I recently found a photography workflow application and RAW developer for digital photos called darktable.  For those who haven’t used one before, this kind of app allows you to convert your RAW photos into JPGs (or other formats), treating the RAW files as digital negatives which you develop for posting online or printing, much like photographers used to do in the dark room in the black and white photography days.

The most well known piece of commercial software in this space is Adobe Lightroom, but there are a host of other free/open source options on Linux.  Here’s a quick list of options:

There’s a great comparison page over on Wikipedia.

Darktable is a very powerful piece of software that has been in development since at least 2009.  It has got quite a steep learning curve to start off with and is sufficiently sophisticated to keep you learning for literally years, as it exposes the more technical aspects of image processing to you should you want to use them).  So I decided to make some screencast tutorials to complement those available on the darktable website (mine have since been added to the darktable website).

This is my first one, in which I go through the absolute basics of processing your first image:

  • importing your files
  • developing the raw file
  • outputting a finished jpeg

I hope it’s useful, and you have fun!

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