Right, the decision has been made: “**** you, Adobe, and all who sail in you; I’m off to the new world of Darktable freedom”. Buttons get pressed, mice get clicked and then:
Boom! You awake in almost pitch black, without your faithful brass lantern, immediately alert for the approach of grues. But your years in the Lightroom have given you confidence on how to move, so you step off boldly into the dark. Almost immediately you crash, at full ‘confident’ pace, into a wall called ‘Import’, at a section which appears to be labelled ‘scan for devices’ with a sub-text of ‘no supported devices found’. It feels like a show stopper; invoking the time-honoured, most basic, magic incantation ‘XYZZY’ does nothing for you.
You drop to your knees to crawl around in the almost total dark, with the sense that nobody else has been this way before you, but miraculously your handy Wacom tablet with touch sensitive surface causes you to stumble upon a very strange device, labelled ‘Pixls.US’. It has many features and buttons. As you peer at it in the darkness you have the distinct feeling that this thing is like the Tardis: there’s much more – so much more – on the inside than on the outside. You tentatively press a button and …
WOW! A small part of the Darkroom has lit up, so that you can clearly make out some modules on the floor. Press a few more buttons and ‘WOW! WOW! WOW! This Darkroom goes on for ever, with more modules than you ever could have imagined when in that Lightroom.
You pick up a module that looks like it might be useful. It sounds like something you were very familiar with when in the Lightroom, but has different knobs and features. However, you can get a similar effect and have the feeling that after a certain amount of experimentation with it you might be able to get a better effect, especially when you consider all the other modules that are around.
You pick up another module, this one labelled ‘denoise (non-local means)’ and your early feeling of confidence evaporates, quickly. You notice, inescapably, that the module is covered with a substance that seems to stick to you. It is all over this module and on many of the others around. It has a sort of opacity-increasing property that dulls the light shining from within the module. Then, from the light given off by Pixls.US you notice texts and videos lying around, many of which are also ‘dulled’ by this sticky substance. In fact you realise that it has an ancillary use: to cover up defects – some minor, some major – in the underlying layer, which is labelled ‘knowledge’. Finally you are able to put a word to this sticky substance: ‘Jargon’. It seems to be everywhere.
Through experimentation, and with the ever increasing usefulness of the Pixls.US thingy, you realise that the sticky stuff can be cleaned off and repelled by keeping a clear mind, with frequent, recursive use of the Google device, which seems ever present. You also find a considerable set of videos, going back a long way, labelled ‘Bruce Williams’. Together with your Pixls.US device they offer you a manageable, if not straight forward, guide into the further reaches of the Darkroom. You notice that there have been lots of changes in its history, with walls added and walls taken away, but there is always a way forward.
You continue your journey, picking up other, isolated nuggets of video gold from the stream labelled ‘YouTube’ which flows constantly through the Darkroom. Each of these has the property of lighting up more of the Darkroom, but never completely. New parts of it seem to be created all the time, often coated with that sticky jargon stuff, so the journey is never fast, but it is satisfying and at times truly breath-taking in the things you see and learn in the Darkroom.
Throughout, the Pixls.US device always seems to have something relevant and of value to offer. It seems also to be growing all the time as if there were many forces at work within it. It is has whole areas which are gratifyingly free of the sticky stuff (while having some parts which are impenetrable because of the stickiness).
In fact Pixls.US provides all the essential hope you need when entering here.