This isn't strictly a GIMP question (although the GIMP may well be a component
of the solution), but it seems likely that some of the people here will have
some good ideas.
I'm experimenting with various approaches to turning my RAW images into
high-quality TIFF or JPEG files for printing and/or on-screen viewing, and
I'm looking for suggestions from others who are doing the same thing on
So far, I've found that using GIMP and the ufraw plugin, I can get conversions
that are fairly nice in most respects. Manipulating the exposure and the
curves in the ufraw dialog even allows me to take advantage of the greater
contrast that the RAW format captures, compressing or stretching the dynamic
range prior to converting to 8-bit color depths so that highlights aren't
blown out and details aren't lost.
There are a couple of problems, though.
First, the ufraw plugin, and the dcraw program, seem to fall down in one
respect: my converted images are often much noisier than the JPEGs produced
by the in-camera processing. I shoot in RAW+JPEG so I have both, and in some
cases I've been able to get a better final image out of the JPEG than the
RAW, simply because of the noise issue.
I have found that the GIMP 'selective gaussian blur' can be used to get rid of
much of the noise, but it has to be used very carefully to avoid losing too
much detail or distorting portions of the image. I'd like to find a
less 'fiddly' solutuion.
The second problem is that I'd like to print some of my images in relatively
large sizes (11x14 or so), and it seems to me that if I want the best quality
possible, it's not a good idea to convert to 8-bit color. Of course, that
rules out using the GIMP to clean up noisy areas, since it doesn't yet
support higher bit depths. Cinepaint doesn't have the selective gaussian
blur filter, nor does ImageMagick.
So, are there any other RAW photographers who use Linux or *BSD and want to
share their photo processing workflow?
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