Workflow Series – (UFRaw and GIMP Tutorial) Part 2 – UFRaw Adjustments

Last time, we did a walkthrough of UFRaw, to get our bearings.  This time we are going to make some actual changes to the image with UFRaw*.

UFRaw Tutorial

1. We start out with this RAW image…

2. We bring up the raw image in UFRaw.  First we need to work on the exposure because the photo is too dark.  Clicking on the auto gears gear we get the auto exposure (click to enlarge)…

It’s a bit too bright for my taste… so I’m going to lower the amount while keeping an eye on the live histogram.  I reduced the exposure from 1.90 to 1.40  and the overexposed clipping goes from 1.7% red, 2.7% green to 0.2% red, 0.1% green (click to enlarge)…

3. Much better… now let’s look at contrast, saturation, and black point.  Go to the luminosity and saturation tab   (click to enlarge)…

I increased the contrast and saturation by 0.12 each (keep in mind that we can increase contrast and saturation in GIMP later if we choose.  It’s easier to add more than to reduce… subtle is better).  I also clicked on the auto black point gear (click to enlarge)…

4. It’s looking pretty good… let’s see what a slight s-curve will do to this image.  Go to the curves tab and then manually adjust the curve.  The top point to the left makes it lighter, while the bottom point to the right makes it darker.  This curve tool is very strong, so only a small curve is needed…

5. I like this (I’ll do more adjustments in GIMP)…

6. Let’s save this image.  Go to the save tab (click to enlarge)…

For some reason I’ve been having difficulty getting GIMP to read .tif files created by other programs (it reads it just fine if it is the creator)… so I’ve had to work around this.  I’ve been saving as a .ppm file (portable pixmap image), which is an uncompressed file (read more about .ppm here), a file type that GIMP can read.

I’ve also been making sure that for the Create ID File ALSO is selected, this creates a .ufraw file that UFRaw can read and your adjustments for this image are saved so that you can adjust them if needed (or just to remember what you did).

You can also select where the image will be saved by pulling down the PATH drop down menu.  Once you have your selections, click the SAVE button.  Once I have saved my image I can open the .ppm file and then Export As .tif in GIMP.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to save this as it’s own file and just want to bring it up in GIMP, click on the Wilber wilberbutton.  Once in GIMP, you can Export As a .tif file.

Why .tif instead of .jpg?  Tif files are lossess compression, which means that pixels are not thrown out to make the image file size smaller.  Conversely, Jpg is lossy compression, which means that pixels are thrown out… every time you resave a .jpg image you loose pixels.  Ever noticed that when you save as .jpg it asks you how much compression you want?  Whatever amount you choose happens every time you resave that image.  Something to think about if you are constantly taking an image from one program to another.

*** This is an on going series, in which I explore a normal workflow using UFRaw and GIMP.***

Next installment, Part 3,  I will bring this image up in GIMP where I will adjust the contrast, saturation, and add a split-tone.

Did you miss part of this series?  Check out my Workflow Series page.

Until next time…

* UFRaw is a raw editor available for all platforms (Linux, Mac, and Windows).  UFRaw has been around for quite some time (since 2004) and even has a GIMP plug-in so that you can do your raw edits and then import into GIMP.  You can get UFRaw here (the plug-in is available for Linux and Mac only).

4 thoughts on “Workflow Series – (UFRaw and GIMP Tutorial) Part 2 – UFRaw Adjustments

    • I wanted to explore raw editors that were available for all platforms, so that people who do not have PS or LR could follow along with my tutorials using masks and layers which I now do in GIMP (which is also available for all platforms). 🙂

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