Darktable 1.4.x Shortcuts

Darktable allows the export of the complete keyboardrc, which would create a roughly 80k file containing tons of lines like the following:

; (gtk_accel_path "<Darktable>/global/map view" "m")

With this file you can basically create any key assignment, that you like. However the generated file is complete unsorted.

To make some sort of sense of the keyboardrc file I suggest to sort the file by invoking the sort command:

$ sort keyboardrc | less

or alternatively the command

$ sort keyboardrc | sed -e '/ "")$/d' | less

This will edit out all commands, which don’t have a key assigned. In general within the keyboardrc, after having it sorted, there are 4 regions overall: <Darktable>/global/*, <Darktable>/views/*, <Darktable>/modules/* and <Darktable>/image operations/*. I think, any configured shortcuts, are processed in that order. First check for global, than look at views and so on. In that file <Primary> is the Control key.

Since I’m very much at the beginning of my work with Darktable I’ve wanted the standard key bindings in a slightly better formatting than the Darktable manual. Therefore I created the following (this needs refinement in time to come).


Key Function
Control+h toggle header
Tab toggle side borders
Escape leave fullscreen
Control+q quit
period switch view
d darkroom view
l lighttable view
m map view
t capture view
F7 decrease contrast
F8 increase contrast
F9 decrease brightness
F10 increase brightness
F11 toggle fullscreen

Image Operations

Key Function
Return commit
Control+g toggle gamutcheck
Control+s toggle softproofing
[ rotate 90 degrees CCW
] rotate 90 degrees CW

Use the right mouse button in the Crop module to draw a line to correct the picture vertically or horizontally.

History (Module)

Key Function
Control+c copy all
Control+Shift+c copy
Control+v paste all
Control+Shift+v paste

Image (Module)

Key Function
Control+d duplicate
Control+g group
Control+Shift+g ungroup

Export/Import (Module)

Key Function
Control+e export
Control+Shift+i import folder

Film Strip (Module)

Key Function
Control+Shift+c copy history parts
Control+c copy history
Control+d duplicate image
Control+i invert selection
Control+Shift+v paste history parts
Control+v paste history
Control+a select all
Control+Shift+a select none
r rate reject
0 … 5 rate 0 – 5
F1 color red
F2 color yellow
F3 color green
F4 color blue
F5 color purple

Light Table (View)

Key Function
Control+i invert selection
Control+a select all
Control+Shift+a select none
Alt+1 zoom max
Alt+2 zoom in
Alt+3 zoom out
Alt+4 zoom min
Control+z preview with focus detection
z preview
0 … 5, r rate 0 – 5, reject (same as in Film Strip)
F1 … F5 color … (same as in Film Strip)
l realign images to grid
Shift+g navigate down
Page_Down navigate page down
Page_Up navigate page up
g navigate up
apostrophe scroll center
Down scroll down
Left scroll left
Right scroll right
Up scroll up

Darkroom (View)

Key Function
Control+e export
Control+f toggle film strip
BackSpace image back
space image forward
o overexposed
Alt+1 zoom close-up
Alt+2 zoom fill
Alt+3 zoom fit

Pressing Alt+1 repeatedly toggles between 100% and 200% view.

Map (View)

Key Function
Control-r redo
Control-f toggle film strip
Control-z undo

Misc (Various Modules)

Key Function
v toggle live view
Control+j jump to file roll
Control+k jump back to previous collection
Control+t tag

Problems with libstdc++-v3 on Gentoo

I didn’t do any digital photo work for some time with Bibble Pro, however recently I wanted to do something and was greeted with a “Segmentation Fault”. Bibble is a 32bit application, that I’m running on 64bit Gentoo Linux. This is what I got:

$ LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/bibblelabs/bibblepro/libs bibblepro
bibblepro: /usr/lib32/libstdc++.so.5: no version information available (required by bibblepro)
bibblepro: /usr/lib32/libstdc++.so.5: no version information available (required by bibblepro)
AppPath: /usr/bin
SysHome: /usr/lib/bibblelabs/bibblepro/
Userhome set to /root/.bibble
Late init
... messages deleted ...
Speicherzugriffsfehler (Segmentations Fault)

Apparently it has something to with the libstdc++.so.5 (libstdc++.so.5.0.7). Checking the compilation date of the binary package showed, that it was recompiled around the middle of February 2009. With that recompilation something must have gone wrong (newer compiler or whatever). Once I replaced the libstdc++.so.5.0.7 with a version compiled on a native 32bit Gentoo system, Bibble was working just fine again.

