Thanks for the replies. I do use other applications that seem to deliver a less harsh starting point when they present a RAW file and I have a lot of experience with Adobe PScc and LR, Lightzone from its first prorietary days to present, and RawTherapee (just as a converter to GIMP). Because I captured many shots yesterday (Happy Thanksgiving), I switched to RT because (rightly or wrongly) there seems to be less for me to do to shots that look right (on the DSLR LCD and in Irfanview) than Darktable at the moment.
I realize that I could also just use Irfanview to convert or save the RAW image as a tif and open that with Gimp. That is convenient, but I am under the impression that this is not a RAW file, but the same embedded JPG that my DSLR shows me.
My renewed interest in Darktable is due to the fact that it ships with Gimp 2.9.7 as a plugin. I have since become much more acquainted with it, but it seems to me that I may have done something to cause the harsh image that appears when I open a RAW file in this application.
I captured a large number of photos during yesterday’s holiday, and was looking to work through them all today.
My camera is a Sony A700, and I have always been under the impression that the RAW file is, for the most part, free of processing. I do not expect that it would match the JPG shown on my camera’s LCD, but I would not expect that RAW images would be super underexposed or overly saturated when opened from RAW. If the RAW file differs that much, how could one expect to use the preview or the convenient histogram display on the DSLR LCD to judge the results of a capture? Did I make some change during the processing of a previous image and then, by accident, set that parameter as a default? That is really my question. I do not experience this problem with Lightroom, do not recall that I experienced when I first started using Darktable.
Any additional suggestions appreciated.