Show me what it’s all about!

I find it ironic that this installment of the Teacher Challenge is about images. Why? I am one of the yearbook advisers. Our first big deadline is next week, and I have been looking at photos and images all day!

I am sure you noticed; I am one of those people who likes to really delve into the tech and design aspect of the web and photos. I would love to be able to use Photoshop for everything, but let’s be honest. It’s a little pricey (even with the edu discount!)

But never fear! All is not lost. I have found two image programs that really help with the manipulation and the creation of images.

The first is Inkscape. Inkscape is a vector graphics program. It is most useful for creating new artwork. At the end of the post, I have included a gallery of images I have created solely using Inkscape (except the photo of me). The best thing about Inkscape is that it is a free program. If you’re like me, free is great!

However, sometimes what we need is more photo manipulation (and the application of artistic effects). In this case, The Gimp is the program you want. Once again, it is freeware, and it is similar to Photoshop.

I rarely use just one of these programs; I often use them together to create really stunning effects. The comic styled photo here used The Gimp to give the overall photo the comic feel and Inkscape for the text boxes and effects. (Our yearbook this year is comic book style, so I’ve had lots of practice with these effects!)

The best thing of course is for every image you make yourself, you know you absolutely have the rights to publish!

What are your favorite cost effective ways to manipulate photos offline?

By Janelle

Space geek, science nerd extraordinaire. That's me! Want to know more, visit the About page.


  1. Hi Janelle,
    Thanks for sharing both these sites that I hadn’t heard of before. Congratulations also on being one of the yearbook advisors – editing a school magazine can be a huge and thankless task! We start school after summer holidays next week, so I hope I can keeping contact with you about science classes.

    1. Thanks, Britt! I do hope you find the sites useful. I am all about freeware!

      Working on the yearbook definitely takes a lot of extra time and work, but it so worth it at the end of the year when we get it in and everyone loves it. I am expecting the final product this year to be epic!

      I would love to keep in touch with you once school gets started for you.

  2. Thanks for sharing these two great sites. Gimp is a very popular tool amongst those who are involved in Second Life and virtual worlds. Did it take you long to learn how to use it effectively? Inkscape is one that I do not know of. Really appreciate you sharing the gallery so that we can see what can be done with those tools. I also found it interesting that you use a combination of tools which I think is often necessary with online tools, especially those that are free.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Anne!

      I have found that The Gimp is pretty easy to get a hang of – especially if you have used other image editors like Photoshop. (By the way, I tried to get into Second Life a few years ago, and I couldn’t. I think that’s probably a good thing since I don’t need to spend more time doing something else online!)

      Inkscape definitely has a steeper learning curve. It’s not easy to get a hold of it just by playing with it. However, there are some fantastic tutorials online, and that is how I learned to use it more effectively.

  3. Thanks for sharing the links! Freeware is great. I’ve downloade Picasso, but haven’t played with it much except to resize pictures. I’ll definitely check out Gimp and Inkscape, but first I must grade editorials that came in this week.

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