A new light – using Linux

I’m a Windows 8 user with Lightroom and Photoshop. I have always been, and pretty happy so. I’ve also been checking out the popular Linux distro’s like Ubuntu over the years out of curiosity,  but I’ve never used Linux as a production OS. Lately that has changed however when discovering the newest Linux Mint 17.1 desktop OS.

Don’t worry, I’m not that Linux freak trying to convert all Windows infidels. On the contrary. Windows is great, and I still use it for gaming. I even might continue using it for photo editing in Lightroom/Photoshop because they are (arguably) the best applications for photo editing available. BUT, I discovered I can do my photo editing as well in Darktable and GIMP, the Linux equivalents for Lightroom and Photoshop.

Are they equivalent? Well, yes and no. Yes: they have very similar functionality and look. No: some features are different or lacking, which can be annoying at times. But the thing is: it’s 100% free, and the end result – having great looking pictures – is the same!

It’s a personal preference, but personally I try to reduce the time spent photo editing to an absolute minimum. Therefore I shoot JPEG and try to get what I want right out of the camera (composition, exposure, color, white balance) . For me photography is in the photographing, not the editing. After importing my images in Lightroom (and now Darktable), the only thing left are some minor adjustments. Is that worth paying the monthly Adobe fee? Not for me.

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(Taken at the Light Festival in Gent, February 2015; composition, exposure, color, white balance all done in-camera; some minor contrast adjustment done in Linux/Darktable)

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