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Linux Photo Editing Solutions
Old 07-03-2015   #1
Samouraļ
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Linux Photo Editing Solutions

Hey there, does anyone have any experience with Linux photo editing programs? Photivo is an open-source program that has caught my eye.

Phase One's Capture One Pro is the program that I have been planning to try. I can't stand Lightroom. Photoshop/Bridge is nice, but non-destructive edits would be nicer. Aperture was my favorite, but it's dead (and I'm not a huge fan of Yosemite or Apple's consumer-centric trajectory). I'm on Windows now, but I'd really prefer to be on Linux.

10-bit GPU support and the potential of Phase One's software are the two things keeping me on Windows for now.

If anyone has some good Linux experience, I'm all ears. Thanks.
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Old 07-03-2015   #2
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GIMP works with both Windows and Linux.
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Old 07-03-2015   #3
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I use GIMP primarily, though it's far from perfect, but I know it well enough to get what I want from it. It is tremendously capable, but not exactly user-friendly. I've fooled around with Rawtherapee, which I like based on my initial experiments, though it doesn't recognize grayscale images, which is a big minus for me. I have Darktable installed, but I haven't tried it yet; it is supposedly similar to Lightroom, though, so you may not be interested.
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Old 07-03-2015   #4
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My favorites are Gimp, Digikam, and Darktable...
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Old 07-03-2015   #5
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If you can live with 8-bit colors, you *must* check out the GIMP.
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Old 07-03-2015   #6
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If you can live with 8-bit colors, you *must* check out the GIMP.
Or you can try CinePaint..
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Old 07-03-2015   #7
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I tried Darktable about 3 years ago and thought it had a lot of potential as a Lightroom replacement. Unfortunately it was super unstable then but I could tell it was on the right track.
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Old 07-03-2015   #8
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Hey Samouraļ - why do you prefer to be on Linux - philosophical reasons or other? I ask, as a Linux (amongst other things) user because I think that this answer will help to get you the most helpful advice.

In my case I'm using Linux for philosophical reasons - partly because I resent Adobe's move to subscription model where you (well I) never own the software - I don't care if Lightroom (LR) is cheaper this way, I don't want to keep paying for it forever, according to their rules. Alternatively I won't use pirated or somehow circumvented copies because I don't want to pursue my hobby with someone else's stolen intellectual property. So given that I'm also not using older copies of LR or PS because updates for new cameras is a hassle, etc... And I don't want to live in the past!

But, all this means that I live with a series of compromises. The Linux software all has it's own unique learning curves, arguably it isn't as good as commercial software (but can be better aswell) but that often has nothing to do with inherent quality of the software and more to do with understanding the UNIX headset - i.e. lots of small programs that do exactly one thing really well. The right specific tool for the job rather than an all 1001 uses tool. But more recent Linux programs seem to be going this way.

Some considerations for you -

1: Do you want a colour profiled display? There are plenty of options:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_color_management But it will take research and time and fiddling. I haven't done this yet.

2. Non-destructive workflow. Photivo isn't a one stop solution. Photivo recommends itself as a developer, not a manager and not “Gimp” (so no layers and massive number of plugins presumably). As the site says Photivo is intended to be used in a workflow together with digiKam/F-Spot/Shotwell (all managers) and Gimp.

3: Organisation: I use Shotwell. It imports all of my raw and legacy and Tiff (scans) files transparently. It organises okay and handles the 12,000 + 110MB of image files that I've currently managed to get into one single archive. When you're in Shotwell you can always revert to the original, untouched file. But it's not a powerful versioning solution and it isn't perfect - sometimes not finding images (that are there) and it crashes on occasion. But I've used it to organise a Pictures directory by Year-Month-Day and I can use any program to interrogate that. I think I can get all of my originals and move them elsewhere anytime, unaltered. But it's not '1 click' cradle to grave solution like LR. Shotwell allows you to set both an external photo editor and external RAW editor (accessed via right clicking on the image). So I'm set up to open jpegs (and TIFFs) in Gimp and Raw files in Darktable. Overall it's stable enough and simple / basic enough to work well at collecting all my files reliably.

4: Post Processing. I've moved towards Darktable recently (as in during the last week!) - it's 16bit, handles Tiff files (Rawtherapee doesn't). But it takes mucho RAM so make sure if you use Darktable that you have a 64bit Linux distro and use the 64bit version of Darktable. Ask me how I know this? Darktable is non-destructive and you can set Shotwell to use it as the default RAW editor (or whatever you choose to use). Darktable seems stable.

5: GIMP. For heavy hitting photo editing I don't see how you can get around not using GIMP as a photoshop equivalent. There are always going to be compromised images that we don't bin, but which need layers and so on to fix or salvage. But GIMP is 8bit. Now some people will tell you this is S&*%T! and go on an expletive filled rampage (but rarely if ever with image examples to back up the assertions made). I don't know, lots of people seem happy with it aswell. I do know that 8 bit's is half the data of 16 bits and if I import a 30 MB tiff into GIMP and over-write that file in Gimp ... hey presto circa 15 MB file. There are some alternatives perhaps Krita is a 16 bit drawing program, its from the KDE side of Linux - it might serve ... I haven't used it though. There are lots of workarounds discussed online about GIMP's 8 bit limitations. You would need to explore just how big (or possibly not) a problem this is.

