I’m an I.T. pro (systems admin) and a digital photograpy enthusiast, pragmatic and geeky by nature. Since I’ve got a RAW capable camera (first a Powershot G3, then an EOS 10D, now 30D and looking forward a 5D) I’ve been in the quest for the ideal “Digital Darkroom” and workflow for processing my “digital negatives” extracting the max out of the camera, lenses and software.
Linear processing should be much better than non-linear, but once upon a time that one was even less perfect, as it involved more steps, while providing less consistent results.
I soon discovered that those who achieved amazing results using linear raw conversion either had an “easy” exposure to work on from the start, or had significant digital photo processing/retouching skills. Linear processing is supposed to be the best and worthiest for difficult exposures!
I never (until September 2003) managed to end up with a workflow that provided enough flexibility, dynamism and most important, consistent results for my camera with a minimum effort from my part (I’m not a pro, but hey, I’m not going to spend half an hour for each shot to get something slightly better than the straight out of the camera JPEG!).
I wanted cost to be reasonable while not being tied to one specific platform.
I want it to extract the best prime matter from the start, and then do the final edit. If right from the conversion, things don’t look right, it means they aren’t right, and maybe further editing won’t be worthy.
The perfect Digital Darkroom :)
- Optimal and consistent results, extracting your camera/lenses’ potential to the max, requiring the minimum user intervention until the finishing stage.
- Cross platform: Windows, OS X, *nix…
- Scalable Processing: Multi processor, distributed processing, etc.
- Reasonable investment: amateurs, Freelance pros, and Studios.
- Non dependant on camera brand/model: common UI and workflow for all.
- Workflow Guides
- Software usage and tips
- Results with different tools combinations/integration.
- Summarize what actual user needs/complaints are to developers in order to improve their software, or others to take ideas for developing their own.