The jot of editing portrait photos!
The jot of editing portrait photos!

Image editing: GIMP explainer 3 of 5

Let's open an image and apply basic colour correction using GIMP

All our image editing explainers are waffle-free and work-tested. That’s the guarantee!

Open an image and apply basic colour correction.


Name of explainer: Open an image and apply basic colour correction

Creative theme: Image editing

Software used: GIMP

User level: BEGINNER

This is explainer 3 of 5 in this series

This series includes:

  1. Open an image, resize it and save it
  2. Open an image, rotate it and crop it
  3. Open an image and apply basic colour correction
  4. Open an image and add text
  5. Create a new image with a single-colour background

The Software

This series of beginner explainers uses GIMP, which is completely free to download and use.

Get your copy of GIMP now.

Gimp image manipulation program.
Gimp image manipulation program.

This month we’re also running explainer series for Photoshop (which requires a paid monthly or yearly subscription) and Corel PaintShop Pro (which is a one-time purchase of around 70 pounds / 80 US dollars).

The pre-requisities

This is a BEGINNER workflow explainer, so you just need to install and open the software. We’ll take it from there.

If you’re new to IT / computing, you may need help downloading and installing the software. Start with a search for ‘how do i install gimp’ or speak with someone who’s familiar with downloading and installing.

Why would I do this?

Colour correction is used to make images look ‘better’. Workflows include applying a one-click filter (for example to create a ‘retro’ or ‘hyper-real’ effect) to adjusting colour curves before printing a photo for gallery display. In this explainer we open a photo that looks ‘flat’, adjust the brightness and contrast and try out GIMP’s automatic ‘color enhance’ option.

Let’s do it!

You can download the image used in this explainer from the section further down this page.

Click the play icon to watch this video. Subtitles are available – Click the settings cog at the bottom right for options. You can also watch this video full-screen by clicking the full-screen icon at the bottom right.

Good to know

Most imaging software and apps include one-click filters or ‘looks’. They may be all you need!

Where to next?

Looking at the ‘Colors’ menu, there are additional options to try out. Feel free to play! For example, below are changes you can make to image HUE & SATURATION, which can be used to remove (or add) colour casts or add warmth/vibrancy. Remember you can use UNDO if something goes wrong!

Remember, this is part of a series of explainers for this software – Join us again for the other explainers in the series 🙂

Download the image used in this explainer

You’re welcome to download this Zoltar image for personal use only:

Notes and updates

There are no notes or advisories at this time. This video explainer was last updated in February 2023. This page was last updated in March 2024.

We at are not responsible for the content of any external webpages or software downloaded from third party sites. Links are included in good faith at the time of writing. All explainer content is compiled in good faith using processes and methods used by the team. Modern software gives users many ways in which to accomplish the same task, and for reasons of clarity we choose not to reference multiple options. All computer users should run up to date virus / security software at all times to minimise risk.

This is number 8 of 15 explainer videos available in image editing month! Make sure you check out the others!