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New It's great for trying options
Think I'll try photo editing. Yup, free app for that.

Now blogging. Plenty there.

Video production? Hmm ... a little spotty.

Book layout? Pretty high end! But damn, that's tedious. I think I'd rather let someone else do that part.

You know what? Forget the video, and the book layout. Photos and blogging, that's it. Now I just need to stay on LTS to avoid malware. And ... now it's broken.

New Speaking specifically to the photo angle
The apps are utter dogshit.

You know what's great about Photoshop? Workflow. As in, "it's sane". Yeah, there's a whole bunch of annoying bullshit that goes with Adobe products (mostly around licencing), but when you get to actually doing work, damn if they don't get you where you need to be.

Photoshop has a whole pile of tools that do amazing things (seriously: the content-aware healing tool is witchcraft) and they work together. The plugin ecosystem alone is worth the price of admission. And now that PS plugins work with Lightroom (which also integrates with PS), you got yourself a proper photo editing and organising system.

You know what's great about GIMP? The price, and that's about it. It's an image editing app designed by programmers, practicing cargo cult app design. "If we make a bunch of dialogues that sorta look like the ones in Photoshop, and we use the same vocabulary as Photoshop, then obviously our app will be usable and loved just like Photoshop, right?"

Heh, no.

Darktable is slow, buggy, and makes bad images. Its white balance tools are hopeless, which holes it before the waterline for all but the most trivial photo work and immediately puts it completely out of contention for professional work (example: you take a bunch of pictures of the inside of someone's house or an office; you need that blue folder on the desk and the whiteboard on the wall to be the same colour in all shots - well, you do if you want to get paid).

Outlook 2016 is simply irreplaceable for me. I need a good email experience integrated with a good calendar, and I don't want to do it in a browser. Everything that runs on Linux is either broken, unmaintained, or lacks features. Everything. Lightning, Evolution, KOrganiser, California, GNOME Calendar, etc. Outlook on the Mac ain't all that (disclaimer: I last used version 2011) but Mail is plenty good and the Apple Calendar is fine, too.

These are the kinds of real problems that need to be solved before Linux will go forward as a commonly-used platform. Being able to fix a broken graphics driver by working at the command line is great, but this is no more useful to most people than having to RRR in Windows - they can no more recover the system that way than they can juggle chainsaws.

In fact, it's by no means certain that just giving up and RRRing (esp. as installing Linux is easy these days) is any slower than locating and persuading a tame nerd to fix things. For folks who stash everything in the cloud, like my wife, it's a no-brainer. Nuke and pave, because life is short.

I totally understand and agree that Linux is a great platform for development. But that's not what I'm talking about.

I have burned hours and days and weeks just trying to get to the same place on Linux (and FreeBSD) that I am now in on Windows.

And you know what? I just want to take and process my photos, arrange my personal life and my Round Table, and play games. I don't want to be a computer janitor.
New My photo needs are lighter
I mostly use it for food photos, which I mostly take with good lighting. I mostly zoom, crop and sharpen, with a little white balance tweaking.

The times I've tried to color match two photos that were off for some reason ... Yeah, good luck.

New I feel ya
I dread to think how I would have managed to ensure that the bride's dress was the same perceptual shade of white in ~600 wedding photos (a not atypical number of frames to end up with on a paid wedding shoot) if I were using something like Darktable.
New I assume PS has something for that?
What I would want is to have a reference shot, then be able to pick a point on the reference and a point on a target shot and tell it, "Color balance so the target matches the reference."

New It looks like Nikon says you should fix it in the camera first.

I sympathize with you folks that have to edit hundreds of photos. It must be a royal pain.

PS may continue to be the go-to tool for pros, but it's far too expensive for me, and the continual upgrade treadmill makes it even less appealing.

I use PMView and Picasa for my very humble photo editing needs. PMView can be scripted, and Picasa's "I feel lucky" often does a pretty good job.


(Who figures that Google is going to be the entity that continues to be the player that pushes "free" (or low-cost) software forward. Not one of the Linux houses.)
New You definitely start there
You can adjust for natural vs. fluorescent vs. incandescent lights and get pretty close. But when you're doing an album or a collage you can't judge shots stand-alone, but by how closely they match every other shot.

For mine, I do step-by-step tutorials. If the food changes color between shots, it's going to look like I'm assembling shots from multiple sessions. Which (just between you and me) I've actually done, but you wouldn't know because I did take the time to color match them.

New Nope
The whole point of shooting raw is that you don't have to faff about with that shit when you should be focusing* on composition.

Fiddle about with white balance, chimping like a bastard while you do it, literally hundreds of times on a wedding shoot?

fuck. that. shit.**

That said, my 6D does a pretty decent job of landing the right WB value the vast majority of the time. The ability to apply a consistent WB setting across multiple photos is what's gold. It doesn't have to be far off between shots to be noticeable.

And let's hear less of the "far too expensive". It's £8/month for PS and LR. I spend more than that on crisps at the pub. It's 4 litres of petrol. I bet your internet/tv/phone package is way more.

*see what I did thar?

**That article looks very much like it's aimed at people shooting JPEG. For very boring technical reasons, you can't change the WB on a JPEG like you can on a raw image.
New Interesting.
Thanks for the corrections.

I've done very limited RAW picture-taking with my Canon G1X. I haven't seen the benefit yet (I'm not saying there isn't any!), and it does slow things down.

I knew that RAW was a kinda-sorta pre-processed data file, but didn't know the details. Thanks.

Just to amplify what you said:


Steve Dunn , Mar 02, 2011; 02:54 p.m.

I'm coming at this from the Canon side of things, so I can't say with absolute certainty that this applies to all brands, but as far as I know it does.

