DarkTherapee and the Gimp

“DarkTherapee” is what I call my raw image development workflow and makes use of the FOSS (free and open source software) programs darktable and RawTherapee. The two programs complement each other very well and provide an incredible array of features.
When I first started developing raw images I used RawTherapee but soon discovered darktable and started used it for all my image processing.

Darktable has many powerful features but the feature I love best is its use of drawn and parametric masks which allows targeted correction to virtually any part of the image.

Almost all of darktable’s correction modules can be applied using the drawn and parametric using blending modes.

After several years of using darktable I took another look at RawTherapee and realized it had quite a few tools that darktable lacked such as:

  • Ability to use dark-frame and flat-field images.
  • More demosaicing algorithms : AMaZE, DCB, AHD, EAHD, HPHD, IGV, LMMSE, VNG4, Mono and Fast.
  • Excellent tone mapping module based on edge-preserving decomposition.
  • CIE Color Appearance Model 2002 (CIECAM02) module.
  • The Retinex Module.
  • Film simulation using HaldCLUT files.

(some of these features are only available in the development branch)

RawTherapee is very well suited for initial processing of poorly exposed or astronomical images and I often preprocess difficult images with RawTherapee and save them as 16bit tifs which are then processed in darktable.

Darktable is still my favorite and I do about 90% of my raw image development using only darktable.

The GIMP  (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a image editing program as opposed to non destructive raw developers like darktable and RawTherapee .  Think of GIMP as an FOSS version of Photoshop.  GIMP has some really good image repair tools.

I can’t conclude this post without mentioning ImageMagick which is an incredible command line program that I discussed in previous posts.   The last step of my workflow involves using ImageMagick to add my signature and resizing images for use on this web site.  Click the imagemagick tag at the bottom of this page to see my other posts about ImageMagick.

Note: I followed the convention of writing the software names as darktable, RawTherapee, and ImageMatick based on how the names were written on the respective web sites.


Darktable: http://www.darktable.org/
Darktable user manual: http://www.darktable.org/usermanual/index.html.php
A great site by Harry Durgin with darktable tutorials: http://weeklyedit.com

RawTherapee: http://rawtherapee.com/
RawTherapee wiki site: http://rawpedia.rawtherapee.com/Main_Page
Good tutorials on RawTherapee: https://paulsphotopalace.wordpress.com

GIMP: https://www.gimp.org/
ImageMagick: https://www.imagemagick.org

Thanks for visiting,

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