darktable is an open source photography workflow application and raw developer. A virtual lighttable and darkroom for photographers. It manages your digital negatives in a database, lets you view them through a zoomable lighttable and enables you to develop raw images and enhance them.
Darktable is created for photographers, by photographers.
Having developers that are also avid photographers as part of the target audience is good for understanding the real world problems, challenges, and workflows.
Darktable edits your images non-destructively all the way through its pipeline. Your original image is never modified! Professional color management features ensure fidelity all the way to print and GPU accelerated processing means you can speed up your workflow using your video card.
Some of the futures of Darktable are as follows:
- Non-destructive editing throughout the complete workflow, your original images are never modified.
- Take advantage of the real power of raw: All darktable core functions operate on 4×32-bit floating point pixel buffers, enabling SSE instructions for speedups.
- GPU accelerated image processing: many image opertions are lightning fast thanks to OpenCL support (runtime detection and enabling).
- Professional color management: darktable is fully color managed, supporting automatic display profile detection on most systems, including built-in ICC profile support for sRGB, Adobe RGB, XYZ and linear RGB color spaces.
- Cross platform: darktable runs on Linux, Mac OS X / macports, BSD, Windows and Solaris 11 / GNOME.
- Filtering and sorting: search your image collections by tags, image rating (stars), color labels and many more, use flexible database queries on all metadata of your images.
- Image formats: darktable can import a variety of standard, raw and high dynamic range image formats (e.g. JPEG, CR2, NEF, HDR, PFM, RAF … ).
- Zero-latency, zoomable user interface: through multi-level software caches darktable provides a fluid experience.
- Tethered shooting: support for instrumentation of your camera with live view for some camera brands.
- Speaks your language: darktable currently comes with 21 translations: Albanian, Catalan, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian and Portuguese), Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Ukrainian.
- Powerful export system supports G+ and Facebook webalbums, flickr upload, disk storage, 1:1 copy, email attachments and can generate a simple html-based web gallery. darktable allows you to export to low dynamic range (JPEG, PNG, TIFF), 16-bit (PPM, TIFF), or linear high dynamic range (PFM, EXR) images.
- Never lose your image development settings darktable uses both XMP sidecar files as well as its fast database for saving metadata and processing settings. All Exif data is read and written using libexiv2.
- Automate repetitive tasks: Many aspects of darktable can be scripted in Lua.
Currently darktable contains 61 image operation modules. Many modules support powerful blending operators offering blend functionality that works on the incoming image information and the output of the current module or be used with drawn masks.
Some of the Basic image operations:
- contrast, brightness, saturation: Quickly tune your image using this simple module.
- shadows and highlights: Improve images by lightening shadows and darkening highlights. Read Ulrich’s blog post on this.
- crop and rotate: This module is used to crop, rotate and correct the perspective of your image. It also includes many helpful guidelines that assist you using the tools (e.g. rule of thirds or golden ratio).
- base curve: darktable comes with general enhanced basecurve presets for several models that are automatically applied to raw images for better colors and contrast.
- exposure controls: Tweak the image exposure either by using the sliders in the module or dragging the histogram around.
- demosaic: You have the choice between several demosaicing methods when editing raw files.
Some of the Tone image operations:
- fill light: This module allows the local modification of the exposure based on pixel lightness.
- levels: This module offers the well-known levels adjustment tools to set black, grey and white points.
- tone curve: This module is a classical tool in digital photography. You can change the lightness by dragging the line up or down. darktable lets you separately control the L, a and b channel. Read in Ulrich’s blog post how to make use of this feature.
- zone system: This module changes the lightness of your image. It is based on the Ansel Adams system. It allows to modify the lightness of a zone taking into account the effect on the adjacent zones. It divides the lightness in a user-defined number of zones.
- local contrast: This module can be used to boost details in the image.
Some of the Color image operations:
- velvia: The velvia module enhances the saturation in the image; it increases saturation on lower saturated pixels more than on high saturated pixels.
- channel mixer: This module is a powerful tool to manage channels. As entry, it manipulates red, green and blue channels. As output, it uses red, green, blue or grey or hue, saturation, lightness.
- color contrast
- color correction: This module can be used to modify the global saturation or to give a tint. Read Johannes’ blog post.
- monochrome: This module is a quick way to convert an image to black and white. You can simulate a color filter in order to modify your conversion. The filter can be changed in size and color center.
- color zones: This module allows to selectively modify the colors in your image. It is highly versatile and allows every transformation possible in the LCh colorspace.
There is a lot more futures in Darktable than we can list here. If yo like to take darktable for a spin head to our Installation Guide to install darktable on your system and take this great software for a ride.