If you're shooting RAW, your white balance setting doesn't affect the actual image data in the RAW file. It does affect the image displayed on the camera's LCD (which is a JPEG embedded within the RAW file for most Canon models, and probably similar for other brands). Since the embedded JPEG is what's typically used for any histograms and over/under-exposure warnings displayed by the camera, it affects those, too. So if you're using anything displayed on the camera to help you judge whether you got the shot right, then the white balance could be important in helping you make that judgment.

When you bring the RAW image into an image editor/RAW converter on your computer, the white balance you set in the camera should be irrelevant, with the possible exception that the software may use it as a default when it first presents the image (but then you can choose any WB you want, of course).

The same generally applies to other processing parameters that you can set in the camera, such as picture styles, sharpness, noise reduction*, and colour space. Shooting parameters (such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and any settings such as exposure compensation which affect the camera's choice of any of those parameters), of course, affect RAW images because aperture and shutter speed change the amount of light reaching the sensor and ISO affects the gain of the sensor's analog amplifiers.

I shoot RAW almost exclusively, and usually use auto WB in the camera. I also find it's close enough most of the time for the embedded JPEG and all the things the camera does with it, and then I can set whatever WB I want when I'm processing the images on my computer.

*: Many cameras have two completely separate types of noise reduction. I'm talking about the ordinary one that tries to reduce the noise seen in higher-ISO shots, with the unfortunate side-effect of blurring fine detail. Generally, that's not applied to RAW files. I'm not talking about long-exposure noise reduction, or dark frame subtraction, in which after a long exposure is completed, the camera closes the shutter, takes a second exposure of the same length, and then subtracts it from the original exposure, to get rid of things like thermal noise and hot pixels; that one, at least in Canon bodies, does affect the RAW file.

The cheap CC is $10/month here. It's a lot for something that I might use once or twice a year (if that). We use the TV every day. ;-)

But thanks for the reminder. $120/yr is a lot better than $500+ every couple of years or so.

(Who only has intentional exposure to Adobe software these days via its PDF stuff, and that has gotten to be about the most horrible way to fill out a simple form ever invented.)
New Re: I assume PS has something for that?
Not PS, LR.

You can set a white point and apply it to all your pictures.

ETA: More specifically, you can copy and paste adjustments (crop/rotate, colour, gradients, spot removals, etc. - basically anything you can do to an image in LR, you can C&P) from image to image (or images), and you can save them as presets, and stuff like that.
Expand Edited by pwhysall April 28, 2016, 02:04:17 PM EDT
     I'm too old for this shit - (drook) - (48)
         I know that song. - (static)
         Yeap. - (malraux) - (26)
             Me too. - (pwhysall) - (25)
                 Meh - (scoenye) - (24)
                     Too much configuration, not enough apps - (malraux) - (23)
                         That's about the size of it. - (pwhysall) - (20)
                             That's about what I figured - (scoenye) - (19)
                                 Eh, no. - (pwhysall) - (18)
                                     It's great for trying options - (drook) - (9)
                                         Speaking specifically to the photo angle - (pwhysall) - (8)
                                             My photo needs are lighter - (drook) - (7)
                                                 I feel ya - (pwhysall) - (6)
                                                     I assume PS has something for that? - (drook) - (5)
                                                         It looks like Nikon says you should fix it in the camera first. - (Another Scott) - (3)
                                                             You definitely start there - (drook)
                                                             Nope - (pwhysall) - (1)
                                                                 Interesting. - (Another Scott)
                                                         Re: I assume PS has something for that? - (pwhysall)
                                     So, it is not ready for *your* desktop - (scoenye) - (7)
                                         LibreOffice 5.1 is very good, also too. - (Another Scott) - (6)
                                             It is - (scoenye) - (5)
                                                 I haven't used it in a while - (hnick) - (4)
                                                     I have used Draw for various things, but not that. - (Another Scott) - (2)
                                                         Looks like it might be useful. - (hnick) - (1)
                                                             Sounds good. Remember - LibreOffice runs on Winders and MacOS too. -NT - (Another Scott)
                                                     Never used the office suites for that - (scoenye)
                         True - (Steve Lowe)
                         That about sums it up. - (static)
         I have one for experimention. Hane not booted it in a month -NT - (boxley)
         Proprietary video drivers? - (scoenye) - (10)
             Dunno yet, going to spend some more time on it tonight -NT - (drook) - (9)
                 Depending on the symptoms... - (scoenye) - (8)
                     "whining detractors" ;-) - (malraux) - (6)
                         At least I can get it to work again - (scoenye) - (5)
                             I don't use Windows. What's your point? -NT - (malraux) - (4)
                                 That they all have warts -NT - (scoenye) - (3)
                                     From a desktop perspective, Linux has more than OSX in my experience -NT - (malraux) - (2)
                                         As it so happens, I ended up getting a MacBook dropped in my lap last evening - (scoenye) - (1)
                                             EveryMac has lots of good info. - (Another Scott)
                     Already tried nuking the profiles, no luck -NT - (drook)
         I had a similar issue updating a machine a while ago. - (Another Scott) - (4)
             Win 7 to Win 10. - (pwhysall) - (1)
                 Yeah, yeah. We'll see. ;-) (Thanks.) -NT - (Another Scott)
             Got it running again. Lenovo Thinkpad T61. - (Another Scott) - (1)
                 Battery life? What's that? - (drook)
         Success - (drook) - (1)
             :-) Woot! -NT - (Another Scott)
         You, me, and Danny Glover. -NT - (CRConrad)

I'll give up my thesaurus when you pry it from my frigid, frosty, frozen, cadaverous, lifeless, stiff, defunct extremities.
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