This GIMP (GNU) tutorial demonstrates how to improve an image using Layer Blending Modes. To work along, you are welcome to download the Start Image I am working with Here. Unzip the file and open the image onto GIMP’s workspace.
You can quickly Undo a step at any time by pressing Ctrl then Z. Alternatively, click a previous Undo History snapshot - Windows then Dockable Dialogues then click Undo History. In addition, to Zoom in (or Zoom out) of your image; from the top menu, choose View then select a Zoom Tool from the subsequent drop-down list.
Launch GIMP & Organise Its Workspace & Palettes
Open your Start Image onto GIMP’s workspace - File then Open - Ctrl then O.
Ensure the Layers and the Undo History Palettes are visible, and then drag them into position over your workspace - (Windows then Dockable Dialogues - then click Layers and Undo History).
Now, Duplicate your photograph by right-clicking over the Layer Palette’s Background Layer, and then by selecting Duplicate Layer from the subsequent drop-down menu. And ensure the Background Copy Layer remains active - as illustrated below.
Then from the top menu, choose Filters then choose Blur and then choose Gaussian Blur. Now, from the subsequent Gaussian Blur dialogue box, enter the following Blur Radius settings, or experiment, and then click OK.
Blur settings are dependant upon your image’s Resolution (size). Therefore, for personal results, experiment with different Blur Radiuses.
Still working on the Background Copy Layer: change its Blending Mode from Normal to Overlay.
Once you have clicked to highlight a Blending Mode, you can quickly scroll through the Blending Mode choices by tapping your Keyboard’s Downwards or Upwards Arrows.
Changing the Blending Mode to Grain Merge, and lowering the Layer Opacity to around 89% produces the following effect.
To finish, from the top menu, choose Image and then choose Flatten Image.
Congratulations, your vivid image blend is complete, and is ready to save - top menu, then File then Save As. GIMP 2.8 - File then Export. Save Images Tutorial.
Wendi E. M. Scarth. Top of Page.