Michael J. Hammel's The Artist's Guide to GIMP 2nd ed. (No Starch Press)

Michael J. Hammel is one of the ur-names associated with the GIMP graphic design and photo manipulation application. Back in the 1990s, the producers of Linux Journal published the first edition of Hammel's book The Artist's Guide to GIMP, which No Starch Press recently released in a fully updated 2nd edition. The new edition, which carries the subtitle "Creative Techniques for Photographers, Artists, and Designers", illustrates how to put the GIMP's powerful tools to work to produce professional-looking advertisements, apply impressive photographic effects, and design cool logos and text effects. Hammel demystifies the notoriously challenging elements of the GIMP not with a boring list of menu paths and options but with step-by-step tutorials that help to accomplish important tasks. After a crash course in GIMP's core tools like brushes, patterns, selections, layers, modes and masks, the reader will learn photographic and Web-design techniques, as well as type and advertising effects. Readers of all levels will be inspired by the art that they can create.