Gimp has so far been my favorite part of switching to Linux. For me, playing with images, just to see what all I can do, is the most fun I can have on a computer. I will probably end up putting Linux on every computer I get from now on, at least as dual-boot, just so I can have Gimp. Having this program has been the biggest validation that I made the right choice in switching to Linux.
Before switching, I didn’t really do much research into the different graphics programs. I made sure I’d be able to find a couple that would handle basic functions that I use a lot: resizing, rotating & color control. Having a nice photo editor wasn’t a need, just something I would like. I’ve tried a few different freeware editors for Windows, so I wasn’t expecting much from a free program.
My low expectations in no way prepared me for how awesome Gimp is. It’s been a while since I’ve used Photoshop, but Gimp does everything I remember Photoshop doing. I have control over layers, a ton of fine tuned tools, lots of filters, masking, etc. I mainly use photo editors to enhance my photos: correct colors, exposures, blemishes. Getting my photos from where they are to where I want them to be is fast and easy with Gimp. There are tutorials for Gimp, but so far I haven’t had to look up anything because the controls feel familiar.
I do plan on checking out the tutorials so I can try some of the more advanced features and learn some new techniques. Gimp will do animations, which is something I’d really like to try. I don’t know when I’d use it, but I like that it has an image map maker. I’d also like to refresh and improve my photo editing skills by trying out some of the projects in the Gimp tutorials. There’s really so many features, I can’t discover them all on my own.