Wedding Photo Enhancement using The GIMP


I have been giving a lot of love to Inkscape lately, so I thought I would do a Gimp tutorial today.
I recently did a photo shoot for a wedding. I will show you how to do some enhancements to the photos using the GIMP.



Step 1 - Duplicate layer
We want to duplicate the background layer. We probably won't need to use this, but it is good to have a backup and a reference point.
Step 2 - Adjust Levels
The image is quite flat right now, so we want to bring out some of the levels.  Go to Colors>Levels
You can do auto level at this point and that usually works quite well, but I want to get it a bit more exact.
Choose the black eye dropper and pick the darkest region on her hair.



Now pick the white eyedropper and pick the whitest region on the white flowers.
That should make the levels pop a bit more.

While we have the levels dialog up, we will lighten it a bit and increase the contrast.

Move the sliders until you are satisfied.  I moved the middle slider to .90 and the white slider to 235.


Step 3 - Vibrancy and Saturation


Let's make the colors a bit more vibrant.
Open Colors>Hue-Saturation...   Increase saturation (I did 20).



Step 4 - Fine Tuning

You may be happy with your image now and can skip this step.  If you want to do some more fine tuning, you can go back to levels and edit some of the levels.  I usually edit some of the color channels (like red) to get the color more how I want it.  You can also do more adjusting with hue and saturation.

Step 5 - Soft Glow

Duplicate your layer.
On your new layer, add a Gaussian blur.  Filters>Blur>Gaussian Blur...
Blur with a value of 4 or 5.



Now change the layer mode to "Screen" and turn the opacity down to about 25%

Layer mode to screen






Step 6 - Add a vignette


Create a new transparent layer.
Select the gradient tool.  Choose FG to transparent.

Reverse the gradient direction, then choose "Radial" as the gradient shape.

Draw the gradient over the image.  Start where you want your hightlight to be (in this case, the bride's cheek area) and draw to just outside the screen.  Turn the opacity down to about 30%


Here is the before and after:

Before

After
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21 comments

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Anonymous
AUTHOR
December 13, 2010 at 6:12 AM delete

Instead of just using the saturation slider, I usually prefer to pass a layer through a LAB decomposition, there are good tutorials which cover the process:
http://www.digital-photography-school.com/turn-ho-hum-color-into-wow-with-photoshop

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December 13, 2010 at 9:54 AM delete

Thanks for the tip and link! Just played around with that for a bit. It was fun playing with decomposition and curves. I think I will play with it some more and perhaps do a tutorial when I come up with something cool!

Thanks again!

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January 17, 2011 at 3:40 AM delete

Hey that's cool enhancing the photo's no need buy DSLR Camera just edit the photo in adobe photoshop...i had my own technique witch i edit it in a easy way without adobe photoshop, i used Microsoft Picture Manager as a simple editor. just click the edit picture and adjust the contrast and the brightness then you see the changes on your picture..easy Enhacement...:)

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Anonymous
AUTHOR
July 28, 2011 at 9:35 PM delete

Ugh!... Go to the trouble of ding a Gimp tut then get comments about Photoshop and MS Picture Manager. Jeez.

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Stan S
AUTHOR
September 3, 2011 at 12:31 PM delete

To Anonymous;
If you shoot photos with your iphone, I see no reason to not use auto-everything like Emperor stated.

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September 5, 2011 at 2:24 AM delete

Just Love the photos!!! You take such wonderful shots and the couples do look adorable. Thanks for the nice pictures. :)

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September 12, 2011 at 4:04 AM delete

Thank you so much! That is wonderful to hear. I certainly appreciate your compliment!

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September 21, 2011 at 11:14 PM delete

My true passion is photography. Everyday in life I look for new inspiration and ideas to photograph your wedding in a unique way, mixing true photojournalistic approach with creative portraits.Thanks for the nice blog.:)

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Anonymous
AUTHOR
October 13, 2011 at 5:34 AM delete

For beginners, Gimp bad for a wedding photo no lessons. How to create an album of lessons there. Luchshe use Photoshop for a lot of different lessons and it is easy to learn. Gimp no wedding lessons

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March 27, 2012 at 9:03 AM delete

Really interesting read , thanks !

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Matrimonial
AUTHOR
November 27, 2012 at 2:48 AM delete

Absolutely stunning post!! Thanks

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Anonymous
AUTHOR
March 6, 2013 at 5:24 AM delete

This guy has pinched your images for his ebay listing for gimp, yeah he's selling gimp and has 4 bids...

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Photo-Image-Editing-for-Adobe-Photoshop-CS-6-7-8-10-11-Elements-Full-Retail-user-/281070155350?pt=AU_software&hash=item4171163656&_uhb=1#ht_14175wt_1338

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March 15, 2013 at 5:33 PM delete

Thanks anon for the comment. Think it is quite interesting that they guy selling Gimp on ebay is just showing pictures of all the tutorials they find online. Does not seem very ethical to sell Gimp... oh well.

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June 18, 2013 at 2:23 AM delete

Very useful and easy to understandable tutorial san francisco wedding video

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June 30, 2014 at 4:26 AM delete

Wow! It's awesome blog post here.... really very interesting for reading.....
clipping path

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Ebnul Karim
AUTHOR
September 14, 2014 at 11:59 AM delete

It was certainly interesting for me to read that article. Thanx for it. I like such topics and anything that is connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more on that blog soon.

John Yu

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Jeams Smith
AUTHOR
March 13, 2015 at 11:56 AM delete

You have done fantastic work. Keep it up such a great post about wedding photography toronto.

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matrimony
AUTHOR
October 19, 2015 at 12:49 PM delete

thanx for amazing trick :)

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Lisa Cody
AUTHOR
March 4, 2016 at 5:46 PM delete

So glad I came across your tutorial....my daughter had a friend take pictures for her wedding and she did an awesome job but she wanted the raw photos and asked my to enhance and edit them. I use GIMP and you helped so much. Thank You

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