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Old January 22nd, 2007, 01:51 PM
Erik DeBill Erik DeBill is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 224

Originally Posted by Dave See
All of you comment on how poor a desktop experience FOSS offers, yet merely programmed or server tasks are good to great. I would concur that X11 and calibration is weak--although I have got xcalib and lcms working, I've not bought the hardware calibration widget, yet--and that GIMP, while good for web/digital only image processing, is really nowhere near CS/Photoshop. Thus far, I've used monica for monitor gamma correction; recompiled ImageMagick with lcms support; bought the pro license to VueScan--a couple years ago, for my film scanner--and this supports many RAW formats too; and I also bought the Joe Holmes "Sampler" of ICC profiles to play around with the odd profile I could find...
I had good luck calibrating my monitor under Windows (using an Eye One), then using the profile under Linux. I believe Bibble, Gimp and Cinepaint all supported loading profiles. It's not like Windows or Mac where you set it once at the OS level (there's a way to do that, but almost nothing checks it yet). Instead you set your profile in each app, and the apps handle it.

There was very minimal support for calibrated printing. I was just about to give that a try when I realized how badly Gutenprint was mangling my colors. Full story and comparison images here.

Cinepaint gives you true 16bit color (it supports 32bit/channel, actually). It's an offshoot of Gimp, so the interfaces are very similar. I didn't like the sharpening tools as much, but it's quite functional if you want to do your manipulation in 100% free software.

Bibble and Lightzone are both commercial, but both run on Linux (Lightzone unofficially, but with the blessing of the authors). Both do 16 bit and are very functional.

...after initial experiences with VueScan, C1LE, UFRaw, RawTherapee, etc. I realized it was too soon to be in the digital equivalent of a darkroom. Yes, I know "the negative is the score. The print is the performance"-AA... but, as I mentioned in my intro post, I want to make good captures first and not foster bad habits in RAW and post with "Auto Levels" and other WB corrections. Not that this is a "Bad Thing"(TM), to use "Auto Levels", or AWB! It took me a while to learn about ISO400 film and what aperture and speed to use... a lightmeter? Heck, that's just one perspective ;)
Interesting. I found that the thought I had to put into converting and adjusting my RAW files after I took them forced me to think about my pictures and kept me from just taking lots of throwaway snapshots. As I would adjust them, I'd be thinking about the picture, what I liked and what I didn't. It helped me improve my photography faster.
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