Revisiting Free Software for Photo management and editing.

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
Darktable isn't a go for me. I remember why I dumped it last time (apart from it not being enough for me). Every time I accessed a new folder, it dropped XMP sidecar files in there and I do not want to see them.
That's true; however, in GNU/Linux, the solution to this is one "rm *.xmp" away - so, not a problem if I don't want to have them :biggrin:

On a more serious note, I realise that not everyone likes or wants to do that - it's a nuisance, that's for sure. On the other hand, the XMP file means that I get to keep basic information about the file intact while editing - thus, starting over is no problem. But I guess that's the case with most applications today, anyway ... I won't evangelise Darktable, though. It just happens to be a piece of software I know how to work with quite efficiently, and I like that. My feeling is that it's on the way to become quite powerful, too, but it's nowhere near the GIMP in absolute terms. It's sufficient for my needs, though.

M.
 
Sep 8, 2010
London UK
Andy
I downloaded Darktable and it was probably the worst image editing software I have ever used. It took about 10 seconds to render any changes to the image! Completely unusable. I guess there was something wrong somewhere but for me it was pure trash. Shame as it has great reviews.
 

kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
Sue, it is exactly the phone situation that holds me up on Ubuntu/Lubuntu. I keep hearing that phones using it as a native OS are on the way. I've yet to see them.
Thats because nobody has yet realised that there are alternatives to android. (that is, manufacturers. Though I think there are ways to shoehorn it into an android-type phone, if you can get a hold of it)

In the meantime, I have discovered an issue with The Gimp. anybody using it, please tell me if theres some pref that I need to set, in order to fix this:

Gimp will NOT open full sized RAW image files (DNG, NEF, RW2, ORF) from inside other apps (e.g. Unbound or XNView. Haven't tried it from lightroom or iPhoto yet.... ) Is there anything I can do about this? (Or does it not happen with other apps, e.g. Darktable)
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
Sue, what RAW converter do you use with GIMP? My system defaults to UFRaw, but I seriously don't like how its GUI behaves ... I guess I'll stick to Darktable, in spite of occasional freezes on gallery load (speed's fine otherwise, btw. - maybe newer versions have become better?).

M.
 

kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
Just the apple RAW or ACR with Photoshop. Tried Rawtherapee, but its too restrictive. Cant pass stuff from there to other apps of your choice, that I can see... well you probably can but its not on a right click and if I can't do it that fast, not otherwise interested. Since making my previous comment, I've found that Lightroom and iPhoto both open to GIMP quite happily. XNViewMP and Unbound open thumbnails in Gimp. *Puzzled*.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
If you've got Adobe in the mix, your toolchain is no longer free in any sense of the word - but it's very convenient, I grant you that, and of course very, very functional - I really like what LR is able to do, and with ACR as a backend, it's very good (though not class-leading for all I read). But from my point of view, it's no good ...

As for the app chain you described, I think it should be doable the other way round, i.e having GIMP use whatever application one desires to open and treat/pre-process RAW files LR-style, then feed them back - that's what UFRaw does in my environment at the moment, but it's tedious ... I'll look into that possibility, but probably not today (my idea is to use Darktable as a pre-processor for GIMP for the time being).

M.
 

Lawrence A.

Hall of Famer
Nov 8, 2012
New Mexico
Larry
Nice shots, and the Gimp version is very good. I kept my Photoshop subscription when it came up for renewal because I've used Photoshop so long and feel so comfortable with it for photo editing that it is worth $10 a month to me. It's true that I don't use half of what its power doing photos, but what I do use I've come to depend on, and I know how they work in the program. Though I sometimes use Silver Effex for my black and white converstions, I just as often use the channel mixer in Photoshop. Mostly, I guess, I'm lazy and comfortable with the program I've been using since Photoshop 4.

But there are lots of other good programs out there and some of them are free. I'm just a creature of habit, and was the same way when I was processing film. I shot 4x5 and 120 almost exclusively for years and HC-110 was my developer of choice -- just about my only developer, at various dilutions and sometimes with 2 bath compensation. I didn't budge until I started shooting 35mm more frequently again. I don't and never did like HC 110 for small negatives (and yes, with apologies to the full frame crowd, 35mm was small). What was a nicer grain structure on bigger negatives became, usually, too pronounced a grain with 35mm film. So I took a clue from Stillshunter Mark on this website and started using Xtol, which is perfect. I'm trying to say, once I find something that works for me, I tend to stick to it, and Photoshop works for me. Simple, even though I just made it very complicated.

Did I mention I'm becoming a total blatherskate in my senior years?
 

kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
I... I'll look into that possibility, but probably not today (my idea is to use Darktable as a pre-processor for GIMP for the time being).

M.
Have you tried XNViewMP? Its available for linux, DEB and TGZ packages.
Might be interesting to see what it does with RAW files for you. It can see them, clearly, because it can generate jpg previews. Not preprocessing though, just to see if it can pass them through to GIMP, which it ought to be able to.

