In march I gave an introductory course in darktable at the local evening school.
I had set the goal of that course to making it easier for beginners to get started with darktable. The course was scheduled for 3x2 hours.
At the beginning I asked the course participants what they expected from the course. Basically there were two main points: They generally wanted to know how to manage images in darktable.
And with the darkroom, they were faced with the problem that the sheer number of modules made it difficult to get started. Which one should be used?
Also I got the feedback that the online help is very technical.
So, I gave a brief introduction to the lighttable: how to import pictures, tag and export them. I explained what the xmp file does and the configuration file and so on. That was the easy bit.
The introduction to the darkroom took the most of the time.
For the darkroom I started with changing the dt prefrerences to the new scene referred workflow.
Then I presented a list of modules which one should stick to for the beginning. (Well, I set up that list just from my own experience.)
I explained every step I do by working on examples which I took from the PlayRaw section of pixl.us. Initially my concept was that the students would redo what I showed so that they could follow more in depth. But as it turned out they were happy with me showing them the steps. So at the end it was me talking most of the time… anyway…
I did not explain all the different details of each module used. Just the sliders and buttons I used in that example. For more in depth explanation of the modules I recommended the available online videos.
The first example I chose was one where one could get a decent result without using masks or blend modes at all. So with that I could focus on modules like exposure, white balance, crop & rotate, local contrast, lens correction, and profiled denoise.
My second example was also an easy one. With that I introduced the perspective correction and replicated the other modules. Also with that example I showed how to get a black and white conversion.
Only with the third example I started with masks and after that with explaining blend modes.
I had the impression that the participants have now a foot in the door of darktable.
At the end of the course I provided some slides with the steps I explained during the sessions. Well, they are in german. I upload them here anyway as I know that there are a lot of readers from germany also. Maybe the slides help one or the other even without explanation.
Anything I could do better next time?
Darktable_VHS_03_2021.pdf (7.9 MB)