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Digital Photo Management In Linux, Part 2

Everything Depends

  • October 11, 2007
  • By Carla Schroder

Last week we learned how to sanely organize our vast digital photo archives with Digikam. Today we'll look at Digikam's built-in editing tools. You'll be able to do a surprising amount of your editing work without ever leaving Digikam.

If you're familiar with old-fashioned film photography, you know that capturing an image with any sort of fidelity is a big game of "it depends." There are hundreds of factors that affect the appearance and quality of the final image- the quality of your camera, the type of film, the type of processing and papers used. Both color and black-and-white film processing are very malleable; you can achieve all kinds of affects with different developers, papers, and printing techniques.

With digital photography the malleability of images is magnified a thousand-fold. Start with the quality of your optics, then your camera's image sensor, then your computer's software, and if you make prints, the quality of your printer and printer drivers. To make matters even more interesting every computer monitor displays images differently, so what you see on the screen is hardly ever the same as what comes out of your printer. But despair not, for Linux has some excellent color management tools. I'll be writing about this in future installments; for now, check out LProf or Argyll for creating accurate color profiles for monitors, cameras, and scanners.

All of this flexibility lets you work however you prefer. I like to get the picture as right as possible in the camera and not have to bother with a lot of post-processing, so I rely on zoom lenses, precise exposures and bracketing, and careful focusing. Other people love spending hours on editing and tweaking; it's entirely up to you.

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