15 July 2021

Playing with Darktable and GIMP

I spent a few hours with these programs again today, trying to improve some old photo scans of our community's founders, Fr. Bruno Hussar and Anne Le Meignen. Though I still feel new and unexperienced with Darktable, I can see a clear improvement to the images I put through it - especially with regard to the general appearance of photos that are overly dark, have a wrong colour temperature, etc. I haven't learned how to do re-touching with Darktable, however, and for that I need GIMP. Here are the photos I worked on today (I've reduced the sizes):

Here I used darktable to improve the colours, then GIMP to create a depth of field blur. I made two false starts with YouTube GIMP tutorials: one used an effect that gave poor results; one required a plugin that isn't in GIMP by default. The tutorial that worked well for me was : https://youtu.be/GpGfcHcSX4s. I confess that I've used it before but had forgotten the steps. Now I have jotted them down carefully in my Cherrytree notes.

Here, after a couple of improvements in Darktable the main thing was to get out a few ink stains on the original (using GIMP's healing tool) I didn't spend very much time on it.

Here, obviously I must have worked on a slightly different original. I played with the colors using Darktable, then cleaned up the image a little in GIMP, again with the healing brush tool.

None of these results are amazing and, for all I know, there is probably proprietary software out there that can get superior results instantly. But I do what I can with the tools that I have and, hopefully, the results are a bit better than the originals.


Yesterday I had to make another short video, so for the first time (at least, in memory), I used Kdenlive. It wasn't too difficult. There were some things that were annoying. For example, I needed to superimpose an image on a clip, and wanted to employ a fade-in, fade-out transition effect to the image. But Kdenlive uses fade-in and fade-out from black, whereas what I actually needed was a fade to and from transparency. There are some complicated instructions on how to do that, but by that stage I just gave up on the transitions. But, as with GIMP, there are some good tutorials on YouTube, and I really needed those, because there are changes to settings, etc. that are non-intuitive. The result was OK - I can't show it here, because it was for a particular audience.

Share on Mastodon

The "share on Mastodon" WP plugin has been giving poor results - adding only my uninformative blog post titles and a link - but now I see there is some documentation that I need to read. I wonder if it allows the inclusion of excerpts, as does the WP Twitter auto-publish plugin? I will check this when I have time.


Haryana police evokes sedition charges against protesting farmers - The Hindu

Amazon rainforest now emitting more CO2 than it absorbs - The Guardian

The Amazon rainforest is emitting a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, according to a study. The giant forest had been absorbing the emissions driving the climate crisis but is now causing its acceleration, researchers said.
Most of the emissions are caused by fires, many deliberately set to clear land for beef and soy production. But even without fires, hotter temperatures and droughts mean the south-eastern Amazon has become a source of CO2, rather than a sink.

Bolsonaro in hospital as hiccups persist for more than 10 days - The Guardian
The temptation to make funny remarks about the poor man is all too strong.