Anthony Morganti of IAmMrPhotographer.com recently teamed up with photographer and fellow YouTuber Rico Richardson to produce a comprehensive introduction to the popular (and free) Lightroom alternative Darktable. If you’ve been wanting to try this open source RAW editor but don’t know where to start, this video is for you.
Richardson is an expert in Darktable who’s created many a tutorial for the RAW processing software over on his own channel. This 10 minute tutorial is a bit more broad than all that: a beginner’s guide that starts by showing you how to download the software off the Darktable website, moves into a detailed walkthrough of the user interface and available tools, and finishes off with a quick demonstration of Darktable’s powerful masking features in action.
If you already have Darktable downloaded, skip to the 3:58 mark to jump right into the UI; and if you already understand the import settings in the Lighttable tab, you can skip straight to the tools overview and editing demonstration around 7:20.
If you’ve never used Darktable before, the layout will seem very similar to Adobe Lightroom. However, once you start digging into all the modules, you’ll probably be surprised by how comprehensive this free program really is. Especially when it comes to masking in local adjustments, Darktable offers a level of control you won’t find in Lightroom.
Of course, it’s not all upside. As with any open-source software, support for the latest cameras and RAW formats might take a bit longer to arrive. Additionally, much like open-source Photoshop alternative GIMP, the sheer number of features can get confusing. But that’s what YouTube tutorials are for.
If you’re looking for a free alternative to Lightroom, Darktable is one of the most popular and powerful options out there (RawTherapee is another good one). Hopefully the video above will help you get a better grasp of the Darktable UI so you can see why so many ex-Adobe users love this open-source alternative.