BTW, I noticed that there is now a public preview version of Bibble 5. This version is in the making for quite some time now. Bibble 4 is really getting long in the tooth. I hope, they can release something sometime soon.

Software for the Digital Darkroom

I’m shooting in Raw format because of the advantages (white balance after the fact, 12bit working space instead of the 8bits of the JPG format). I need a software, which allows me to quickly select the “good” photos and provides some basic image editing features. The situation gets a little more complicated, since most of the time I’m working under Linux.

So, I guess the optimum would be Adobe Lightroom for Linux, but Linuxer’s let’s face it, this will never happen. For really professional digital darkroom work you’ll need to be running either Windows or MacOS X.

Anyway, I still would like to stay with Linux or use a mixed Linux/Windows approach. What functions do I need? The software should allow me to walk through the photos very quickly and make the selection about the keepers, the maybe’s and the files to delete. Apart from the basic raw development functionality, some basic image editing should be possible (cropping, rotating, possibly conversion to black and white). This are the functions, which would be needed to process 90-95% of my photos and which would mean, that for these photos I wouldn’t need a full blown graphics package like Photoshop.

He is a list of packages, which I’ve used.

  • dcraw and ufraw as plugin of Gimp. Well, they get the job done to convert the picture from camera raw to something else or load the picture into Gimp, but that’s it. There are no options to walk through the photos quickly and if you want to do some basic image editing, you’ll need to load the image into Gimp. There are still more options for Linux like digikam, but I haven’t used them enough so say something about them, but i.e. digikam has a very active community and new releases appear frequently.
  • RawShooter Essentials. The company was bought by Adobe. RawShooter Essentials is no longer available and I guess features from RawShooter Premium have found their way into Lightroom. Anyway, I found that the reviewing system of RawShooter Essentials worked very well for me. This basically worked by providing the rating of 1 to 3 stars, a general- and a delete flag all bound to key for quick selection Judging from the Lightroom screencasts, which I’ve seen, this system is one of the features, that made it from RawShooter into Lightroom. Apart from the basic developments adjustments RawShooter Essentials provided no further basic editing capabilities or any means to rename the raw files according to a pattern.
  • Digital Photo Professional. This is the software, which comes with the camera and is not too bad, somewhat similar to RawShooter. Renaming of raw files is possible, although the provided pattern could be somewhat richer. Editing is only possible in terms of cropping. The review system is also a bit more limited compared to RawShooter Essentials in that only 1 to 3 stars can be awarded to a picture. Deletion is only directly possible. DPP provides a side by side comparison of before/after result.
  • LightZone Linux Edition, which recently has been updated to version 2.4. The Linux edition is available for free, at least at this point in time. At home I can also only use the older version 2.1, since 2.4 requires a processor with SSE2 extensions, which my old AMD2800+ doesn’t provide. From this whole bunch of raw converters, I think Lightzone offers the best image editing capabilities. Uwe Steinmüller of Digital Outback Photo is pretty enthusiastic about Lightzone.
    What sets this program from the others apart, is the capability of non selective photo editing. It is similar to Photoshop in that multiple non-destructive editing layers are stacked, but the definition of the areas, which there changes are applied is not defined by masks, which operate on a bit by bit level, but by regions. These regions are defined by drawing polygons or through bezier or spline curves. Within the region you define a graduation area, where the particular effect is applied from 0 to 100%. After defining the regions, you can very easily move the control points of the region with the mouse.
    Another aspect, where Lightzone is pretty unique is the application of Ansel Adams zone system. While you would use a “Curves” adjustment layer in Photoshop, you use the Zonemapper or the Tonemapper to improve the tonality of the image. The Zonemapper creates a new layer, which is sectioned into 12 zones as defined by Ansel Adams. You can then move the zones with the mouse to improve contrast and tonality. With the Tonemapper sliders allow you operate on the highlights, shadows or details.
    With version 2.4 they also introduced a new black & white conversion tool. This is the best I’ve ever used. With other picture editors most of the time, you will probably use the channel mixer to create a black & white rendition of your picture. You move the red/green/blue slider until you reached a pleasing conversion with a combination of all three sliders. I found this pretty painfull. With Lightzone you have a color circle, where you can freely move the cursor. Depending on the postion of the cursor, the percentages of the base colors are used for the conversion. I found this a lot more intuitive and could produce a better result than with ordinary color mixers.
    With 2.4 a rating system was introduced as well, I haven’t used it yet. The Windows/Mac version already reached version 3.0.1. Hopefully this version will be also available for Linux some time in the future. So, to sum it all up, Lightzone is a very interesting tool, which makes a full blown picture editor redundant most of the time.
  • Bibble The cool thing about Bibble is, that a native Linux version is available. If you purchase the Pro license, you can use the program on all three platforms. Bibble has everything I need, except selective editing. A rating system is there, cropping and rotating tools, a black & white conversion tool, a nice highlights recovery tool, a powerful queueing system for you work flow, the ability to output the result into more than one format during final conversion. Bibble also supports a plugin system for third party tools. There are a number of add-ons available. The renaming of the camera files during operation of the “Download” queue is also supported. All in all, a very nice package. The only things, that could be a bit better is the panel and views management, which I haven’t yet completely understood or mastered. And the redisplay after some changes could be a bit quicker.
  • Adobe Lightroom And then there is Lightroom. If you surf the Web then you very quickly get the impression, that Lightroom is the tool of choice for the Pros. But then these Pros will also have Photoshop. And Pros will have a lot more pictures to process than me. And for them any second saved pays off. I’ve seen some video tutorials on the Web and Lightroom does indeed has the best review/rating system off them all, allowing quick side by side comparison, organizing similar pictures into stacks and so on.
    The introductory price of about 200 Euro is also affordable for an amateur. Unfortunately some time ago I already invested into IMatch, so the library module of Lightroom would be somewhat useless for me or I would have to transfer the data somehow, but I actually don’t want to do that work. For those times where I need IMatch it works good enough me through a VMWare virtual machine, but Lightroom would be used much more frequently and it bother me a lot to boot into Windows either in a VM or the complete PC.

