Have you ever tried to get a decent color image from RawTherapee without a proper DCP color profile for your camera? Well, I did so for years, as RT lacked one for my Canon 600D and I had to use a very simple one copied over from the RawStudio sources. It’s fiddly at least and left me disappointed with this whole ado about shooting RAW…
In March I made contact with @PhotoViking here on PIXLS having questions about a lens I read he owns. While chatting about my plans to sell one of my lenses after having bought a color target for profiling my old camera/lens combination, he was quick to offer me his target, so that I could save the money. A few days later I had a letter in my mailbox.
As I had never shot a color target before, I read the corresponding RawPedia article and asked @Morgan_Hardwood some questions RawPedia didn’t answer back then. Again, a day later Morgan had revised and completed the article with the answers I was after.
To create good target shots suitable for worldwide release requires an accurate setup, so I spent a Saturday evening for the tungsten shot and a Sunday noon for the daylight shot. Now then, it was one shot each that got selected, but there were numerous shots necessary to get close to the perfect shot, where the white patch of the target is nearly clipped. And there wasn’t only the 600D but two other cameras of mine to profile while I was at it.
Having @PhotoViking’s precious color target at home made me think of another opportunity: My cameras aren’t the only ones around, so I started mailing to my friends and neighbors and asked my colleagues if they would lend me their hardware for a weekend and a good purpose. Four of them were immediately generous, so I put them on hold until the next sunny weekend.
Some of the cameras found their way to my home on their own (kind folks just brought them) some had to be collected, but all of them were present on Friday evening, so I could already take the tungsten shots. Those shots are insofar demanding as they seperate the wheat from the chaff: Long time exposure on some cameras depends on special settings that take some time to get figured out and tuned. For one camera I even had to result the manual (I won’t tell you the make ). And taking a five seconds exposure with a zoom creeping bridge camera calls for a steady hand even with a tripod. Taking the daylight shots on an empty parking the next day was a breeze on the other hand. I returned the cameras to their owners on the same afternoon.
After providing @Morgan_Hardwood with the shots and getting the with the appearance of new DCPs in the RawTherapee repository I again sent a mail including
- kudos to those who participated,
- links to the DCPs they made possible,
- and an explanation why this participation was relevant, familiarizing them with the FLOSS philosophy.
This mail did not only address those who contributed, but was sent to all I first asked and some more. That way they realized they could be part of something big. As a result, three more of them offered their hardware.
There could have been more rounds, but due to other duties I stopped after having provided shots for ten different camera models and sent the target back to @PhotoViking. Many thanks to him and @Morgan_Hardwood for making this happen!
Maybe you own a color target or you know someone who owns one. Maybe you have friends, neighbors, colleagues that have RAW capable cameras not yet supported by a free DCP in RawTherapee. Maybe you have some time and passion left on a weekend. Then, why not take the baton and provide some color target shots? It will be highly appreciated, no matter how old or uncommon the cameras are.