6: Wine. I also have a legacy camera (SIGMA DP1) and I run its Windows software on Wine as a native application. No problems, I use wine to run an older version of SIGMA's Photo Pro program for X3f files without hassle and export to jpeg or print directly from there - all works fine for me at what Wine calls "Gold" standard. I mention Wine because apparently PhotoShop CS4 also runs as a gold standard application. This might solve some potential GIMP is 8 bit problems. I can open X3f files from inside Linux and it will open the relevant Wine application seamlessly and I can save from that WINE application to the Linux filesystem.

7: Virtualbox. I run my scanner in a Virtual Machine using Vuescan. No problems, never crashes, no speed hassles. Runs perfectly. I only use windows XP, but you could run Windows 7 for much broader support of more recent applications. But XP does me for my scanner and I scan directly to the Linux Pictures directory. I mention Virtual box and WINE because they might help you plug a gap or task that Linux can't natively handle.

8: Tethering. Does Phase One do tethering? If that's a reason to use then Darktable (apparently) offers tethering. Currently it's the only solution that does in Linux.

9: Distro. I run Ubuntu (14.04 LTS) with the Gnome 3 alternative interface. It has some of the OSX features I like (i.e. expose) and a dock of sorts. Plus I like the simple folder and icon layout that reminds me of my OS/2 days (ah, the OS/2 warp Dock and an object oriented interface!) I also use a Surface Pro 3 which I really like and is a great lightweight touchscreen device that I can do real work on, but not my hobby (well not this one anyway). Like you, I used to really like OSX but I feel that Apple have gone from offering the consumer a road to travel on to telling the consumer that theirs' is the only road to travel on and no you won't stop at the little independent coffee shop along the side of the road. No the only coffee you can drink on this road is our blend, from our shop. Garr!

10. Ease of updating. I recommend a Debian based system like Ubuntu. Once you learn that you can update / upgrade with a terminal command like "Sudo apt-get install WHATEVERPROGRAM" and the system takes care of all the wrinkles and hassles. It's a slick system.

Programs I haven't considered - Rawtherapee, UFRAW (standalone but also used by other programs to handle RAW import) and a million other solutions that exist out there and are more or less actively being developed or not. Lightzone comes to mind - it used to be commercial but is now open source. Runs on Windows and OSX as well as Linux. Another lightroom alternative. I'm not sure how important a 10bit GPU is photography. I don't play games on my photography computer, ymmv.



As you can see, it's a long piece of string!
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Old 07-03-2015   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oftheherd View Post
GIMP works with both Windows and Linux.
And 2.8.14 works on Yosemite. But I remain awed by tyrone.s' answer above.
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Old 07-04-2015   #10
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I'm using an old XP box to run my two scanners. I scan my b&w negs to 16bit Gray .tiff files. Then I make a first 16bit post processing using an old version of Photoshop before saving each file as 8bit .tiff. Then I move the 8bit .tiff files over to my main Linux box (Ubuntu long term edition). Then I use GIMP for final post processing before exporting a .jpg file.
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Old 07-04-2015   #11
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Not a direct answer, but FWIW ...

I use Photoshop Elements 2.0 running on Linux in WINE ("Wine Is Not an Emulator" - recursive acronym ), which is free, or the paid-for Crossover Office version from CodeWeavers which adds convenient management features to WINE.

I've, not to date, found any feature of PS E2 on WINE that doesn't 'just work' for me

I've tried some later and fuller versions of PS as well, seem OK but I stick with PS E2 as I like the no-nonsense 'classic' style
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Old 07-04-2015   #12
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I have a similar problem, but more so that I prefer LR to anything else. I tried Darktable, but in the end LR is what I prefer, and I think the same will be true for you with C1.
I resorted to dual-boot, using windows only for image editing, Ubuntu for all else. The Windows partition rarely goes online neiter (only for updates and LR CC), keeping things clean.

That said, if anything, try Darktable.
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Old 07-04-2015   #13
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Re: Gimp - 8 Bit & a workflow example.

This is Probably getting a bit off topic for the original poster, but might be of interest to people wondering about Gimp which frequently gets mentioned before being knocked down because it's 8 bit.

I took my old Sigma DP1 (so 6MP APCish sized sensor ) with me today when I ran some errands. It was cold, overcast and fairly miserable.

Workflow:

- I took a series of photos.
- I processed them using Wine running Sigma Photo Pro 4. I note the originals all had the typical Foveon green cast! I converted my pictures to B&W. I then exported these images as jpegs (high quality) from within Wine.
- I imported into Shotwell (LINUX) and then opened each image in GIMP (LINUX) and had a little fiddle with Contrast and curves. Just enough to infect them with 8 Bit badness.
- I overwrote the jpegs in Shotwell (LINUX) from inside Gimp (LINUX).
- I then exported from Shotwell (LINUX) to Flickr (WEB!) (massively reducing them in size).

