We are all familiar with Adobe Lightroom, a photography tool to edit, organize, store and share photos. But Lightroom is not free software, so for an ordinary person, the Lightroom license costs a few dollars per month. If you want to edit or retouch your raw photos there is an alternative to the costly lightroom software, it as the Darktable. The photo editing tool Darktable is created for photographers, by photographers. Darktable is an open-source photography workflow application and raw developer. It uses non-destructive editing throughout the complete workflow, so your original images are never modified. Another feature is the Darktable runs on Linux, Mac OS X / MacPorts, BSD, Windows, and Solaris 11 / GNOME.

To use the Darktable, download the Darktable application from darktable.org. After downloading and installing the software, open the Darktable application, it consists of several views or modes. There are five views or modes available, you can switch between views by clicking the view name at the top of the right panel.

lighttable mode with collection

In lighttable view, we can manage images and film rolls. We can also rate images, add tags, color labels, and export images. In the central view, the images are shown as thumbnails, surrounded by a frame. When the mouse is over an image, its rating and color labels are shown in the frame, along with an indicator of whether the image has already been altered in the Darkroom. When the mouse hovers over an image frame, image information like EXIF data or metadata is shown in the image information panel at the bottom left.

The darkroom view

The Darkroom mode is for processing the image that we selected from the lighttable. On the left-hand side of the application, we can see navigation, snapshot, history stack, color picker, tagging, image information, and mask manager panels. On the right-hand panel, we can see the histogram and a list of modules available for working with the image. At the bottom of the right-hand panel, we can enable/disable the view of individual modules. The basic element of an image operation in Darktable is called a module. Darktable has more than 60 modules for all kinds of image manipulations.

The map mode

Map and Print mode
The Darktable’s map mode allows us to Geotag the images by placing them on a map via drag and drop. On the right, we can select between different map providers, like OpenStreetMap, Google and a few more. In print mode, we can prepare our images for printing. You can learn the Darktable using the user manual or you can download the manual in PDF format. This video tutorial by Rico on Youtube will help you to pick up the basic video editing techniques easily.


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