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Are there any image retouching that can be done with GIMP to improve the picture of any landscape (snowy, sunny, ...)?

If there are photographers and graphic designers among you, I would like you to share here the procedure for these retouching operations (the retouching operations to be done via the GIMP tools/menus, the values to be filled in, and the order in which they should be done) please.

The idea is that you give a precise and numbered procedure to follow, such as "TouchUp #1: Increase the brightness by 50% by going to the X menu; TouchUp #1.1: If the color histogram, accessible in the Y menu, has such and such a value at such and such a time, then decrease the brightness by 10%; TouchUp #2: Apply the Z filter accessible in the U menu, etc.".

So we can see the presence of an order, the retouches, their values, and how to use GIMP to perform these retouches (or their location in GIMP).

I must point out that I am a newbie in the field of photo retouching!

I've heard about the following three points... maybe this can help you answer me? If you could confirm and tell me how to do this with GIMP, or even better: suggest some other things to do even better?

  • Highly saturated images are supposed to be more pleasant to look at,
  • DSLR images too
  • And those in HDR too

Thank you in advance!

  • Hi. Welcome to GDSE. There isn't one. Image editing is very dependent on the photo being edited. There's no one-size-fits-all adjustments. If you are looking for tutorials, better to have a look on youtube. – Billy Kerr May 10 at 9:50
  • This is one of those "magic bullet" requests that often spring up on design & photography sites. If there truly was a magic bullet, we'd all be out of work. Fortunately for us, there isn't. There are a myriad apps out there with a thousand presets you can try out on your photos [& as far as I'm aware, Gimp isn't one of them, they all cost money]. None of them will work for all photos. – Tetsujin May 10 at 9:52
  • @Tesujin you can create and save presets for commonly used tools in GIMP such as curves. levels, hue-saturation, colour balance etc, and there are dozens of free plugins and scripts for GIMP which offer similar semi-automatic functionality, but as you say, these won't work for all photos, – Billy Kerr May 10 at 10:11
  • That sort of recipe you are outlining is something you can make for a limited set of images which have the same properties (same subject, same photographer using the same camera with the same settings). The corrections (for example brightness) are relative to the pixels in the specific image, so different images might need different values. And most importantly, images are not perfect measurements of reality. They are interpreting reality and can be edited differently to achieve different styles. – Wolff May 10 at 10:54
  • @BillyKerr - ah, thanks for the info. Wasn't aware, I've only ever seen Gimp once - 5 minutes was enough & I went back to Photoshop. I didn't feel like I needed to re-learn how to use the wheel ;) – Tetsujin May 10 at 10:56
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There is no universal procedure. If there were one, it would be in your camera(*).

You edit a picture because you think it can be improved, so the first questions is finding what you don't like about it (because most of this is fairly subjective), usually:

  • Exposure (local or global)
  • Color (balance, saturation, skin tones...)
  • Sharpness
  • Framing
  • Distracting details

Then each of these problems can be addressed with the proper tools (there are usually several ways...). In many cases it is a matter of balance between several evils.

And remember, there is a lot of personal taste at play. What you want to achieve is part of what defines your style as a photographer.

(*) If you have a smartphone, it is more or less there already.

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