So the original RAW file went to Jpeg - then opened and re-exported as jpeg again in Gimp -- then exported and re-sized as jpeg for upload (so an extra step that arguably didn't need to be done.

I've included a 16 bit 1/2 size tiff version of one of the original X3f files and I've included 2 100% from the finished B&W GIMP'd jpeg. I don't say it's great, but I don't think that the files look terribly degraded either. I recall taking the picture and then wondering if I'd actually focused in the correct place anyway. If they are, I'd value being shown how and where (or when they would be) to learn about this because I don't understand how 16 vs 8 bit works. And 16bit v 8bit seems to be the key criticism of GIMP and therefore Linux.

I'm guessing if there is a deficiency, then it's in the clouds. Anyway, more information than anyone could ever possibly want (or need).

The original is a very undistinguished picture (F5.6 100ASA 1/100th of a second.


SDIM0018 by BigDragon, on Flickr

Edited:


SDIM0018 by BigDragon, on Flickr


100%b by BigDragon, on Flickr


100%a by BigDragon, on Flickr
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Old 07-04-2015   #14
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Gimp unstable (2.9.1) has 16 bit editing and runs fine in newest Ubuntu, here is PPA link. Not so well in Windows.

https://launchpad.net/~otto-kesselgu...untu/gimp-edge
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Old 07-04-2015   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmo7 View Post
Gimp unstable (2.9.1) has 16 bit editing and runs fine in newest Ubuntu, here is PPA link. Not so well in Windows.

https://launchpad.net/~otto-kesselgu...untu/gimp-edge

Have you installed and used it ???
How did that work out?
Does it overwrite the 8-bit GIMP executable or can they live in parallel?
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Old 07-04-2015   #16
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Darktable. Hands down.

I wrote about it some time ago. It should give you some ideas.

Click the image to read the article

by Will G, on Flickr
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Old 07-04-2015   #17
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^^Here's guide.

http://linuxers.org/howto/how-instal...are-ubuntu-ppa

I'm not so good writing guides, at least not in english.

And yes, it owerwrites 8-bit version.

Last edited by kimmo7 : 07-04-2015 at 08:01. Reason: adding more to text
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Old 07-04-2015   #18
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Mostly I use:
- UFRaw for raw conversion. Basic adjustment of whitebalance and exposure, then save directly as jpeg or tiff if I want to work on it later or send to Gimp with a single click.
- GIMP for general editing like cropping, levels etc.
- Krita for general editing. Is 16bit (or even floating point) but a bit less intuitive to use (my take on it)
- Imagemagick for bulk manipulation like conversion from raw to jpeg, or resizing
- Vuescan for the V700 scanner (don't know why Tyrone runs the windows version with Wine as there is a perfectly functioning Linux version)
- Rawtherapee. Can't say much of it as I just installed it last week and so far haven't done anything with it except checking it runs. Looks a bit like Darktable from the screenshot above.
- Virtualbox with a W7 for Sigma SPP

Wanted to try Darktable but it doesn't want my cpu's as they don't have sse3.
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Old 07-04-2015   #19
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And some explicit instructions for upgrading (but over writing) Gimp 2.8 with 2.9 experimental can be found here:

http://linuxg.net/how-to-install-gim...and-pear-os-8/

Basically 3 copy and pasted instructions in the terminal.

I'm running Vuescan Windows and not Linux because Vuescan needs system drivers to operate the scanner. The Opticfilm 7200 doesn't have Linux drivers, unfortunately.
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Old 07-04-2015   #20
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UFRaw + Gimp
on Ubuntu Studio
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Darktable
Old 07-04-2015   #21
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Darktable

I use (and like) Darktable on my Linux systems. Don't like Gimp (or Photoshop for that matter).

To answer someone's question why to use Linux. . . for me it's that I hate throwing away old high value workstations. So I have two HP XW8200s that used to render 3D animations in my video editing studio, but when XP Pro was abandoned, they are both breathing new life with Linux Mint as an operating system, which IMHO is a fabulous Linux distribution. And, I'm tired of paying for constant upgrading of software, only to be rewarded with new bugs.
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Old 07-05-2015   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveleo View Post
Have you installed and used it ???
How did that work out?
Does it overwrite the 8-bit GIMP executable or can they live in parallel?
I've tried it on Ubuntu 14.04 and it opens and runs, but it runs slowly (to be expected as there will be a lot of extra code in a development release).

Based on just using curves and levels I would say that 2.9 isn't ready for serious use. Adjustments to curves and levels don't appear in the image in real time and using levels causes the program to terminate. But it certainly opens 16 bit files without complaint. For Open Source users that want to use layers, etc. to adjust images, this should be a good step up when it's ready for prime time.
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