My first opensource edit with GIMP - shot with Xt1

At the start of the year I decided to dump the macbook and adobe software, and move to a complete opensource workflow. I now run Debian 10 buster, Darktable, Digikam and GIMP. This was from my first edit using this workflow.


Nice work :+1:

I personally like the first image most. Especially that classic look the colors and her dress make.

Her skintone suits well to the sky and the rock she’s sitting on.

And there’s a nice usage of diagonals and the golden ration in the image.

It is well exposed with a focus on the midtones without going too deep into shadows and highlights (I don’t like white parts in the skin that appear in so many photos taken in bright sunlight).

Some transitions to shadow areas look a bit unnatural to me; in her right forearm and her right calf.

1 Like

Nice work! Welcome to Foss!

I really like the look that you achieved!! The harsh transitions probably are due to superhard lighting (just daytime-sunlight I suppose?).

As an X-T1 owner myself you’re in for a barrage fo questions now! :smile:
Did you shoot RAW? If not, which jpeg profile did you use (with which tweaks)? Which lens did you use (looks like 35)? Is this commercial work? If it is, what workflow differences are there? Are there any major hurdles to overcome from your POV? What advantages do you see in regards to adobe software? What would you like to be better and why? :blush:

Looks more like exaggerated sharpening IMHO.

Nice colors and poses but I find the clipped toes in #1 and fingers in #3 to be a bit disturbing.

1 Like

Hey, so this photo shoot was really just a quick one, it took less than 2 hours out the back of my house with my wife. We wanted to test our new workflow in preparation for commercial jobs.

So yeah, it was harsh sunlight, we always shoot raw. You are correct in your assumption, it was the XF35mm shot at F9. Most of our work is either shot on the 35 or the 56, occasionally we will also use an SLR Magic 23mm Hyperprime, it gives an interesting feel to the images.

Previously I would use Lightroom for image selection and editing in Adobe. My workflow is now as follows.

Image selection and deletion in DigiKam, Raw processing in Darktable and editing in GIMP. It took a little while to get this working as I wanted, this shoot took a little longer to process than I would have liked, but I guess that’s just down to using new software. I find Frequency separation in GIMP far superior than adobe, but that’s just a personal opinion. The most frustrating part was incorporating consistent coloring to the images. I think I’ve figured this out with Darktable and scripting in GIMP.

Here are a couple more images from the shoot. Everything was done the same day.


Thanks for answering! So this is a self developed look with darktable and gimp, not a LUT? Cool, I love the pastel color palette. What type of photos do you usually make? From these I would assume fashion?


Correct this is a self deveoped look created between darktable and gimp. I started photography in documentary work, and my wife was in fashion. Over the years we just Kind of blended our styles.

For this shoot we wanted to create something reminiscent of the 50’s fashion covers, but done in a modern way.

Have you moved over to a complete opensource workflow? Moving from osx to Linux was a bit of a headache for me, but now that I have it all running smoothly it’s all good to go :slight_smile:

1 Like

Crossovers and Blends can extend ones vision quite a lot!
I think you achieved that look quite well.

Not yet, but I am about to. With an X-T1(XF23 1.4, XF56). For now I was forced to shoot jpeg and edited with an old ACR version (no x-t1 support) plus Photoshop/NIK. It’s surprising how good and malleable the fuji jpegs are!! I come from a canon 40D which I always shot raw (because the jpegs are bad compared to fuji). I want to get back to shooting raw with better demosaicing, much much better denoising and hope that a combo of Darktable, RawTherapee, Filmulator, Gimp and GMIC will give me nice results. I think UI/UX will be an interesting open source experience (what are your thoughts?) but I am quite confident. The worst thing that could happen is that I have to spend 90bucks on the new NIK-collection for the final touch-up stage. Everything else I’ll get to work. After your post I am more confident than ever.

But it’s always nice to get a Pro’s opinion on an open source workflow and why (s)he switched and so on. I think we need more of these case studies.

Obrigado! :blush:

I really like your photos and the colors are beautiful. Well done.
Could you perhaps write a little bit more about the workflow you now used?

Hey everyone, so here is the workflow that I now use, along with my current setup.

I run Debian 10 Buster KDE on a Lenovo Thinkstation P330
I have a 12 core Intel i7-8700 and 16Gb Memory
And a total of 7 TB in HD space, 4 of which is used for backup and storage.

