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by VonSchnauzer

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45

Adjustment layers. These apply the effect of a filter to the layers below, rather than being a layer with a filter applied. Gimp doesn't have this. One can live without, but they are nice. In some cases, layer blending modes can be used to achieve a similar effect, but they don't work the same way. This makes it much more tedious to experiment with ...


21

For photos? Not too much, actually. GIMP lacks automatic HDR processing. It doesn't have adjustment layers - although you don't need those too much for photos. Photoshop's Hue\Saturation dialog is superior. Photoshop CS5 has content-aware fill, which GIMP lacks, but there's a GIMP plugin called Resynth that does about the same ...


20

If Matt's answer about the nature of vibrance is correct (and the Adobe documentation agrees), you may be able to obtain a similar effect in GIMP. However, I don't have any Adobe software, so I can't judge how closely this actually matches Adobe's effect. Use Colors -> Components -> Decompose, decompose to Hue/Saturation/Value or Hue/Saturation/Luminance. ...


18

If you are on a Mac, one of the best ways is using Automator, which you can use to do basic cropping/editing and conversion to video (although this part usually requires Quicktime Pro). There is a good walkthough here: How to Make a Time-Lapse Video from Stills Also, a great open source solution is to use ffmpeg, but it is a much more technical path to ...


16

Wow, that's a long list. I think we can all be pretty safe in saying that there sure isn't anything like that now. One of the most interesting project that shares a lot of your goals is F-Spot -- you might want to look at getting involved there. It's also worth noting that photo management features are on the "long-term roadmap" for the excellent raw ...


16

Curves is a powerful and very flexible tool, which allows to control brightness, contrast and color balance very preciesly. The way I approach the curves tool, either in Gimp or in any other editor is two-fold: (1) The curve defines how to change the intensity. Its left side is for the darkest parts of the image, its right side is for the brightest part of ...


15

Have you taken a look at Darktable ? From what I can see, it seems like an open-source clone of Lightroom. Unfortunatly for me, it's Linux only. But if it's your kind of OS, well, lucky you !


14

This may seem biased/unfair, but GIMP has awful usability. Disclaimer: i have used both, although recently i use photoshop much more. In terms of functionality, GIMP doesn't tread much behind photoshop (for simple photomanips and adjustments - i don't do HDR), but layer manipulation and general use are tortuous (IMHO). I never couldn't do a task with GIMP, ...


13

Canon wins hands down in this regard. Many of Canon's compacts can run CHDK (sources), which exposes otherwise unavailable functionalities. The more recent DSLRs can run Magic Lantern (sources). Magic Lantern adds huge amounts of functionality, including the ability to shoot timelapse and HDR within the camera, and a built-in intervalometer. Manipulating ...


12

Alignment of multiple images taken from the same point If you are not making a panorama, but just aligning an image stack for focus stacking, exposure fusion or HDR, then align_image_stack from Hugin project is one of the simple yet very useful tools. For example, if your have 3 files a.jpg, b.jpg, c.jpg, to align them you may run: align_image_stack -a ...


11

Given that the reason for the question is price, I encourage you to rethink this constraint. How much is your time worth? You can get excellent post-processing software for little money compared to a lens. For example, Bibble can do everything above in the same application (might need a plugin for the watermark) and it costs only $100 for the lite version. ...


11

I have one. You're right — it's a good value for the money, and there's basically no catch except that if you're running under Mac or Windows you'll need to know a little more about what you're doing than you might if you just bought one of the big-name devices. That's because there's only software for Linux. If you are using Linux (any modern ...


11

Darktable handles JPEGs almost as RAWs. It just activates different processing modules by default, and e.g. the demosaicing module is of no effect for obvious reasons. See the Darktables module dependencies diagram. This diagramm is loosely processed from the bottom to the top by darktable. So, the arrows are followed in reverse direction. The user can ...


10

Matt specifically asked: whether the Adobe feature does anything special with skin tones I've always thought it did, and Adobe come right out and say it does. But I wanted to test it before saying so. Here's the test I did: I took our standard calibration print, which was specifically built to cover a wide range of skin tones: And I gave it first a ...


9

The GIMP's curves tool is virtually identical to PhotoShop's Curves tool. Almost all photo manipulation tools have a way of doing that action. There are a number of good explanations of it out on the internet if you look for photoshop: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=curves+adjustment+in+photoshop this one however is fairly thorough in it's ...


