra CDs to count and my Cell Phone's MP3 area is loaded with Sinatra hits like "The Coffee Song", "I Love Paris", "Saturday Night is the Loneliest Night of the Week" and many others. Heck, my cell phone's ring tone is "Can I Steal a Little Love."

So, during the entire month of May, Turner Classic Movies is saluting the man and his music. This is why I've embedded the widget above. It'll give you some great vocal performances by Sinatra and allow me to segue into a Linux subject for this post.(By the way, check out the duet with Bing Crosby from The film High Society.)

A couple of weeks ago, a sales rep came into the office and remarked that his wife was taking a continuing education class on digital photo editing. The class was working in PhotoShop and he asked me to recommend a comparable program. I immediately downloaded The Gimp, burned it to disk and handed it to him to give to wife. She was delighted! Not only can she edit all the instructor's PhotoShop files, but the tools, look and feel are quite similar.

I explained that Gimp comes standard with just about every Linux distribution.

Well, the current assignment the class appears to be working on is adding color to a black and white photo.

The Sales Rep's wife has been having a bit of a problem understanding some of the concepts, so I colored in a file to show how Gimp handles this task.

I downloaded a B&W Sinatra photo from

Basically, all you're doing is creating new transparent layers on top of the original layer. You add color to specific areas of these new layers and then simply toggle the layer's atributes to create an overlay that blends into the orignal B&W photo.

By playing with the attributes setting and adjusting the opacity of the layer, you can create a realistic color photo effect as I've done with the Sinatra photo.

You can even copy layers, change the color on those layers, and try out different looks.

Gimp is easy to use, incredibly powerful and FREE! It comes free with Linux and it's free to download for your Windows or mac sytem.

But why stop at just getting Gimp? Get Linux and experience some of the most powerful and wonderful software available today!

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