Free GIMP Plugins for Photographers


GIMP is one of the most popular and open-source Photoshop alternatives and probably the first stop for a lot of people who cannot afford expensive proprietary software. In order to get the most out of GIMP there are heaps of plugins that can be installed to provide more functionality. These are some of the most popular plugins that GIMP has to offer.

Note: You can download GIMP for free at

Photo by TheZionView View


There really is no way to completely describe all the effects this plugin has. There are so many ways this plugin processes images that many GIMP users have commented this package should be included with the standard installation of GIMP. It's available for all of Windows, Linux, and Mac and should be one of the first plugins that you download.

Wavelet Denoise

If you need to get rid of any noise or grainy textures in your photos, then this is the plugin for you. It allows you to adjust the noise by each color level. It doesn't suffer from much loss, so your photos stay sharp. Well worth having for this common problem – especially if you shoot a lot of low light or high ISO images.

Photo by Vladimir Fedotov

Save for Web

When posting pictures to the Internet, you need them to be small enough that others can download them quickly. However, you still need the picture to keep enough detail to be enjoyed by others seeing them. Instead of messing around with the settings manually, this plugin makes the judgment call for you. Many times, it gets it right on the first try.


This plugin is useful for giving images that “web 2.0” look where the bottom half of an image is subtly reflected underneath it. It's very popular for creating buttons and badges. Probably not a “photography” plugin per se, but useful for designers.

National Geographic Script

If you'd like to give your photos a professional touch like that found in the magazine, then you should check out this plugin. It handles many different types of images, but is specifically designed for portraits and is popular because it adds a certain pop to photos by adjusting contrast and highlights. Worth a look for sure.

Photo by Robin

Auto Rotate

This is another plugin that corrects errors. If your horizons are slightly off, this plugin will rotate the objects in focus to be completely flat and level without using the grid layover.

Liquid Rescale

This plugin is nothing short of amazing. It re-sizes pictures without distorting important features like faces and bodies. This can be very useful for pictures of people set against and panoramic background. It is well worth downloading to see what effects you can get with it.


What else is there to say? If you need to add borders to your photos, and get this plugin with many features.

So there you have it. These GIMP plugins can help you extend the functionality of one of the best pieces of open source photography post production software. Some of them are useful for professional photography, and others are just plain fun. Add them to your collection of plugins today.

About Author

Rob is the founder of Light Stalking. His love for photography started as a child with a Kodak Instamatic and pushed him into building this fantastic place all these years later, and you can get to know him better here.
Rob's Gear
Camera: Nikon D810
Lenses: Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

Thanks for posting this, I’ll definitely be checking out the ones I haven’t seen before. I’ve been a GIMP disciple for 6 years now, and I don’t see any reason to switch to Photoshop. Not for my purposes, anyway. I use the NatGeo script quite often, and it’s nice to have Liquid Rescale when I need to squeeze a little more out of my shots into a given dimension. Also, don’t forget about the entire FX-Foundry plugin pack, which includes several nice little scripts for photos. I’ve personally not used G’MIC much, but there are probably some good uses for it that I don’t know about.

I am not a techie – I just like to take photographs and post-process them. I just learned of GIMP’s existence, and downloaded it. Then I downloaded some of the plug-ins you’ve highlighted. The Installation process is beyond me – unix command line instructions such as ‘make file’ or some such thing. I have no clue. Is there an Idiot’s Guide equivalent to using this software?

Charles, if you’re running in Windows, just look for the correct folder. You shouldn’t have to use any Unix commands or anything like this. The scripts folder can be found somewhere like: C:Program Files (x86)GIMP-2.0sharegimp2.0

Most of these will go in the ‘scripts’ folder that you’ll find there. You’ll also see where to put your brushes, gradients, etc…

Awesome Article, GIMP is often an underestimed Powerful App. Myself, I use GIMP Exclusively in a GNU/Debian Linux Setup, so PhotoShop even though it’ll kind of run in WINE or via a Windows install in Virtual Box or other Virtualised situation, well, it’s not really an option I want to take.

It would be great to see more GIMP Tutorials on Professional Quality Editing.

I have used gimp off and on but changed to PS to try and be able to extract an image from a photo. In PS it seems a bit easier than in gimp, but I remember a plugin I saw where the image was highlighted and you were able to extract the image. But I cannot find the plugin.

Could anyone help me here as I really need to extract images for my web site.

Thanks Rob. Great info on GIMP plug-ins. I always wondered why there was an ADD Noise function, but no Noise Reducer!!!~E

Thanks, this has been a huge help for my amateur photography set up process. It has really accelerated me along the learning curve.

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