Goodbye PhotoShop. Hello GIMP

CindyCarrollEEven before I got into self publishing I loved creating covers for books. Back then I took actual book covers, erased the title and author information and replaced it with my own. They weren’t perfect but they were fun (and time-consuming) to do and they provided motivation for me to get the stories done and submit them. It was so long ago I can’t even remember what software I used to do those early covers. When I decided to self publish and do most of my own covers I needed to learn a new software because that other one was three computers ago. A few years ago I took a PhotoShop Elements class online and found the software pretty easy to use. The computer I had been using is on its last legs. I keep it around to grab things from the hard drive that I might not have backed up somewhere. The new laptop (my husband’s old laptop) didn’t have PSE installed. And there wasn’t a lot of room on it to install other software. It did have GIMP installed. At first I didn’t want to learn another program. I knew how to do everything I wanted in PhotoShop Elements. But with the old laptop increasingly unreliable I had no choice. FacebookProfileCoverPhoto9

PlanetAndStarEnter GIMP tutorials. I love YouTube. I devoured tutorials on doing covers, text effects, merging photos, creating from scratch. And I still can’t get enough. Last week when I should have been writing I was watching tutorials on how to create space scenes. Don’t ask me why I was suddenly obsessed with creating planets but I was. It might have to do with the science fiction romance story I was working on. It would be great to be able to create photos I could use on covers and not have to use my credits on a stock photo site.  Now that I know how to do those I might move on to creating insects. 🙂

So throughout this post I will present to you what I’ve done in GIMP, mostly in the past week. The only photos in this post not created in GIMP by me are my author photo and my book cover.

PlanetandNebulaWhenever I got stuck and wanted to throw in the towel, boot up the old computer and open PhotoShop Elements I turned instead to YouTube to see if there was a tutorial. I’m still getting used to the text effects in GIMP. I find them so much easier to manipulate in PSE and I still haven’t figured out how to do some things yet but I’ll figure it out eventually. And the best part about GIMP is it’s free.

What’s your favourite photo editing software?

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ReflectionsFinal2A road trip goes wrong for a group of friends trying to help one of them get over a break up. They find an inn where the mirrors are cursed and they realize they don’t know each other as well as they thought they did.

A road trip without a plan sounded like a good idea when Lena and her friends hit the road. A mini vacation and support for Steve, recently dumped, have the friends travelling through small towns and back roads. After hours of driving in the heat in a cramped car they’re all ready for something to eat and a good night’s rest. Reflections Inn looks perfect for the group of friends. A little run down, it hides a supernatural horror.

Buy on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1avH00L
Buy on Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/19Ti2ux
Buy on Kobo: http://bit.ly/13CBz9M
Buy on Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/15oFc4a

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About Cindy Carroll

Cindy Carroll is a member of Sisters in Crime and a graduate of Hal Croasmun’s screenwriting ProSeries. Her interviews with writers of CSI and Flashpoint appeared in The Rewrit, the Scriptscene newsletter, the screenwriting Chapter of RWA. She writes screenplays, thrillers, and paranormals, occasionally exploring an erotic twist. A background in banking and IT doesn’t allow much in the way of excitement so she turns to writing stories that are a little dark and usually have a dead body. When she’s not writing you can usually find her on Twitter.
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16 Responses to Goodbye PhotoShop. Hello GIMP

  1. Doris says:

    Well Cindy, you’ve up and added some more things for me to learn, and I appreciate it. This sounds like fun.

    Best to you on the writing and ‘creating’ Doris

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  2. Travis says:

    That is impressive work Cindy. Your use of light and texturing is impressive. I used Photoshop back when it was 4.0 and 5.0. Some Illustrator work too. I got an Adobe Suite a few years ago so I could edit the LA Sisters in Crime newsletter in InDesign. So much has changed. Many of the key combinations that I knew are different. Outside of a couple of projects I haven’t had much time to play with it, but some day I might.

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  3. Nancy Jardine says:

    Well done, Cindy, and good luck with future uses! I use an ancient version of Paintshop Pro and can only do certain things that I’ve learned. My hubby bought me a Photoshop Elements Basic Prog last year for my birthday (as an upgrade/replacement) but I still can’t use it properly and, to my shame, have never made time to learn to use it beyond the really basic which took me 5 times as long as with my old PSP …

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  4. Being visually impaired, I don’t use photo editing software. I let people with good eyes handle my book covers. For my latest poetry collection, a friend took a picture of a neighbor’s pair of pants that was hanging on the clothesline and made it look like a drawing instead of a photograph. If I were to edit photos, they would look like something the cat dragged in which would be great if I were writing a children’s book about a cat who stole someone’s pet mouse.

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  5. Mike Staton says:

    GIMP sounds fascinating. As a big space fan (you may have seen some posts on FB I did on New Horizons’ close encounter with Pluto back in July), I enjoyed looking at your artwork. Back before I retired as a newspaper reporter, I had to use Photoshop to get photos ready for the newspaper.

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  6. Pingback: Goodbye PhotoShop. Hello GIMP | Anita & Jaye Dawes

  7. jenanita01 says:

    I tend to use all sorts of things to create covers, banners etc… But will be looking at Gimp now, thanks for the heads up!

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  8. Wranglers says:

    I use fotoflexr, you did a great job. All that is interesting. Wish I had more time, but I will come back to this post in the future for the links to learn. I have Gimp on my computer, but I’ve never used it. Cher’ley

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  9. Neva Bodin says:

    Hadn’t heard of GIMP so learned more again. I have a photo editing program that came with my camera but can’t alter some I bring on through a flash drive etc. Do need to learn more. Good job and interesting blog.

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  10. katewyland says:

    Glad you’re having success with GIMP. I downloaded a few years ago but couldn’t figure out how to use it. PaintShop Pro was so much easier. Never thought of Utube videos. May give them a try since I’ve retired the computer with PSP and haven’t wanted to spend money on a new version.
    Great images!

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  11. wyoauthor1 says:

    A friend of mine told me about GIMP several months ago. I still have Photoshop but I don’t use it much. My husband found something called Cover Lover about a year ago, and though it doesn’t have many templates, it’s been great for me thus far. I’ll be looking into more options later when I’m ready for another book. Thanks for the reminder about GIMP — great post, Cindy, and all the best to you with your future writing and book cover projects!

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  12. Joe Stephens says:

    These images are great! I use PhotoShop Elements sometimes, but mostly I use my school friends who are really good at this stuff already.

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  13. S. J. Brown says:

    Actually I don’t do much photo editing. Sounds like you are having fun exploring all that Gimp can do. Keep playing you are doing good. I like the shots you included.

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