Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Auto Colour Correct Feature: Irfan View versus Gimp 2

The other day I got Gimp2 installed to my laptop and I started using it for improving photos. In the past I relied totally on the Irfan View Program for that and thought I would be just satisfied. However, although I still praise the program for its simplicity and user friendliness, yet today I just discovered a very simple feature of Gimp2 that gives better results in photo enhancement particularly in the colour correction domain. I would like to share this with you in hopes this would help and also I would really like to hear your story if you use Gimp2 and have another simple feature that I could use.

I took this photo in Lebanon/Saida last May using a Canon 1000D and the first thing I did was open it in both Irfan View and Gimp2.

The next thing I did was adjusting the colours of this photo using the Auto Adjust Colors feature: Image-Auto Adjust Colors or -shift+u-. The result was not so dramatic as shown in the following:

The third thing that I did was open this photo in Gimp2 and using the Auto feature: Tools-Color tools-Levels-Auto and the result was very close to what I wanted and to what the colors of the sky I saw as I recall from when I was taking this photo:

I also tried the same steps using another photo, one of my portraits and I also liked the auto color correction results of Gimp2. However, on another photo, which I took in autumn 2010 using a mobile phone camera rather than an SLR camera, I could not spot any major differences between the two applications. I think the photo needed much more work than just an auto correction feature given that it was taken using a less than an average camera and with an autumn sun that was not too bright. 

In conclusion, Gimp2 in my experience is much more sophisticated than Irfan View to use for photo editing and needs much more advanced user skills than that of its counterpart. However, Irfan view is more user friendly and faster with quick photo fixes and effects. Nonetheless, they both offer an automatic color correction feature that is very simple to use, but Gimp2 -with some exceptions, such as type of camera and the intensity of light- gives better color adjustment results and more crisp, vivid and true to nature colors.

Thank you for reading.