Creating rounded corners and drop shadows with GIMP

Photography as an art has many aesthetic elements. Photo blogging has many aesthetic elements too.

First, you want your photos to stand out. Hence, it’s best to use neutral backgrounds that will not compete with the colors of the photos. You don’t really want your reader to remember your beautiful web design and not remember your photos.

Second, use minimal graphics in the web design. If you have to use graphics, keep them small.

Third, rounded corners are the current craze. They add even more interest to an already beautiful photo.

colored stones

When I was still using Adobe CS2, I created the rounded corners with layers. I superimposed a second graphic to my photo to create the rounded corners. Surprisingly, it is much easier to achieve the same effect using GIMP.

Open your file. Crop and resize to your desired proportions. On the menu bar of the open file, click Script-Fu. Choose Decor in the drop-down menu, then click Rounded corners in the sub menu that appears.

how to make rounded corners using GIMP

A new window will open. Edge radius controls how rounded the corners will be. The default is 15 (pixels). I used a 12-pixel radius to make the rounded corners in the photos on this page.

There is an option to add a drop shadow to the photo in which case you may control width of the shadow horizontally and vertically.

creating drop shadows with GIMP

By increasing the Shadow X offset, the shadow to the right of the photo will become larger. By increasing Shadow Y offset, the shadow at the bottom of the photo will become larger.

Note though that the overall size of your graphic will increase with the addition of a drop shadow. You may have to resize the original photo (make it smaller) so that the new graphic (with the drop shadow) will fit into your main panel and does not break your template.


  1. says

    I’ve heard alot of praise for GIMP, I should try using it sometime. I really like the rounded corners and the shadow. Thanks for the tips.

  2. says

    For some reason the rounded corners option is not appearing under >> script-fu >> decor.

    It’s there, but its blanked out and not available.

    • Dutchman says

      Thank you very much! This worked perfectly.
      In my GIMP 2.6.11, if found it here:
      Filters -> Decor -> Rounded corners

  3. says

    More coming up. :) I closed and redirected the other photo blog so there’s just this one now. Two more subdomains to be integrated here and the tech part should be over.