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BIMP: A Time Saving Tool For Photographers

BIMP stands for the Batch Image Manipulation Program, which is a specific addon for GIMP, the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It’s worth noting that BIMP is free and has to be my favourite time saving tool, whether I am creating a GeekOut Bristol Meet gallery like this past Monday, or if I just want to reduce the brightness of an image like I did in my AmeCon Cosplay Masquerade gallery. I have been using BIMP for over a year and I don’t know what I would do without it. It’s become a part of my work life during GeekOut Media activities, so it’s not surprising that I have a lot to say about it.

BIMPs Menu system is clean and easy to understand.

BIMPs Menu system is clean and easy to understand.

BIMP offers a wide variety of tools and allows you to apply them to a vast array of images, all of which you specify. You can grab images from various folders and put them all, with alterations, to another folder completely. You can select specific images, or even whole folders. You can even get all the images in subfolders this way. To top it all off, it’s so lightweight, my Lenovo Yoga tablet runs it with ease, hence I was able to put the previously mentioned Cosplay Masquerade gallery up whilst at AmeCon.

BIMP allows you to do a selection of basic editing on a very large number of files in a timely manner. Most GeekOut gallery images end up at 1024×768 in size as it’s a simple size to go by. It reduces file size greatly, it becomes a cleaner image and overall, it makes more sense. You don’t want to wait for several minutes for the website to load… and I don’t want to make you wait. With BIMP, I can apply the same resize action to 50, 100, 500 images and it doesn’t struggle. For 50 images being resized on my PC, it takes barely any time at all. Perhaps 2 minutes at most. On my tablet, it might take 10-15 minutes, which is still better than the several hour process it would originally have taken doing each file separately.

The Resize tool is an easy way to apply the same resize job to a batch of images.

The Resize tool is an easy way to apply the same resize job to a batch of images.

Whilst this is all well and good, there are some limitations. BIMP is literally like it sounds, it is a tool to apply to a variety, or a batch, of images. As such, once you start, unless you cancel it, you have to wait to see the results. Once you start, you have no choice but to wait… however you can use this to your advantage as well. For instance, you will be able to save your new “BIMPed” images to another folder, or with the “Rename with pattern” feature. The point is, just because you can’t go back, doesn’t mean all is lost.

The images I took at AmeCon would flit between perfectly lighted to far too bright. I took the ones that were far too bright and put them under the charge of BIMP. I changed the brightness and contrast once I had experimented with one of the photos and found the right balance. Once the brightness had been sorted out, I took all of the photos and reduced their size to the aforementioned dimensions. This took about 30 minutes of processing time, but it took me longer to sort everything out due to the fact I had over 150 photos of the Masquerade. Goes to show that even my tablet has a higher processing power than me!

Loads of files edited after a BIMP job was complete.

Loads of files edited after a BIMP job was complete.

I would be lost without BIMP, even though it is “just” an addon. The addon isn’t it’s own application but it is the workings of , who clearly realised this type of tool would be beneficial to many people. I thoroughly implore you all to go and try it out, it might be enough to make you see the true power of open source applications and GIMP. Once the addon is downloaded, simply click on the File menu and it should be listed there. But that’s enough from me and it now over to you. What do you think of BIMP? Do you have a similar tool for your batch photography? As always, let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.

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