Editing RAW Files in Darktable

Dave NY

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jun 19, 2022
Messages
124
Reaction score
48
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Total Newbie here and I have a question on editing RAW files. I may not have some of the terminology correct but hopefully you folks will understand what I mean.

I have a Canon Camera and have started using the DPP 4 Photo editor but then found out it doesn't have a clean way to add a watermark so I also have Darktable which does and seems to do so very well and cleanly.

When I edit a RAW file in any software does the original get changed ever? If I save it with another name like appending "Edited" to the end of the filename is the new RAW file saved with the edits I made or do I have to save it as a JPEG or some other file extension.

What is the best file extension to save edited RAW files as.
 

Ysarex

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Nov 27, 2011
Messages
6,862
Reaction score
3,370
Location
St. Louis
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Total Newbie here and I have a question on editing RAW files. I may not have some of the terminology correct but hopefully you folks will understand what I mean.

I have a Canon Camera and have started using the DPP 4 Photo editor but then found out it doesn't have a clean way to add a watermark so I also have Darktable which does and seems to do so very well and cleanly.

When I edit a RAW file in any software does the original get changed ever?
The original raw data is never changed. That raw image data is stored in the file along with metadata which can be changed and/or added to. Canon DPP will save your edits by storing them in the raw file as an addition to the metadata -- Darktabke will not. Darktable saves your edits by adding them to it's own database and/or writing them to a sidecar .XMP file.

The fact that Canon's DPP will write your edits into the metadata of the CR2/3 raw file does not interfere with other programs like Darktable processing the raw data which is never altered.
If I save it with another name like appending "Edited" to the end of the filename is the new RAW file saved with the edits I made or do I have to save it as a JPEG or some other file extension.

What is the best file extension to save edited RAW files as.
If you intend to do further editing of the image in another app, eg. PS or Affinity, then save your work from Darktable or DPP as a 16 bit TIFF. If you're ready to use the edited image for display/print then save as a JPEG. Your editing in DPP or Darktable is saved automatically.
 
OP
Dave NY

Dave NY

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jun 19, 2022
Messages
124
Reaction score
48
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Ysarex,

Do you use DPP 4? I am torn now because I found out that I cannot add a watermark in DPP 4 however I can in Darktable.

When you print your photos, do you print the TIFF file or some other file. I'm playing with darktable now, seems to be a steep learning curve to editing photos.

I am familiar with computers but photo editing seems to be a different animal.

I don't intend to buy software so that leaves me with DPP 4 or Darktable, Gimp, or maybe some other freeware, what would you suggest.
 
Last edited:

Ysarex

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Nov 27, 2011
Messages
6,862
Reaction score
3,370
Location
St. Louis
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Ysarex,

Do you use DPP 4? I am torn now because I found out that I cannot add a watermark in DPP 4 however I can in Darktable.
I'm familiar with DPP. I'm retired now but photo has been my career for 40 years. I teach photo and photo processing and so I'm familiar with much of the software available. DPP is too limited for me to use as a raw processor. I use Capture One for my personal work and mostly teach LR/PS.
When you print your photos, do you print the TIFF file or some other file.
I create an output file specifically for that print job. If getting the print done by someone else that's typically a JPEG. If I print myself then a TIFF or JPEG.
I'm playing with darktable now, seems to be a steep learning curve to editing photos.

I am familiar with computers but photo editing seems to be a different animal.

I don't intend to buy software so that leaves me with DPP 4 or Darktable, Gimp, or maybe some other freeware, what would you suggest.
Darktable. DPP is too limited and GIMP is not a raw file processor it's a raster editor. Darktable is reasonably capable but more cumbersome to use than some of the better commercial software. It's possible to do a pretty good job using Darktable.
 
OP
Dave NY

Dave NY

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jun 19, 2022
Messages
124
Reaction score
48
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
So in your opinion I should concentrate on learning Darktable correct? Darktable has to use another app (I have Raw Therapee 5.8 installed) in order to load a Canon Raw file.

If I am understanding correctly, I pretty much have to use two apps to process a photo no matter what.

When do you add a watermark, at the point where you edit the TIFF or JPEG files?

I want to get familiar with photo editing and want to concentrate on the best method and software, right now I feel I am trying to look at too many software packages. I want to find out from someone like yourself who has been doing it for a long time.
 