9

I know you asked for free stuff, however given that I whole-heartedly agree with Reid about how valuable your time is. Have you looked into Adobe Photoshop Elements 8? This is a powerful little tool that offers everything your looking for, in a single package, for a very cheap price (relatively speaking.) For $80, you can have a nice, professional tool ...


9

You have to have an onsite solution (easy, quick and cheap) and also an offsite storage (if something happens to your house (flooding, fire, robbery), you lose everything). The onsite solution is easy. As said, external drives are the best, you will then have tons of applications to help you synchronise this. Avoid manual backups as you'll end up forgetting ...


9

As you can see right on the main CHDK wiki - "Temporary – No permanent changes are made to the camera." You also can find very detailed information in the FAQ here. Basically - Yes you are hacking your camera. So things can happen that the original manufacturer did not intend(if this wasn't true, you wouldn't want it anyways). But the chances of any ...


8

You answer lies in Lightroom and this free software plugin for lightroom http://lrtimelapse.com/ The great thing about using lightroom for a timelapse is that you can easily crop,edit thousands of images with a simple click. You can then make a slideshow. Here is a blog post that shows how to install the slideshow video templates for lightroom: ...


8

The only program I've used is Hugin, but I'm really happy with it. I think it's pretty easy to use, and for the most part it's an automatic process. You'll spend most of your time waiting for the software to process the photos, so your best bet is to just install some software and start using it so you can get your results sooner!


8

Canon There is a hacked firmware extension for Canon called CHDK, which is pretty extensive and well-documented. A lot of the features are in-camera I think, but there are UBASIC scripts for doing intervalometer type stuff. There are a lot of CHDK-related questions and answer on this site. Nikon Nikon has an official SDK which allows you to: ...


7

One item I don't see mentioned in other answers is performance. Especially on a Mac. Lightroom and Photoshop both crunch through adjustments and work MUCH faster than the Gimp does.


7

Yes, it's safe to say there is no such thing (Update: look at that, there might be, but with the level of performance you are asking?). Even Gimp is not remotely close to Photoshop for advanced users, and the list of features you describe would put such an app in the "advanced" category. This is not true for all apps, Firefox was born after Internet Explorer ...


7

Hugin might be your answer. At least it is available for the Mac and handles stacking of images (also into EXR-format), masking and distortion-correction of images. It is not per se meant for astrophotography, so you would have to know what to do. As for automation (of the aligning) - I put each of my Stacks/Stitches into separate directories and just let a ...


7

I would say in terms of order Sony Canon Sony has a repo where you can have access to the operating system, if doing embedded development is your kind of thing. You can access their current repository here. Canon because of the Magic Lantern work and the fact that they do publish some form of API to work with DryOS. If you were a end user who had no ...


6

GREYC's Magic Image Converter (G'MIC) is a continuation of GREYCStoration. I'm not a fan of it, as I've found it to be very slow and there are loads of options to tweak. This means you could spend hours just tweaking the parameters to find an optimal set for a particular image. My personal recommendation would be Wavelet Denoise. It's fast, has few ...


6

This is easy. First, if you don't have the Layers window open go to the Windows menu and choose it. You don't actually need that, but it's handy. It's a small "utility" window which typically floats near the right side of your screen. And open your file, if you haven't yet. With that window open, you can click on the existing layer in the image (probably ...


6

I'd say that external hard drive and online backup are the only realistic options: External hard drive - cheapest solution; note that even if the external hard drive does break, you will still have a copy of the data on your computer (costs about $50 for a 500GB drive). Online backup - safest, but most expensive solution Dropbox: $9.99/50GB/month or ...


6

Two standard hard disks is the simplest and most economical backup solution. One disk is kept off site in case your house burns down. You can use regular (and cheap) internal hard disks if you have external SATA ports on your machine. If you have somewhere to keep the backup disk at work taking it home one evening a fortnight works well. Every 12-18 months ...


6

How does one delete rejected photos from within Darktable Use 'Delete' button (Lightroom mode, right panel, 'Selected Image(s)' module): it "physically deletes" selected images from disk. It helps to display only previously rejected images by setting 'View' filter (Lightroom mode, top panel) to 'rejected only'. For faster use, you can associate a ...



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