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After you ve adjusted the colors, you might want to use the Crop tool (see Table 20-1) to remove any extraneous details outside the focus of the image. For example, in a portrait of someone taken from a distance away, you might choose to crop the photo to show only the person s
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CHAPTER 20 IMAGE EDITING
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head and shoulders, or you might separate a group of people from their surroundings, as shown in Figure 20-5.
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Figure 20-5. You can use the Crop tool to remove any irrelevant details surrounding the subject of your photo. You might also want to use the Clone tool to remove facial blemishes. Start by using the Zoom tool to close in on the area. If the blemish is small, you might need to zoom in quite substantially. Then try to find an area of skin that is clear and from which you can copy. Hold down Ctrl and click in that area. Then click and draw over the blemish. The crosshair indicates the area from which you re copying.
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One final handy trick employed by professional image editors to give their photos a shot in the arm is to use the Sharpen filter. This has the effect of adding definition to the image and negating any slight blur caused by things such as camera shake or poor focusing. To apply the Sharpen filter, right-click the image and select Filters Enhance Sharpen. As shown in Figure 20-6, a small preview window will show the effect of the sharpening on the image (you might need to use the scroll bars to move to an appropriate part of the image). Clicking and dragging the slider at the bottom of the dialog box will alter the severity of the
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CHAPTER 20 IMAGE EDITING
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sharpening effect. Too much sharpening can ruin a picture, so be careful. Try to use the effect subtly.
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Figure 20-6. Sharpening an image can give it a professional finish by adding definition. The Sharpen filter is just one of many filters you can apply in The GIMP, as explained in the next section.
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Like other image-editing programs, The GIMP includes many filters to add dramatic effects to your images with little, if any, user input. Filters are applied either to the currently selected layer or to a selection within the layer. To apply a filter, right-click the image and choose the relevant menu option. If you don t like an effect you ve applied, you can reverse it by selecting Edit Undo, or by pressing Ctrl+Z. The submenus offer filters grouped by categories, as follows: Blur: These filters add various kinds of blur to the image or selection. For example, Motion Blur can imitate the effect of photographing an object moving at speed with a slow shutter. Perhaps the most popular blur option is Gaussian Blur, which has the effect of applying a soft and subtle blur.
CHAPTER 20 IMAGE EDITING
Color: This option includes many technical filters, mostly of interest to image technicians or those who want to uncover and otherwise manipulate the color breakdown within an image. However, Filter Pack might appeal to the general user. This filter can quickly adjust the hue, saturation, and other values within the image. Also of interest is Colorify, which can tint the image to any user-defined color. Figure 20-7 shows an example of using the Colorify filter.
Figure 20-7. The Colorify filter can be used to add a sepia-like effect to a picture. Noise: This collection of filters is designed to add speckles or other types of usually unwanted artifacts to an image. These filters are offered within The GIMP for their potential artistic effects, but they can also be used to create a grainy film effect simply click Scatter RGB. Edge Detect: This set of filters can be used to automatically detect and delineate the edges of objects within an image. Although this type of filter can result in some interesting results that might fall into the category of special effects, it s primarily used in conjunction with other tools and effects. Enhance: The Enhance effects are designed to remove various artifacts from an image or otherwise improve it. For example, the Despeckle effect will attempt to remove unwanted noise within an image (such as flecks of dust in a scanned image). The Sharpen filter discussed in the previous section is located here, as is the Unsharp Mask, which offers a high degree of control over the image-sharpening process.