Here is the image: Link

The best way I can describe it is converting the image to a black/white scale (heavy white) and making all instances of black==blue.That was how I approached it when trying to recreate the effect, but had little success. I prefer a solution that is doable in GIMP, since I don't have access to any other power image editing software.

EDIT: Thanks a ton to everyone for the help. There wasn't a single asnwer here that got me exactly where I wanted to be, but they all did help. And since I know what its like to come across threads like this one, I thought I'd show my progress and what I did differently.

First, Here is the raw image I was working with for demonstration purposes. Stage 1

Then, trying what one answer suggested, I created a second layer of the blue-ish color like in my example, and did a [Right Click Image] Colors-> Map-> Gradient map, but it wasn't exactly what I was looking for: Stage 2

This lead me to trying the other options in that same submenu, and I came across the Palette Map option. I selected a palette of exactly 2 colors 25408f & f7f7f7 (blue and white), which got much closer to the desired output: Stage 3

This is VERY close to what I was hoping to get, but I'm still not 100% satisfied. I have been playing with the Posterize/contrast tools and expect I'll find a balance that I like eventually. Again, thanks to everyone that posted.


1 Answer 1


Gimp 2.8 does have a Gradient Map just like Photoshop. It is under Color > Map > Gradient Map.

  1. Open your image in Gimp.
  2. Make a second layer underneath and fill it with the color you want to show through, in this case a blue or purple color.
  3. Then with your top image selected, hit the Gradient Map. You might want to make the top image high-contrast to get the look in your example.

This might get you close.

enter image description here

  • I'll just add that the example on the question has a lot of contrast. The white parts are blown, so just increse the contrast too. And instead of using white as the bright part of the gradient use gray.
    – Rafael
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 17:29
  • It looks like the example was on a screen so it is hard to tell what your are going for. But the image almost looks posterized and tonally compressed (the whites are not white). But that maybe the screen
    – clarkland
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 17:41
  • It did get me close, instead of using the Gradient Map option, i used the Palette Map option. See my edits if you are curious.
    – Cory Wolfe
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 18:22
  • I'm not a power user of GIMP by any means. didn't know about the Palette Map. You are going for a more posterized look. Hmmm...
    – clarkland
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 20:29

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