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Photography Workflow Using Free Software

This is an updated version of a post that I made on, a well known photography site.

I use free software on debian linux for my complete workflow.
I use darktable, kphotoalbum, gimp and hugin.

The flow has just 3 or sometimes 4 steps.

  1. Take the photo, either
    1. darktable - live capture to my Desktop
    2. rapid-photo-downloader - if it's on my CFcard
  2. Edit the photo
    darktable - for rating and simple editing like you would do in lightroom
  3. Catalogue the photo
    kphotoalbum - to precisely tag and catalogue the photos
  4. Finished? - I am often finished at this point but sometimes I need more... so
    Edit the photo more
    1. gimp - for complex changes like you would do in photoshop
    2. hugin - for panoramas


I don't write scripts to accomplish this, I just use the well documented software.
All the software can be easily installed in linux with 2 clicks with a GUI 'synaptic'
or just type a command from the bash shell: $ aptitude install darktable gimp kphotoalbum hugin
which will download, install and confgure all of them in just a couple of minutes if you have a fast internet connection.


  • I want to use free software - I have found the odd bug and reported them to the developers and the bugs have been fixed.
    The developers are friendly, helpful and awesome. Occasionally I donate a buck or two if they will accept it.
  • The monthly cost is zero.
  • I can recommend it and share it with friends
  • I don't need to worry about formats becoming unreadable - the software gets better each year and it will always be free.

Why keep bitching about adobe, microsoft or apple?
Choose freedom and spend your money on something else (like new lenses or that second camera body).
It works for me,

UPDATE: I forgot to mention colour calibration:

  • I profile my camera (currently a Canon 5D MIII) using darktable and a colour checker passport
  • I calibrate my monitors using argyll and dispcalgui and a colorimeter (a Spyder 3)

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