I shoot RAW on 2x Fuji XT1’s. One has a Fuji 35mm F2 and the other with the Fuji 56mm 1.2. I also have a SLR Magic 23mm Hyperprime. This lens combination covers pretty much everything I need to do. I Shoot both street and fashion with these lenses.

Once the shoot is over I dump my images straight to a folder on my HD. As soon as I open the Digikam app image, it scans my new images in to the library. This is where I do my selection. I delete anything that is just garbage, then filter down my selection until I have around 50 images. Everything else is deleted. If I have a client doing a selection then a reduced size of the images are uploaded to my my website, my clients then login and select the images they want editing.

If its a personal shoot, for a magazine, editorial or anything else, then I normally pick the 15 images I will use for editing. Its pretty easy to tag these so I am only seeing the images I want.

Next I open the selection up in Darktable (latest version deb file) to ensure my exposure, WB etc are all consistent, i also run demosaicing and adjust sharpening as needed. I try to keep the editing here as basic as possible, really just processing the RAW files ready for editing.

Now its time for GIMP (appimage 2.10.14), this is where the majority of my work is done. (I’ve just got the LUA interface setup thanks to the gang on here, this allows me to export straight into GIMP from Darktable). First a basic cleaning of the image, then into frequency separation, if I’m doing fashion / portrait etc. After this I edit any wardrobe issues, creases, loose threads, you get the idea. Then onto warping, I use this conservatively, again maybe wardrobe of other discrepancies. After this is sharpening (where required) add grain, and finally color correction.

I will save the GIMP XFC file here just in case I need to go back on my workflow. I then resize my image, resolution etc and save as JPG.

Depending on the shoot I’m doing, I will either color correct each image individually in GIMP, or save my images and open them into Darktable and create a consistent look to apply to all of them.

And that’s pretty much it, I’m always looking to improve my workflow, but for now this is working well for me.

Here are a few images I took a couple of days later with my wife in the same area. As you can see, with these images I wasn’t so concerned about having a look that was equal, so I corrected all the colors manually in GIMP. I did however save my settings for grain and used this as a consistent factor.


Hey man,

It was certainly a difficult experience moving from PS and Light room to this opensource work flow. Both the UI and UX are very different. One of my main concerns was managing my photo library, I have over 2TB of images that I need to search. Neither raw therapee or darktable seem to handle this large database very well, I get very frustrated when I have to wait for every image to load before I decide if its usable or not. My solution. Was to use Digikam here, its quick and allows me to add metadata that is readable by darktable.

I have mixed feelings about rawtherapee, I spent a lot of time trying to get it into my work flow, but in reality it just slowed me down, the UX was just too clumbsy for me. That’s when I moved to darktable.

Im not saying DT is perfect, but it does allow me to have a faster workflow and the demosaicing is very acceptable.

In the perfect world I would really like DT to be able to index and search my entire library, but more importantly I would really like it to work better with Gimp. I understand that DT is supposed to be an all in one solution, but that solution just doesn’t fit every photographers needs. It would be great to have the ability to open an image into gimp, then save the gimp image straight back to DT and have the DT library auto update, just like you can with LR and PS. The lua interface goes a little way to facilitate this but its still miles away from what one could call a slick UX.

On the Gimp side, I would love to be able to record actions. I know there is the scripting language in gimp, but to simply push a record button, record your actions and edit out what you don’t want is very powerful indeed.

That being said, Im very happy with the efforts made by the guys developing this software, it’s powerful enough for me to run my business on it.

De nada :smile:



That is a ton of useful information, thank you for this!
Integrating Digikam in your workflow is inspiring. I am not a professional though, so I don’t hve to rely on a tight workflow as much as you do.
My biggest gripe for now is user experience (DT 2.6 mostly though). I didn’t think about it, but roundtripping is part of the UX and that is rather smooth in the adobe world. My best guess is that nobody starts the work on the interfaces needed because so many different interests and developers would be involved to do it properly. But yeah, it would be great to have Digikam, RT and DT and GIMP integrate into one workflow.

And this is a truly powerful statement and a good take-home-message! :slight_smile:

Cheers :blush:
keep up the excellent work!

There is some intention from (a) darktable dev(s) to work on such an interface with krita. Maybe you can borrow the code to interface with gimp once this is done for krita?

Sounds promising, Ill keep a lookout for it… :slight_smile: