Giving Your Pictures HDR Look Using GIMP

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:

100_0193-1024x576

After:

100_0193M-modified-1024x576

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:

step1-1024x575

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

step2-1024x575

After repeating the previous step 4-5 times, the picture should start looking like this:-
step3-1024x575

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:

step4

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.

refresh_scripts-1024x575

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

step5-1024x575

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

HDR Modified 1024x576

You can download the finished version here. If you liked this technique and applied it on your own photos, please post your versions in the comments.

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