Gimping along



I have been meaning to learn Photoshop, or its equivalent, for around 20 years now, ever since I tried to sign up for an overly-popular course in college (that, needless to say, I did not get into). I always figured it would come in handy if I knew how to use it, even if I didn’t strictly need it for anything I had going on. I’ve attempted to play with it on my own on several occasions, but this always leads to frustration – the interface just isn’t intuitive to me, and I am impatient.

A while ago I was poking around on Coursera, an online platform for free courses, when I came across Introduction to Computational Arts, a course which promised to teach the basics of photo editing. At this point I can’t possibly justify the expense of Photoshop, so I was glad to see that the course also worked with GIMP, a free photo editor that is similar.



Just a couple lessons into the course, and I’m delighted with the simple photo editing that I’m able to do. As I often use photographs as references for my paintings, I’m excited to suddenly have the ability to manipulate these photographs to create stronger compositions, for example, and to experiment with colors and pictorial elements before I start painting. Plus hopefully the next time I have to design a flyer for an exhibition, there will be much less cursing involved.

GIMP seems to offer most of the same functionality as Photoshop, minus a couple tools. It’s a bit clunkier for some functions, but it gets the job done. As I progress in the course, I’ll see if my opinion of GIMP changes.

Have you ever taken any online courses? Any that you’d recommend?

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