Open Source Photo Editing Software
The revolution in the field of photography started by digital technology continues and is achieving remarkable advances in beating cost of photography down. One of the first achievements of digital technology was sophistication in cameras, post photo processing software and a general reduction of costs. What was achieved by all these is an explosion in the demand for high quality photographs and photographers. Having achieved a large measure of success it is continuing to drive costs down by developing open source programmes for post photo processing. What was prevalent in the market was proprietary packages, no doubt of a very high quality, was very expensive. This was followed by web based free programmes of comparable quality. The latest is the open source programmes.
Open source programmes have certain advantages. The source code has an open architecture and is freely accessible to any user. The user can modify the source as he finds it fit and circulate it freely. When a community of users is formed innovations are freely incorporated and the entire package improves. Since the user is free to do anything he deems fit, the source code can be abridged to create simpler less advanced versions. In other words the programme is self-evolving, so to say to change with the market trends without any specific cost. The ensuing cost benefit is enormous.
One of the best known packages under this category is the GIMP an acronym for
Image Manipulation Program of GNU. GIMP is a cross-platform programme that can work on GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows and others. It has almost as wide a tool set as Photoshop and similar too, making a change over very easy and hassle free. The package has a later version that gives one the same feel as the original Photoshop. The overseeing department has ensured to achieve a high degree of compatibility too to enable the users to work with all popular file formats. The file manager is second to none. GIMP has very good colour management features to ensure high-fidelity colour reproduction across digital and printed media. It can be used in workflows involving other free software such as Scribus, Inkscape, and Swatch-Booker with great benefit. It is well integrated with various programming languages like Scheme, Python and Perl. This has led to the large number of third party plugins created by the community. GIMP has thus become a preferred alternative to the expensive proprietary packages. The only limit to its improvement is the user's’ imagination.
Inkscape is another open source editor developed for vector graphics in the lines of Adobe Illustrator, Coral Draw, Freehand and the like. However it differs from the others in that its use of Scalable Vector Graphics, an open XML based W3C standard, as its original format.
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