darktable 3.4.0 released

Started Dec 24, 2020 | Discussions thread
JasonTheBirder Senior Member • Posts: 2,538
Re: workflow for newbies

JeremieB wrote:

His Dudeness wrote:

This triggered me to propose a setting for beginners

jthomas39 wrote:

I clicked the "hamburger" 3-bar menu icon, and switched to "Beginner" for now. That's a much smaller subset of modules.

I say: don't use this setting. If you are a beinner, I defenitely encourage you to learn the scene-reffered workflow right from the beginning. I don't know why they added this "beginner" preset. For sure it will feel more familiar to users of other software, but it just doesn't make sense to me.

in preferences -> processing: make sure "auto-apply pixel workflow defaults" is set to "scene-reffered"

Most important modules (IMHO):

  • (white balance... see below)
  • crop & rotate (also for manual keystone correction, if automatic correction does not work)
  • exposure (set middle gray)
  • tone equalizer (dodging and burning)
  • contrast equalizer (for sharpening)
  • color calibration (as a wonderful channel mixer, but may also perform white balance... read below)
  • color balance (global contrast and color grading)
  • filmic (tone mapping... e.g if you bumped up your exposure)
  • local contrast (first steps may "kill" the local contrast, get it back here. I recommend to use a parametric mask with focus on mid tones here)

Apart from that, these modules may be useful (not mentioning all the eye-candy stuff):

  • color zones
  • lens correction (can be applied automatically)
  • "denoise (profiled)" (general noise reduction)
  • perspective correction
  • retouch for removing sensor dirt, for cloning or for portrait retouch (don't use spot removal)

If I may ask, what's wrong with spot removal in your opinion ?

I used it regularly and didn't notice any issue.

I didn't take the time to dig into retouch module (yet), at first glance it's very mysterious to me

Nothing is wrong with it. Spot removal works very well in many cases for dirt on a uniform background. If the background is a little more complex, retouch can sometimes work better because it has a smoother merging algorithm that blends the retouch in with the rest of the image.

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