Ahmed Sajjad Zaidi

Landscape and documentary photographer based in Pakistan

Linux and Photography

I’ve been a big supporter of Linux for a while, but now that I’m getting more involved with photography, it’s starting to become a hindrance. No doubt there are countess tools available to get the best out of any photos, but the learning curve for most is pretty steep and they usually don’t compare well to their Windows counterparts.

Though GIMP takes care of most of my needs, it can be time-consuming and lacks built-in support for such essential things as RAW images and HDR. For the former, I use the dcraw plugin which does the job, but isn’t very powerful.

There are numerous resources for HDR on Linux, but I’m mostly quite disappointed. My favorite is Enfuse which doesn’t produce the greatest of results, but can be installed via Ubuntu’s repository and is really easy to use with the default settings.

Another great tool that I’m using quite often now is jpegoptim which helps optimize the size of any JPEG images I publish to the web to about 30% of the originals (with some compromise in quality, off course) and can be used for batch processing.

So now I want to take things to the next level (build a proper gallery, shoot and publish more photos, etc.) and it seems like the right time to switch to something more appropriate. Waiting for my new Mac. Let’s hope I get it soon.

My Betterphoto profile has a few pics. So does Flickr, though am building a portfolio that I’ll post soon.

Responses (2) to “Linux and Photography”

  1. I find the Gimp time consuming only when I do something that I am not used to. The interface and terminology do not suit the photographer. Once I am familiar with the process then I find the Gimp is as fast as anything else.
    The Gimp is sometimes let down by the add-ons when compared with commercial products, like Photoshop. The basic product is very powerful. Unfortunately the efforts at present appear to be concentrating on moving to the ‘next generation’. I am not too bothered about going to the single pane user interface, nor do I want it. What I am more interested in is the enhancement to the GEGL side of the product.
    If you want to read more about being a Linux based photographer, rather than crossing to the dark side of Jobs/Gates, my blog () is dedicated to just that, Linux and Photography. Comments are always wanted so don’t be afraid to tell me off.

  2. Mato says:

    It’s just a question of “getting used to” linux.
    My workflow is:
    – Geeqie to select the raw photos from the memory card. It’s faster than nautilus. And you can send the photos to UFraw.
    – UFraw: Raw editing software. Great! And you can send the photo to gimp.
    – Gimp with ufraw plugin!

    Beside this workflow, you can try RawTherapee and Darktable, Lightroom like software!

    Good luck!

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