My suggestion is to use Gimp for what you need, and work with a higher 
end camera that produces raw format images. Get Akkana Peck's book and 
start with that. Post emails to this list when you need some help. It 
also doesn't hurt to have a website where you can post your photos to.

I take technical photos (as a not very good amateur!) and edit them in 
the Gimp. I feel no need for Photoshop. The choice of either software 
title is really a personal preference.

I myself have not seen a photographer using film in quite some time. 
They all seem to be digital now. For example, the photographer for my 
daughter's wedding is a professional and he used a Nikon digital.

I fix computers for many different people, but don't have a professional 
photographer among them. Many of my users are interested in working with 
digital photos and they want "light" versions of Photoshop. But here is 
what they are really looking for: they want software that acts as a 
"magic bullet" that modifies a photo with little or no effort on their 
parts, and yields a pleasing look. I have yet to see anyone with an 
instructional book on image manipulation software of any kind. My 
customers are allergic to learning curves and will give up very quickly 
if presented with a task that requires them to learn anything. They want 
the software and computer to do it all for them with no hands.

Given limits on your available time, and so on, the 30 day "free" 
Photoshop trial may not be enough to evaluate it properly. I know from 
watching others play with different software titles that they can take 3 
months to decide something is or is not doing what they want.

As another person said, if you are interested in having a specific 
feature implemented in Gimp why not offer feedback to the developers and 
request it? That will give you a better product and it is still free.


On 01/12/2010 11:51 AM, Nuno Miguel dos Santos Baeta wrote:
> Hello!
> I don't understand anything about digital image manipulation but I've
> got to learn as, last year, I finally bought a digital camera, after
> making photos with film for many years, mainly B&W which I developed
> and printed myself.  To learn digital image manipulation I need a
> program such as GIMP and Photoshop.
> Another important piece of information about me: I've been using Un*x
> since 1986.  These days I use OpenBSD (server) and
> Debian/Ubuntu/gNewSense (desktop/laptop) and I don't want to change OS
> - if I have to, I'll be changing to Mac OS X, no Microsoft Windows.
> According to my 'research', Photoshop is the 'de facto' standard for
> image manipulation, quite expensive and exists for Mac OS X or
> Microsoft Windows.  GIMP is free, its license is GPL, and exists for
> GNU/Linux, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows.
> My 'research' included asking on a mailing list about photography
> (photos made with a specific brand of cameras) about technical
> differences between these two programs.  The answers I got can be
> summarized to:
> * Photoshop: Must be used for 'serious' work.
> * GIMP: May be used for 'serious' work if that means showing a photo
> on a web page.  Otherwise forget it because:
>    ** Is has no color management (I don't know what this is);
>    ** Just 8 bit/channel;
>    ** No CMYK.
> Even though answers on this list may be biased, I have to ear them.
> So, are this statements true?
> TIA!
> PS - I have also been advised to use a program such as Aperture (Mac
> OS X only) or Lightroom (Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows), as that is
> what a photographer really needs.  Because of this advise, I guess
> I'll be asking some questions on the digiKam and F-Spot mailing lists,
> as presume these make the same job as Aperture or Lightroom.
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