Rawtherapee/ Darktable + Gimp workflow

What would be your recommended workflow for processing raw photos using Rawtherapee / Darktable + Gimp? I would imagine that one would invoke Gimp only for processes that Rawtherapee and Darktable either cannot do or do poorly as compared to Gimp. Would be great to hear about how you make these decisions.

IMHO darktable/rt/art is all you need to develop a RAW fully.

Gimp only comes in if you want…:

  • remove/replace backgrounds
  • Insert objects/text/cats
  • Insert overlays (fog/snow/rain/sunrays)
  • the power of G’mic (or other plugins)
  • make birthday cards or something

Hi @vikman, welcome to Pixls!

I basically agree with what @st.raw wrote, but I would definitely add (extensive) retouching to that list and, arguably, colour grading as well.

At the moment, but this is my opinion, RAW editors are not really capable of doing a very good job when talking about the 2 points I added. Krita or GIMP are much better at that.

What your workflow will be in the end also depends on what you like using (or are used to) and if you are willing to switch (and switch back in some cases) between different pieces of software when editing an image. People tend to want a one-shot, fast and convenient solution nowadays. I’m of the opinion that you should use the best tool for the job, convenience be damned…

There’s one other important thing that is of influence: What kind of photography are we talking about here? Having to work on 1 image for a long time might be worth it, but it isn’t if that image is one of a set of a few dozen that have to be finished.

The first calls for a more elaborate workflow, the latter would call for full edits in one piece of software in my opinion.

My workflow for every image I’ve ever edited (new shooter here) is RT → GIMP. For GIMP I do dodging/burning and sometimes a final pop of contrast. You can see my stuff here:


By the way - I can’t shoot NOR edit (but I’m having fun) - so ignore me. I do.

I use RT often followed by gimp. Mostly nature pictures and landscapes as amateur photographer.

Common situations when I go to gimp -
Layer masks and its many uses for local adjustments
Focus stacking
gimp’s color–> map → rotate colors
Split view functionality of filters
GMic filters
Heal selection/resynthesizer filter

Beautiful pictures RUNLEVEL3.

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