A Linux-based Photography Workflow (part 1)
This is the first of a set of long-overdue posts that I meant to write quite a while back–about photography tools that run under Linux. I write this to 1) make a journaled note of what I am using at this point in time, 2) to shed any light on some tools that others in a similar situation may be interested in using, and 3) hopefully, to get some comments and pointers to other promising tools from other Linux users.
I know most photography enthusiasts are either on Macs or Windows (and I own a few Macs myself), but my day gig is doing software engineering for a telescope, and that means Linux. Not only for work, but I’ve been a fan going back to 1992 when I first started running it on my 486 pc. I’ve always appreciated the ethos, sharing and value of open-source software. Not to mention that frequently the quality, flexibility and stability exceeds that of commercial software. What open-source tools have done for me in general is provide a way to avoid large, bloated, expensive commercial tools from vendors that would like nothing better than to lock you in, and get you on their fee-based upgrade treadmill (Adobe Photoshop, anyone? No flames please–your mileage may vary!)
I am aware that open-source offerings are occasionally not up to the capability or usability of commercial offerings and for those occasions where I cannot find a reasonable package I either purchase a Linux-based closed-source program (if I can find one) or turn to my Macs. However, my needs are not those of a commercial photographer, and I make no claim that Linux is a reasonable platform for commercial photography. Currently I use the Mac for dabbling in video and music production, but for photography I have been fortunate to find workable Linux-based tools for most of my needs and in some cases, to craft my own tools. With that explanation and disclaimers out of the way, lets get on to the tools. In the rest of this post I will simply itemize the tools I am using, and then in subsequent posts I will expand on them in my workflow by area. I’ll finish the series with a page of links to possibly useful web sites for Linux-based photographers.
- ext and xfs filesystems
- raw therapee
- image magick
- vuescan (commercial)
- turboprint (commercial)
For HDR (High Dynamic Range images):
- Luminance HDR (formerly “qtpfsgui”)
Web site and archiving: