Writers occasionally need to make use of imaging software, as I mentioned in my earlier capsule writeup about Inkscape. That program is a drawing package; but sometimes you may need to edit or enhance a picture or digital photo, rather than drawing something from scratch. This is where The GIMP comes in. Intended as an alternative to Adobe Photoshop-style applications, GIMP stands for “GNU Image Manipulation Program” (again with the acronyms); it can be used for photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring. I’ve mostly used it for photo retouching, although I do occasionally use it to mush a couple of pictures together into something else. I used The GIMP to ever-so-slightly lighten the cover of my vampire book, Long Before Dawn. Those who are graphically inclined could create their own artwork from scratch using The GIMP’s bewildering array of tools, controls, and filters. It has so many advanced features that I don’t know what 80% of them do, but they would be manna to an artist.
GIMP is available for Linux, OS X, and Dominant Operating System(TM). If you are already familiar with Adobe Photoshop, you may want to look into GimpShop instead, which attempts to replicate the Adobe Photoshop UI experience. (I’m not, so I haven’t)