Pro Photography
Edit RAW images from Digital Cameras

Purpose

Edit Raw images from digital cameras using exFAT, Darktable, and Gimp.

Please read the disclaimer before proceeding. This workflow is updated regularly. Please write authorship with suggestions or requests.

Background

The professional photographer typically uses a Digital Single-lens Reflex (DSLR) or an Electronic View Finder (EVF) camera. EVF cameras discard the traditional mirror and prism and are becoming increasingly popular. Regardless of the image source, a key feature desired by Pro photographers is the ability to work with RAW images.

Overview

Alternate packages

For RAW Image processing we selected DarkTable because it is similar to LightTable and also supports presets, bulk processing and bulk exporting.

The most competitive alternative is probably RawTherapee, although at it does not yet support bulk exporting.

UFRaw is a more basic RAW editor, and we found it has an issue exporting exporting Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF) to Gimp.

These assessments are current 2020-01-15.

Steps

  1. Safely remove the SD card from the camera. The actual procedure for “safe” removal will vary by model, so please consult the camera user manual. Common procedures include turning off the camera or ensuring an access light lit or flashing before removing the card.

  2. Insert the SD card into the Focus Laptop. Within a few seconds, an icon in the system tray should show the SD card is available.

    System Tray
  3. Either open the SD Card folder from the notification...

    Storage notification

    ... or open the file manger and select the SD card directly in the bottom right pane.

    Although tempting, do not edit the images directly from the SD Card. This can lead to poor performance and data loss. You have been warned!

    File manager select SD Card
  4. Split the view in the file manager by clicking the icon in the top center.

    File manager split view
  5. Click on the right-hand pane and right-click to Create a new directory to contain copies of the RAW files. In the screen shot this is shown as_Work directory.

    Drag images from the SD card (left side) to the local _Work directory. When prompted, select the option to Copy, NOT Move.

    File manager split view
  6. Double click on the RAW image to open it in DarkTable and edit as desired.

    Darktable interface
  7. Press <Tab> to toggle the tool bars. When finished, close DarkTable and the image will be loaded into Gimp.

    Darktable toggled tools
  8. Edit the image as desired in Gimp.

    Gimp with toolbars
  9. As with Darktable, press <Tab> to toggle toolbars in Gimp.

    Gimp with toolbars

Disclaimer

We try hard to provide a useful workflow validated by professionals. However, we cannot anticipate every situation, and therefore cannot guarantee this procedure will work for your needs. Always back up your data and test the workflow to determine the correct procedure for you.

THIS WORKFLOW IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS “AS IS” AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT OWNER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS WORKFLOW, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.