I'm missing content aware healing from PS already. Other apps (Gimp and Acorn anyway) have similar but the PS version is just too good.

[edit] uhoh. Just discovered that the healing tool in Pixelmator is brilliant. Even better than PS, dare I say it!! That was the last thing I think I wanted to be able to do, which other apps didn't seem to (wonder if it was the last update, had not really looked at it for a long time) Of course, PM was not free, but it also did not cost anywhere near PS or even PSE. Happy now.
 

kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
Nice shots, and the Gimp version is very good. I kept my Photoshop subscription when it came up for renewal because I've used Photoshop so long and feel so comfortable with it for photo editing that it is worth $10 a month to me. It's true that I don't use half of what its power doing photos, but what I do use I've come to depend on, and I know how they work in the program. Though I sometimes use Silver Effex for my black and white converstions, I just as often use the channel mixer in Photoshop. Mostly, I guess, I'm lazy and comfortable with the program I've been using since Photoshop 4.

But there are lots of other good programs out there and some of them are free. I'm just a creature of habit, and was the same way when I was processing film. I shot 4x5 and 120 almost exclusively for years and HC-110 was my developer of choice -- just about my only developer, at various dilutions and sometimes with 2 bath compensation. I didn't budge until I started shooting 35mm more frequently again. I don't and never did like HC 110 for small negatives (and yes, with apologies to the full frame crowd, 35mm was small). What was a nicer grain structure on bigger negatives became, usually, too pronounced a grain with 35mm film. So I took a clue from Stillshunter Mark on this website and started using Xtol, which is perfect. I'm trying to say, once I find something that works for me, I tend to stick to it, and Photoshop works for me. Simple, even though I just made it very complicated.

Did I mention I'm becoming a total blatherskate in my senior years?
Rofl! Thanks Larry :) I, too, am a blatherskate. What a wonderful word!!

I've spent some of this morning learning a few things about myself. One is that I tend to stick to tried and true, without seriously giving other options a good trial. I bought both Pixelmater and Acorn in my last effort to relieve myself of the Adobe yoke, and failed... because I did not spend enough time on either of them. My efforts this morning with Pixelmator... something I had previously written off as "not for me"... have proven to be extremely useful. I haven't quite got to uninstalling PS/LR but I think its closer than it was. I've discovered that Gimp is able to open (via UFRaw) and edit all the heretofore unreadable by apple RAW files that I have, so I no longer need ACR for that. And for the basic photo editing I do, I have a multiplicity of standalone tools, and well as PM and A, a combination of which will be just brilliant. To add to the mix, Pixelmator has a built in photo browser to which you can add any folder you want. Anything in those folders you can open in Pixelmator, or, if it can't read it (as in the case of my TZ60 RAW files) open Finder to the location, from which point I can open in UFRaw/Gimp.

Problem solved. No need to spend more money, I have exactly what I need already, I just had not spent the time to actually examine the situation more closely. That was the second thing I learned about myself. I am awfully impatient, and getting worse as I get older.
 

Lawrence A.

Hall of Famer
Nov 8, 2012
New Mexico
Larry
Oh yes! The impatience thing. I was impatient as a toddler, I'm told; impatient as a young adult; and startlingly impatient as I ease into the golden years (we're silver at the moment).

Impatient I understand. A co-worker once said to me, "patience is a virtue." I'm sorry to report that I responded, "Patience is a whore." Shame on me! But after 40 years (at that time) of having my lack of patience commented on, I'd lost -- well -- patience with it.
 

kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
Oh yes! The impatience thing. I was impatient as a toddler, I'm told; impatient as a young adult; and startlingly impatient as I ease into the golden years (we're silver at the moment).

Impatient I understand. A co-worker once said to me, "patience is a virtue." I'm sorry to report that I responded, "Patience is a whore." Shame on me! But after 40 years (at that time) of having my lack of patience commented on, I'd lost -- well -- patience with it.
LOL!

Tell me, when do I get to be golden???
(oh yeah, and I have just uninstalled my Adobe stuff. Yay me.)
 

SnapDawg

Rorschach Test Pilot
Apr 18, 2014
Canary Islands
Ken
I've been looking forward to retire my old version of Photosnot for quite a while now but I've no idea if the upcoming 16bit Gimp is up to the job.
 

kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
Back to Affinity Photo Beta.
Here's a free beta download to Affinity. In the video demo it looks like it can do a bunch of stuff.

https://affinity.serif.com/blog/affinity-photo-beta-launches/
There's been an update since my first foray into this app, and additionally, I've spent some more time learning to drive it. I hope it is not too expensive, because I am now *really* liking it. It strikes me that its just as powerful as Photoshop. I can deal with the PF generated by the Tamron lens I love so much, and its healing tool is fairly good, though I prefer the one in Pixelmator.

Affinity can use some of the photoshop plugins, but I have only checked Nik, Topaz and DXO so far. It may be that it can also use many of the others out there. So much is improved since the first time I tried it.
 

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