Ysarex

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Nov 27, 2011
Messages
6,862
Reaction score
3,370
Location
St. Louis
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
So in your opinion I should concentrate on learning Darktable correct?
If you don't want to pay for software, yes.
Darktable has to use another app (I have Raw Therapee 5.8 installed) in order to load a Canon Raw file.
No. Darktable opens the CR2 files from your 80D directly. I just verified that and opened an 80D CR2 file in Darktable.
If I am understanding correctly, I pretty much have to use two apps to process a photo no matter what.
No. I use only one app to process all my photos with rare exception. That's an important workflow issue. How complicated and time consuming do you want your processing work to be? Do you want your processing work to be 100% non-destructive and re-editable? Two apps tends to add a destructive element into your processing.
When do you add a watermark, at the point where you edit the TIFF or JPEG files?
When an output JPEG or TIFF is created.
I want to get familiar with photo editing and want to concentrate on the best method and software,
I'm going to be blunt here: no you don't -- you don't want to pay for software. Best methods and best software aren't free.
Of the open-source software available Darktable is the best raw processor. You have a very nice and expensive camera. Why short change the last step in the process?
right now I feel I am trying to look at too many software packages. I want to find out from someone like yourself who has been doing it for a long time.
 
OP
Dave NY

Dave NY

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jun 19, 2022
Messages
124
Reaction score
48
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
My mistake, it is Gimp that uses Raw Therapee to open the files first.

Let me rephrase I want to get familiar with photo editing and want to concentrate on the best method and free software. I know there are tons of people that swear by Darktable and it has tons of followers.

What in your opinion would be the best software to buy?
 

Ysarex

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Nov 27, 2011
Messages
6,862
Reaction score
3,370
Location
St. Louis
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
My mistake, it is Gimp that uses Raw Therapee to open the files first.
Right -- GIMP can't process raw data.
Let me rephrase I want to get familiar with photo editing and want to concentrate on the best method and free software. I know there are tons of people that swear by Darktable and it has tons of followers.
Darktable is the best open source option to process raw files. I agree. And it's good software -- it's a viable option.
What in your opinion would be the best software to buy?
That's going to depend a bit on the kind of work you do, but the best commercial raw processors are:
Capture One
Lightroom
DXO PL5
ON1

For raster editors its:
Photoshop
Affinity Photo.
 
OP
Dave NY

Dave NY

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jun 19, 2022
Messages
124
Reaction score
48
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I don't plan on doing anything commercial, I am just a hobbyist who wants to be able to take photos, edit them if/when necessary. I love the outdoors and plan on taking loads of pics of landscapes, flowers, wildlife, waterfalls, etc. Nature is truly beautiful and I live in an amazing area to enjoy it, the Southern Finger Lakes area of Upstate New York.

I also enjoy software, I used to work in the industry and it was one of the best jobs I ever had, it definitely was one of those "if you have a job you like you never work a day in your life" jobs. So I am not intimidated by the software I just don't want to waste my time.

If there ever is a commercial avenue in the future, I'll cross that bridge then but I don't see it happening. I am retired and need something to keep me busy with whatever time I have left.
 

Ysarex

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Nov 27, 2011
Messages
6,862
Reaction score
3,370
Location
St. Louis
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I don't plan on doing anything commercial, I am just a hobbyist who wants to be able to take photos, edit them if/when necessary. I love the outdoors and plan on taking loads of pics of landscapes, flowers, wildlife, waterfalls, etc. Nature is truly beautiful and I live in an amazing area to enjoy it, the Southern Finger Lakes area of Upstate New York.
Pretty country indeed.
I also enjoy software, I used to work in the industry and it was one of the best jobs I ever had, it definitely was one of those "if you have a job you like you never work a day in your life" jobs. So I am not intimidated by the software I just don't want to waste my time.

If there ever is a commercial avenue in the future, I'll cross that bridge then but I don't see it happening. I am retired and need something to keep me busy with whatever time I have left.
Sounds like a good plan. I am likewise retired now as of the pandemic -- doubt I'll return to work.
 
OP
Dave NY

Dave NY

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jun 19, 2022
Messages
124
Reaction score
48
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Ysarex,

You've been a huge help to me and I really appreciate all your assistance in helping me understand it better. Thanks so much.

It's a beautifully clear day here today and I just may go to one of the lakes to get some shots and try out my new Sigma lens.
 

Most reactions

ClickASnap
Top