Using "unstable" Gimp for its 32 bit colors?

A lot of my photos have a very high dynamic ranges. I can usually recover some detail in the highlights and shadows by using Rawtherapee on the raw file. Then I will put the image in Gimp and do finishing touches on the pictures.

I am more familiar with Gimp than RawTherapee and prefer to use it when I can. In some cases, I am trying to recover detail in one specific part of the picture. RT applies changes to the entire image, whereas in Gimp, I can work on just portions of the picture.

So I am thinking of a workflow that goes RawTherapee–>GIMP 2.9.2 (16-bit) -->GIMP 2.8 (because it’s stable).

Am I doing it right? Is there an easier way to get more control over the dynamic range of my images? I will admit that I’m still not entirely comfortable with RawTherapee, but have been impressed with the results so far as I get more experience working with it, and raw files in general.

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Are you having instability issues with gimp 2.9? FYI gimp 2.9.5 is out. 2.9 has been very stable for me.

The best step is probably to get more comfortable with RT. If you can get the contrast contained in gimp, certainly you can do it on RT.

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Are you having instability issues with gimp 2.9?

I have not installed it yet. I have just been using GIMP 2.8 which came from the Ubuntu repositories. The more I use RT, the more I like it. It is well documented, but honestly, a lot of the features are over my head and there are way more tutorials online for GIMP when I get stuck trying to figure out how to do something.

I posted mainly to see if there was a better way to achieve my goal, which is to selectively recover details in highlights and shadows. The place I send my pictures to get printed only takes 8 bit TIFFs or JPGs.

These two threads have some nice examples and discussion:

Our play raw threads can also be helpful as others post their processing side car files for you to inspect. For example:

How about making 2 versions using RT, say one optimising highlights and one for shadows, saving these as 16bit tiffs, and then processing in Gimp 2.9.5. I’m not great with clever layering, so I’d make feathered selections onto new layers and adjust as best I can, but there are others who probably know how to do this better with masks, blend modes etc.

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My usual workflow when doing local enhancements at the moment is to
-develop the raw file in RT
-export as 16bit tiff
-import into Gimp 2.9.5, to do local enhancements

Gimp 2.9.5 has been extremely stable on my computer. So much so, that I am not using 2.8 anymore.

When dealing with very high dynamic ranges I start by lowering the dynamic range by making a curve in the shape of the top-left quarter of the “o” symbol. Then it’s a matter of adding back pop into your Squashed-DR image.

My favorite nature photographer Photoshop experts don’t use tone-mapping. Because it usually looks fake. They use luminosity masks. Dig into that. darktable has them.

Agreed. This year I have experienced only a couple crashes and hitting accidentally the Caps Lock key while doing edits at the same time has something to do with it. No real problems with tools. GMIC has had more stability issues.

Ubuntu repo Gimp can be out-of-date, especially if you have sticked with LTS-Ubuntu.

I have installed Gimp 2.9.5 from the ppa below and the maintainer has got also an another ppa for up-to-date 2.8.x

This can also give a nice starting point in Gimp, works well.