Words of gratitude for the tools we use (and the people who make them)

What tools did you use today, this week or month that you are thankful for?


I will start. Today, I took a sub-optimal self-portrait for the access card to my workplace. Bad focus and colour balance. PhotoFlow, GIMP and G’MIC saved the day.

PhotoFlow: I chose PF because I wanted to keep the raw processing to a minimal. I couldn’t fix the photo without spending an inordinate amount of time in RT or dt. I increased the exposure, applied ACES filmic and lowered the saturation using color balance. I left the rest to GIMP and G’MIC.

GIMP: The clone tool for dust removal on the lenses and the suit (yes, I neglected to use the lint roller). G’MIC: A few applications of @garagecoder’s geometric color balance to tame the colour cast. A couple iterations of @samj’s sharpen [wavelet] and @Iain’s contrained sharpen to deal with some of the blur. All done.

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Great idea.

Last week I edited pictures of the season end tournament of my son’s soccer team. Culling of ~1000 pictures down to ~100 (to have at least some with each team member), doing a basic edit on one image, copying it to all images, going through all for straightening, crop and individual exposure tuning, exporting to jpg, all in darktable. All went smooth on my 10 year old laptop, as long as no web browser is running, and as long as darktable is restarted from time to time to free some memory.

Thank you very much, darktable folks.

Downsizing of the images with imagemagick.

Thank you very much, imagemagick folks.

Uploading to nextcloud to share with the team.

Thank you very much, nextcloud folks.

All done on GNU/Linux of course, so thank you GNU/Linux folks.

The only missing piece was a fast way to create some collages for posting on the team messenger group, which I therefore did with my phone’s pre-installed tool.

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I am particularly thankful to @damonlynch for Rapid Photo Downloader which does such a great job without fuss. darktable is my goto for processing, and I have been very thankful for the vast improvements to this software in the 4 years I have been using it - and grateful that some of my suggestions have been implemented.

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G’Mic montage!

I’ve been using exiftool to import my photos and do other metadata things for longer than I can remember. I hit a slight snag with it and giggled, as I’ve never had a probelm with it before.

Only if the original crop is maintained. Doing a collage as a creative task is too cumbersome on the command line and graphical positioning, size change etc. is more a task for scribus, inkscape, etc., even though they are all not ideal for this particular task as well. But that’s another story, and I am extremely grateful for these tools as well :smiley:.

What are its features? Out of curiosity, could you provide an (anon) example?

I concur. Since collages are troublesome, I don’t create them. Problem solved. :stuck_out_tongue:


Speaking of montages, in April, I made a simple montage that doesn’t resize. (PS Named Montage X in the GUI plugin / standalone.)

afre_montagex:
    max_per_row>=1,_spacing>=0,0<=_matte_colour={[R,G,B]}<=255

  Generate montage without resizing.

  Default values: 'max_per_row=5', 'spacing=1', 'matte_colour=230,255,230'.

Here some examples (from Wikipedia) of what type of collage I mean:

In my case, the collages were required for the story to show the relation of the images. E.g., in one picture a player’s shoe is flying away due to kicking the ball, and in the next image, the player sadly walks towards his shoe lying in the grass. If these were two random images in the middle of the 100, nobody would have understand they belong together.

The features are rather limited. You can chose from some given layouts based on the number of images, switch the images, and “zoom” into the images. My tools of choice would be inkscape or scribus, however, for this particular task there were some drawbacks:

  • I would have to do a layout beforehand or based on the images (not only a drawback)
  • It is not easy to exchange the layout
  • Zooming/repositioning of images is limited. One of the most annoying limitations: You can easily mess up the position/crop of the image in both tools. I can give detailled explanations if you are interested.

All of this would have made me spend at least half of an hour for doing the collages, but I needed a less than 5 minutes solution. It required two minutes I guess for the two collages.