[mailed and posted to list]

First thank you all for your responses.

Three of the four people who responded recommended

  Grokking the GIMP

Information about which is available at


And indeed, much of my problem is that I don't yet grok it.

Before I posted my initial query, I had looked for books on Amazon, and
saw that Grokking the Gimp was consistently highly rated.  However, the
reviews made it clear that it was an advanced book.  I also should have
mentioned that I had already ordered 

 The GIMP for Linux & Unix
 By Phyllis Davis
 a Visual Quickstart Guide
 Peachpit Press
 ISBN 0-201-70253-3
 Copyright 2000

which, I've one respondent recommended.

I will write some brief comments on the heavily snipped replies below.
Also I will post a more specific question in a following post.

On Wed, 25 Oct 2000, Ken Fisher wrote:

> The GIMP for Linux & Unix
> By Phyllis Davis

Thanks.  Already ordered.

> [...] I'm not a graphic artist, have had no training in art per se.  
> I do nature photography and use the computer to turn images into
> things.

That does make you a visual artist.  I just want to touch up, crop etc
family snapshots taken with a PHD camara (Push Here Dummy).

> Even some good books on Photoshop may help, [...] The GIMP is very
> similar in usage to Photoshop.  VERY similar!

That is an interesting idea.  But again, what I have found is difficulty
finding things in the menus.  (For example, I was unable to follow the
basic tutorial on the Gimp site.)

> Start tinkering with things, try this and that, see what you can do,
> find things you like, remember what goes crunch.

I have been.  And each time I do get better at it.  (What I haven't found
is a way to save the state of gimp, so if I get somewhere where Ctrl-Z
just doesn't do it for me, I end up starting from scratch, but I get
through the beginning bits much more quickly).

> When the "experts" say GIMP is almost the equal to Photoshop, they
> really are right.  They have also worked to get the general concepts
> under the same titles.  That is, layers in one place, are in the
> other.  Image rotation, lassos, magnetic selection tools, ........  
> same.  There are some differences like in image resizing, but what you
> learn in one will not be lost in the other.

Though some of my problem has been in finding the actual commands in the
menu tree.

Thank you Ken.

On Wed, 25 Oct 2000, William D. Tallman wrote:

> [...] download Grokking the Gimp [...] Written for non professionals

I had the impression it was written, if not for the professional, at least
for the serious amateur.  But I will certainly be looking at.

> [...] and you'll find all sorts of neat things you never knew you
> could use....<grin>

That of course is my concern.

> > Should I be using another tool?

> Yeah, there are several, of which Sketch is one [...] Go to sites like
> Freshmeat [...]

If you get to grok the Gimp, I have no problem using a tool that is more
powerful than I need.  It's just, as I've said, with a tool so powerful,
the docs become a nightmare for those who don't see the big picture.

> This'll be one of many responses, I'm sure, but I 'spect most will tell you
> to play around with it some.

Your prediction was correct.

> The trick is to have a note pad handy and write down everything you
> do, and when you come up with some neat effect, you'll know how you
> did it.  It's surprising just how easy it is to figure out how to
> apply newly acquired skills, and discover things you never knew you
> couldn't live without...<grin>

I've been told that before about lots of things.  The first one, I think
was in 1984 when someone showed me "make".  I've found that usually people
are correct when they say things like that.
> Bill Tallman

Thank you.

On Wed, 25 Oct 2000, Ben Logan wrote:

> I've found the the book available online at http://gimp-savvy.com to
> be helpful and comprehensive.

Thanks Ben, so have others.

On Thu, 26 Oct 2000, Rebecca J. Walter wrote:

> try grokking the gimp [...]

> it really has good sections on working with photos and how to fix them.


> what kidn of problems are you having that are making working with the
> gimp a "nightmare"?

More on that in a later message.  But some of the things are resolved now
that I've learned a bit more how to use the layers & channels window.
(one problem is that I had selected something, pasted it on to a new
layer, but couldn't actually do anything in the layers window until I had
"anchored" what I had pasted.  I don't know what that means, but I was
getting stuck with things like that.  There are others that I am still
stuck on and will post some specific queries, in a following message.



Jeffrey Goldberg
I have recently moved, see http://www.goldmark.org/jeff/contact.html
Relativism is the triumph of authority over truth, convention over justice

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