---- GIMP Tips, Tricks, Tutorials and Techniques ----

Make your Photos more Vibrant

Ever noticed that photos on some websites really has nice vibrant colours (no I didn't spell colours wrong, this is how we spell it Downunder - I digress) that seem to really catch your attention? Yet, your photo's are somewhat muted and dull in comparison.

With a very simple technique in the GIMP you will have your photos looking great in no time. Just one thing that I will say at this point is that you can make a good photo better but you can't make a poor photo good. So, before you start thinking I can fix all those duds, that's not what this tip is all about. This is about taking an already good image and improving it.

  1. Open up your image with the GIMP
  2. Make a duplicate layer ("Ctrl + L" will open the layers tool)
  3. Apply a Gaussian Blur to the top layer "Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur".  You can experiment with the value.  For this small websized image I used a Vertical and Horizontal blur of 10 pixels.
  4. From the layers tool select "Overlay" as the mode and change the opacity of the top layer.  You will notice that as you decrease the opacity the image will appear more vibrant than the original.  You can easily toggle between the original and modified image by turning off/on the visibility of the new layer (the little eye looking icon adjacent to the layer).  For my sample image I have set the opacity to 35%, this will vary between images.
  5. Once you are happy with the image save it and you are done.

Figure1: Before


Figure 2: After (opacity 35%)


Figure 3: Over processed (opacity 90%)

Tip: Don't overdo things using this technique.  Whilst not easy to see on these small images, Figure 3 is far too saturated and looks unnatural.