The recent news about Adobe “going to the cloud” — that is, stopping their standalone distribution and opting for subscription-only model, has sent people either cheering or getting riled-up to the point of exasperation.
I am not at all opposed to Adobe’s recent adoption of the subscription-only model. As a business owner, I understand the need to focus on your majority of *paying* customers (which in Adobe’s case are the professional graphics artists, studios, and corporate marketing departments).
Paying monthly whether you use Adobe’s products heavily or not, does make sense if those are your main tools to earn a living, or like most mid-sized corporations who already have those funds in their budget.
But where does that leave casual users like non-professional artists and photographers? At one end of the spectrum — those smartphone photographers, are better served by mobile-application photo editors. More serious photographers who regularly edit and catalog their photos on a computer, would need something that is par with the two de facto standards: Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture. I truly hope that this bold move by Adobe would encourages their competitors and competitors-wannabes to step up to serve this part of the market.
Enough about all that, let’s talk about darktable.
Out from the corner of the great Linux cosmos, is a photo post-processing workflow software called simply: darktable (www.darktable.org).
Even the most jaded of my macintosh and windows buddies admitted that the Linux community has made giant strides towards making the OS more useful and even appealing to use daily. It even make sense for non-geeks users. Facebook and Twitter looks and behaves the same way on Linux as they are anywhere else. So no wonder more and more people choose it on their main computers. Take me for example: I practically run a consulting business out of my laptop which runs: Ubuntu Linux.
Back to darktable, I just installed the latest version (1.2) so I thought, while I’m messing with it, why not snap a screenshot so people can see at least what it looks like:
NOTE: The orange blurbs in a gaudy font is my comment, not part of the program.
As you can see, darktable looks like Lightroom. However, it does not “handle” (to use a camera terminology) like Lightroom, because it’s not a clone.
The tweak-able parameters behave differently, here they are called ‘modules’, there are lots of them. They produce different results and some of them are quite innovative like:
- A zone-based grey adjustments
- Shadows and highlights which if used when you’re drunk, will yield HDR images… yeesh…
- A framing feature — adding borders simulating matte and frames around your images
- Useful and powerful B&W conversion module
- An easy to use preset facility
A big kudos to the developer: Pascal de Bruijn for keeping on making changes that makes this software easier and easier to use, and at the same time producing the innovative features.
Did I mention that this program is free (as in “free beer”) ?
Now go check it out.