Here is a comprehensive introduction to Darktable – a completely free alternative to Lightroom

Sep 9, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Here is a comprehensive introduction to Darktable – a completely free alternative to Lightroom

Sep 9, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Lightroom is still considered to be the leading software out there for digital asset management and raw processing. But it’s not the only one. There’s Capture One, Luminar, Exposure X4, and a host of others. But there’s one that seems to always be improving in popularity and functionality, and that’s Darktable.

Darktable is available for Windows, Mac and Linux, and it’s completely free. This video from Rico Richardson, coming via Anthony Morganti, is an overview of the basics of this pretty powerful RAW processor, and how to go about getting started with it for processing your images.

YouTube video

We first spoke about Darktable on here a couple of years ago, with the release of version 2.4.0, which brought the Darktable software to Windows for the first time. Now they’re up to version 2.6.2, which sees a lot of new features, bug fixes and updates from that initial Windows version.

Darktable is open source, which means that anybody can download the code and contribute to its development. This allows it to quickly catch up with competing software if somebody is motivated enough to develop those features. But it also means that it’s completely free for anybody to download and use on as many computers as they wish.

So, even if you’re happy with Lightroom or whatever raw processing software you’re using, it’s worth a look. You can’t really argue with free, even if it turns out that it doesn’t fit your workflow.

You can find out more about Darktable and download it on the Darktable website. And if you want more information about to actually use Darktable, then head on over to Rico’s YouTube channel where he has a whole bunch of tutorials.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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7 responses to “Here is a comprehensive introduction to Darktable – a completely free alternative to Lightroom”

  1. jagigen Avatar
    jagigen

    You really should have added DxO PhotoLab! :)

  2. ocean62 Avatar
    ocean62

    Another great free program is RawTherapee

    1. Spamspam Gringo Avatar
      Spamspam Gringo

      Yeah, use Rawtherapee and it is awesome.

  3. Hernán Javier Rigalli Avatar
    Hernán Javier Rigalli

    on1 photo raw it’s gettin better with each new version… it’s the best all in one solution in the market

  4. Arthur_P_Dent Avatar
    Arthur_P_Dent

    I persuaded my boss to install Darktable on my work computer, since they didn’t have any more Lightroom licenses. It does the job well enough.

  5. Thomas James Killmess Avatar
    Thomas James Killmess

    Rawtherapee all the way!

  6. Luis Matias Avatar
    Luis Matias

    In your opinion what is the best software to replace Lightroom in all its functions: file organization/browser, catalogs, collections, image composition and adjustment/development, printing and sharing. Darktable, ON1, DxO PhotoLab, Luminary, RawTherapee or other.