New Arrival to Darktable.

Hi all…

I am rather late to the party, that is Darktable… after I ditched lightroom I ended up using On1 Raw for several years, now that is slowing down and getting more costly I decided to dive into the Darktable world.

I have been viewing quite a few videos on YouTube and I think I am getting there with navigating DT, however, you never really fully understand a piece of software you are always learning.

So here is one of the first images that I have run through DT with my limited knowledge, one thing I have not figured out yet is localized dodging and burning… so that will be the next learning curve.

Here is the exported original RAW

Here is the edited version I have landed on…

I am sure there is a myriad of mistakes that I have made but that is part of the journey and the learning curve.

I am sure before the year is out I will have managed to bore you all senseless with questions and what if statements…




Hi Nigel and welcome!

I disagree, never a better time than now.

This is a great attitude to have.

There is masking in almost every module! And you can have multiple instances of modules.

Looks like you’ve made a great photo! One of the best things we have to offer is the Play Raw category, where you can download other people’s sidecar files to learn from their edits.


I think local dodging and burning is best done still with a brush and this is not a DT strong suit…


Beautiful Image! Like @paperdigits mentioned, you can learn a lot from looking at the sidecar files in any Play Raw image and see how others use the various modules.

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I actually really disagree, once you get used to using a combination of parametric and drawn masks, local selections are pretty easy.


not as feature complete as what you can do with Krita or Photoshop, but I find darktables painting tools at least on par, if not better than what you can do with Lightroom for example.


I am handy with the masks but no way this is the same as building an effect with a low opacity brush …I do agree the mask combo is great for targeted local effects but not the same as a brush and DT brush is also a good tool but vector based and not real time displayed during aplication so again not quite the same as what you get with a layered editor like gimp or other imo

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I don’t use LR so can’t compare but the vector based nature of the brush in DT means it has to be computed so it is slow and not displayed in real time so for me I rarely use a brush in DT but I am sure others find it okay

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Welcome, Nigel. Another nice tool for dodging and burning is the tone equalizer


For dodging and burning, the two most useful modules are “exposure” (together with a mask, create multiple instances if you have to) and tone equaliser. Both these methods are covered in the following video:


Thanks for the welcome, I will make that my next learning curve so to speak, and start to get into masking.

Thank you for that I will start having a dive in there I am sure I will be able to find lots of tips and tricks by reverse engineering some of the side car files. That is a cool thing to have to hand.

Thank you for that Wocket I will add that to the list of modules to research.


Many thanks for the linked video, I will dive into that later on, once again many thanks…

I am sure I will be able to get to grips with it… just been using the others for so long where you apply with a brush… not saying it is better … in some respects it can be a little more troublesome when you start to overlay the same areas again.

I am sure masks will be alot more fluid for applying dodgig and burning as it will be uniform to the relevant mask you apply.

Thanks for the video.

Your photo looks good Nigel, well done.