Before I start writ­ing this arti­cle, I’ve to admit that I’m a big fan of HDR pho­tog­ra­phy. HDR pho­tographs are so full of mag­ic but all this mag­i­cal good­ness comes with a price. Not every­body is equipped with high-qual­i­ty pho­tog­ra­phy gears. Cams that sup­port HDR pho­tog­ra­phy are usu­al­ly very cost­ly. Real­iz­ing that the major­i­ty of ama­teur pho­tog­ra­phers can’t afford high-end dSLRs, I decid­ed to write a short tuto­r­i­al that tries to achieve HDR-like effect using GIMP, the freely avail­able open source Image Manip­u­la­tion pro­gram.

Here are Before and After shots just to show what you’ll be achiev­ing using this tech­nique:

Before:

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After:

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Should we start? I’m assum­ing that GIMP is already installed on your sys­tems. In case it isn’t already installed, get a copy for your OS and com­plete the instal­la­tion pro­ce­dure. Once you’ve got it installed, down­load the orig­i­nal image. Open it using GIMP:

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Now, go to Col­ors >> Auto and apply Col­or Enhance a few times:

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After repeat­ing the pre­vi­ous step 4-5 times, the pic­ture should start look­ing like this:-

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Now, before we can pro­ceed fur­ther, I’ll sug­gest you to down­load the Fx-Foundry Scripts Pack. You can install it via EDIT >> Pref­er­ences >> Fold­ers >> Plu­g­ins:

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After down­load­ing the script, extract it in its own fold­er. While on the Plu­g­ins win­dow, click browse and select the direc­to­ry of the down­load script. After adding the direc­to­ry path, go to Fil­ters >> Script Fu and select Refresh Scripts. A new menu “Fx-Foundry” should appear on the menu bar. In case you still can’t see it, just restart GIMP.

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Now go to Fx-Foundry >> Pho­to >> Effects and select “LOMO effect…“.

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This is it. Did you come close to some­thing like this?

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If you liked this tech­nique and applied it on your own pho­tos, please post your ver­sions in the com­ments.

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