So, what I did I want to achieve with this lengthy article? I think while writing this and trying some of the described tools, I finally found my personal solution. When I started I was nearly on the verge to order Lightroom, but all things considered the situation on Linux is not that bad as I wrote at the beginning. My solution therefore will be, that I’m going to purchase BibblePro. The Pro license allows the usage on all platforms and it is cheaper compared to Lightroom (129 Euro). What could make the picture processing on Linux even more feasible is the availability of a color control solution. I’ve learning in an interview (pushlished in a Happyshooting Podcast with Christoph Gamper, European General Manager of Colorvison, that the Spyder2 solution, either the Spyder2express or the Spyder2 Suite, are available for Linux on request. This fact is not advertised on their Web site.

Canon updates digital SLR sotfware

I’ve been reading about it here: Rob Galbraith DPI: Canon updates digital SLR software, releases RAW Codec.
I’ve been looking for the software on the German support and download pages for some time now, but if you follow the standard click path you’ll still find the old version of the Raw converter “Digital Photo Professional” for the 350D. Going through the Canon Europe site finally found me the software.

New Glass for my Canon 350D

Tamron 17-50 vs. Canon 18-55
I’ve been considering the Tamron 17-55mm/2.8 lens as a replacement for the original Canon 18-55mm kit lens for quite some time now. It has been getting some pretty good reviews at SLRGear, the Digital Picture and from Bob Atkins. An additional reason was, that the Value Added Tax was increased from 16 to 19% starting with 2007. So I quickly placed the order on Dec. 30th, 2006, sort of a belated Christmas and early birthday present.

I made a quick and unscientific comparison between the Tamron and the Canon kit lens. I’ve been reading about the occasional quality problem of the Tamron lens in some forums and I wanted to check, if my copy was ok. It’s very obvious from the picture (top row Tamron, bottom row Canon), that the Tamron is indeed a very good lens. The shots were taken at the telephoto end with a distance of about 1m from the keyboard and a flash on a tripod left to the keyboard with no processing of the raw file, only converting it to JPG.