Back on track.....helpful tips
Choosing GIMP of PhotoShop CS4 onwards...
Firstly, so you don't have to read through the usual blog rants, here is the deal: why spend all the cash on PS? When do you REALLY need PS?
1) If you need to integrate to other professionals : such as ad' agencies or design studios.
2) If you have a long history of PS; don't get side lined into a whole new set of unlearning short cut keys etc: stick to an older version of PS , you can probably buy an old machine with the CD Rom for a couple of hundred euro/squid/spondooolics.
3) If you are a budding photo-montage artist, god help us, but you will not find GIMP very good for that.
4) If you are very aware of copyright issues and want to use defined fonts and effects which you will pay reach through licesnsing for to originator
5) COlours: You need to compare image colour adjustments in the ring of image approach. You want to work in the better colour "space" that is Adobe RGB; or you need to supply Adobe RAW and tif images to a discerning customer.
6) If you have lots of cash and want to feel big and important and better than the GIMPers....
Why stick to GIMP..
Hello.....it is free... ( or try Paint SHop, LR3 etc if you have some cash)
1) GIMP has a pretty easy to understand user interface
2) GIMP is a community oreintated happening - it evolves and you can get information on how to use it or add plug ins free on the internet. Alternatively you can pay for books
3) Bit Maps are Bit Maps: noughts and ones: although GIMP does some things slower, functions like rotate are fast and the whole thing uses up less processor power, onboard memories, bus-bandwidth , RAM/ virtiual memory, and hard disk space. GIMP doesn't seem to lose data or introduce "Hot" pixels like even olympus viewer seems to do.
4) GIMP from the Gnu central administrasjon at least, ensures all fonts and effects are copyright waived: there is no reach through if you utilise them professionally.
5) You have no relationship to PS and think that the cash, like french vintage wines, is maybe beyond what your abilities to get out of it are worth when compared.
Personal Aside and Recommendation
I like GIMP, but I have become more used to settings on the Olympus E-450, so I spend less time in "Post". In fact I have a pile of images from my early days which are killer but have poor exposure or need rotating. So by taking better JPEGS in the first place, I can just crop and repurpose to the size I need for internet, printing or reference.
Curve work seems to be excellent and relatively fast. Gausian blur / high pass are slow, but work well. Rotation stutters but comes up with a file size not much less than the original. Effects vary and some plug ins can fail
GIMP is good for masks and layers, with a reasonable set up akin to earlier PS versions ( PS 4 or 5 users would like GIMP given they had been in liquid nitrogen for the last decade)
With Spotify and GIMP open at the same time, I feel like maybe an early 90s hacker in the virtual bank vault. I am getting spoilt rotten.