For all those who are looking to remove colored spots in pictures, you have landed in the right place. I’m an amateur photographer, a proud owner of a Nikon D40. A few days back, I took a picture of the sun with a jet passing across. The picture came out as I expected but for two spots. I wanted to remove the spots from the picture. I looked around as to what software to use to remove them and finally landed in GIMP. I agree Photoshop is an amazing software, but for a casual user like me, the reasons for choosing GIMP are simple and obvious:
- GIMP is compact. The installer is 12 MB compared to Photoshop’s 329MB
- GIMP is free. I didn’t want to pay a mammoth $599 to buy the Photoshop for editing 1 picture
- The user interface is as simple as Photoshop
I googled for few minutes as to how to remove spots in pictures using GIMP, but I could not find any solution. So I decided to give it a shot myself and I figured it out in a couple of hours. Not too bad huh considering this is my first shot at photo-editing. Worth the effort! :-)
The procedure I followed is pretty simple. The original picture is
- I started with the black dot. Choose Dodge/Burn Tool in GIMP
- Browse for the color (just click on black square below the tools). The Change Foreground Color dialog box appears. Choose a color that matches relatively closely to the background near the spot. If you are not able to find a close match like me, choose the color picker tool and click on the color you want to choose in the image. Then choose Dodg/Burn tool again
- Choose the brush size depending on the size of the spot.
- Place a single dot on the spot with the Dodge/Burn tool
- Choose the Blur tool and click on the dot you just placed. Then choose Smudge tool, click on the dot and hold the mouse button down and smudge the area like a mad man or a small child scribbling on a paper :-P. If the spot is relatively small like my black spot, this should be good enough.
- But, if the spot is relatively larger, like the other spot, this will not be enough. After smudging, choose the airbrush tool and spray the color over the smudged area (the smaller the brush size, the better). Again smudge the area with one of the following brushes Repeat this step till you are happy with the picture.
- Voila! You have successfully removed the spot! :-)
Hope this is helpful.
Disclaimer: I am not claiming this is the best way to remove spots, I am saying this works fine for me! I am an amateur, trying GIMP for the first time. There can be (and I hope there is) a better way of doing it. If you know how to do it better, please post a link to the article in the comments. Thanks!