Darran Mountains, Gimp edit

On a recent trip, I found myself at the entrance to the homer tunnel on the Te Anau to Milford Highway. It was very late in the afternoon and I didn’t intend going to Milford Sound so I turned around and pulled over. The mountains surround me and seem to go straight up, in front on me is a very old tree, covered in lichen and looking like something out of Lord of the Rings. I decided to make this tree the focus of an image, the scale of what was in front of me was too much for a single frame so I decided to shoot a 4xframe panorama.

Darran Mountains with tree
Darran Mountains

I did some basic edits in Darktable before creating the panorama in Hugin Panorama Stitcher, both are free and open source. The stitch was pretty good but the image didn’t really work.

Image from Hugin Panorama Stitcher
Image from Hugin Panorama Stitcher

The tree blended into the background and although the detail is there it was always going to be a big ask to get the tree to stand out. The edit was quite complicated but thanks to a few new tools in the latest version of GIMP 2.10.20 I got a result I was happy with.
The silver dot in the sky on the left side is the moon and not a UFO.

I made a small video of the drive to Homer Tunnel with a couple of photos on the way.

They will get better…
This is the shot I took on the way.


Going through my archives, I found this image of a Fantail.
It’s not a horrible photo but it’s definitely not a good one either. I’m going to try and improve this image with Luminosity Masks in GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program).

Original Image

The original image was dull and this little guy just blends into the background, which he is supposed to do of course. I decided to use luminosity masks to lift the darker parts of the image and add a little saturation. I erased the leaves on the bottom right of frameand cropped the image.

edited imige

If you are a GIMP user and would like to have a go at Luminosity Masks, head over to Davies Media Design on YouTube he has excellent tutorials
Using Luminosity Masks to Fix Dark Objects

If you want to try GIMP, its open sourced and completely free, click the GIMP lol

GIMP logo

Happy editing 🙂