Tone Mapping with GIMP

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This tutorial was last tested for the Gimp 2.2.13

The basis of this tutorial was taken from the GIMP Addict and the original can be found here.


This tutorial reduces global contrast in images while increasing local contrast and shadow/highlight detail. Use this to make your images "pop." You can see more details in the clouds, the trees across the water and the foreground:

381401793_8bbf2657d0_o.jpg 381325961_6f4013c0a9_o.jpg
Original Final

We will be using the original photo on the left than can be downloaded here.

(Images are copyright MatLG)


You need to install the Tone mapping script from the GIMP registry.

For instructions on how to install the script read the GIMP scripts page.


  1. Go to <Image> / Filters / Enhance / Tone mapping…
    • The dialog box asks the Blur factor and Opacity.
    • The smaller the blur factor the stronger the effect.
    • The opacity can be changed after the script has finished.
    • To change the Blur factor you have to Undo (Ctrl+Z) and run it again.
    • Don't thank me for the script, a mate of mine from Uni, David Meiklejohn, did it up in no time. He is very clever.
  2. Click "Ok".


  1. Combine the above technique with the HazeRemoval to improve the image even further. The first image is the original, the second one has had the Tone mapping applied, the third one has had the Haze removal applied as well:
381401793_8bbf2657d0.jpg 381325961_6f4013c0a9.jpg 381401795_03c9d49f6b.jpg
Original Tone mapping only Tone mapping and Haze removal
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