RawTherapee: Digital Camera RAW Files

My First Experience with RawTherapee

As a complete newbie, I found the video tutorials to be a bit frustrating. I tried to follow the very basic navigation around the window and was unable to do so and therefore I made my own screen shots as notes.

This article is a step by step guide to very basic navigation tips that I have discovered and wish to share with others. Number one reason as to why choose RawTherapee other that it is completely free? Because I tried UFraw and it kept crashing. I just want a simple to use software and be able to be focused on improving photography to make it pop like the pros and may even be able sell them!

When I first opened the box to my brand new Sony A58 bridge DSLR I thought it was broken because I forgot to take the lens cap off. If I can learn this then I'm sure you will have a much easier time than I.

The first thing I learned was that the window did not look like the window shown on the video tutorial. My buttons were on top of each other and I was unable to select them. To have all the buttons shown then need to put RawTherapee not only in full screen but hide the side panels in order to be able to use all the buttons such as zoom. The screen shot below shows how all the buttons are piled up on top of each other if this is not done.

Buttons piled up upon each other examples

Buttons all jumbled up and unusable!
Buttons all jumbled up and unusable!
Depending in the window sizing and what side panels are hidden - different buttons will pile up on each other!
Depending in the window sizing and what side panels are hidden - different buttons will pile up on each other!

Erasing Bad Pictures

Because RawTherapee is a bulk workspace, you will be able to perform multiple erasures. In the browse window, the familiar trashcan icon on the upper right corner of each image is self explanatory. But in order to complete the bulk erasures then need to go to the large trashcan icon, 'Show content of the Trash, shortcut T', which results in showing the empty trash button as shown on the following screen shot.

Example of multiple fast action images

On my Sony A58 the T8 Tele-zoom Cont. Priority AE mode is a continuous very fast action mode with zoom. I use it for shooting my little dog Chuggers that I have trained to run right into the camera.

Even though I have my AEL w/shutter set to 'On' and my Autofocus set to Continuous, (AF-C), I still have to erase the first few pictures that were too far away and the last few pictures that are out of focus. The bulk erasure is a handy tool because my little dog is really fast and is running right to me. For dog treats I use homemade liver bits that are the size of Chiclets.

Sony A58 manual Page 40
Sony A58 manual Page 40

Saving Immediately

There are two ways to save. Waiting until done bulk editing and then sending it to the queue for saving later or save immediately if just working on a single image but have to wait while the processing is complete.

The two status alerts are for the editing processing and for the saving image processing which can take some time even on a single image. The following screen shot show the locations in the RawTherapee window.

Quick review of RawTherapee by TutoriaIGeek

RawTherapee Downloads

Although the above video made by TutorialGeek reviewing RawTherapee is on a Linux OS, RawTherapee is a free download software that supports different platforms including Windows, Mac as well as Xubuntu.

Online manual for RawTherapee 4.0.9


RawTherapee is a Digital Asset Management or DAM where organization, tagging and rating photos on a scale of five stars is the first step in processing images in the RAW format. Saving in the lossless TIFF format can then be opened in GIMP, a free graphics software that supports various platforms.

JPG RAW Comparison without a profile

JPEG
JPEG
RAW
RAW

Decoding Raw Digital Photos

The above example shows same image that was taken with my Sony A58 in Raw +JPEG mode where it take two exposures each time. One in RAW and the other using the camera's own internal JPEG conversion. As you can see the RAW image is unusable without a camera profile. Trying to tweak it by hand will never achieve the same results as the camera's internal JPEG conversion.


Since RawTherapee is based on dcraw and supports my Sony SLT-A58, then I should be able to download a color profile just like Photoshop that decodes per camera.

But obviously it doesn't. According to cmp-color there are 2 different charts depending on your RAW conversion software and RawTherapee uses ICC profiles.


So I looked at my Ubuntu Software Center and dcraw is NOT installed automatically when I installed RawTherepee.

Check to see is dcraw is installed (Ubuntu)

dcraw is NOT installed.
dcraw is NOT installed.

Problem with Color Management

According to cybercom.net it instructs, after installing "dcraw", do "gimptool --install rawphoto.c" which I was unable to do because when I tried to install gimptool the error message was:

Package dependencies cannot be resolved
This error could be caused by required additional software packages which are missing or not installable. Furthermore there could be a conflict between software packages which are not allowed to be installed at the same time.

The following packages have unmet dependencies:

libgimp2.0-dev: Depends: libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.30.2) but 2.34.1-1ubuntu1 is to be installed
Depends: libgimp2.0 (= 2.8.2-1ubuntu1.2) but 2.8.2-1ubuntu1.2 is to be installed
Depends: libgtk2.0-dev (>= 2.12.5) but 2.24.13-0ubuntu2 is to be installed

All I want to do is install the ICC color profile in RawTherapee. As shown in the photo below this text shows the Color Management > Input Profile - the Auto-matched camera-specific color profile and Camera standard options are greyed out. How to fix?

I installed RawTherapee on my XP with only 2Gb memory and it works fine in default profile even though it still doesn't have a camera specific file. So save the one that looks good from the XP RawTherapee and open same file with same profile. Will it work? No. In fact even on the same same computer with the same profile if I close it and open it up again - the image looks totally whacked. But at least RawTherapee works on Windows XP with 2Gb memory with the embedded profiles which is a lot further than trying on a Xubuntu OS.

Color Management not loaded or missing
Color Management not loaded or missing
Unable to have auto match.
Unable to have auto match.

RawTherapee ARW files and Ubuntu do NOT mix!

DNG Camera Profiles/ International Color Consortium (ICC)

I have no color profile. All I have is usr/share/color/icc/colord > x11-colors.icc & crayon,icc.

Page 59 of the manual for RawTherapee Sony lists an A55 SLT-A55v 5254 temp 1.081 tint. but I have a Sony SLT-A58 and beside says, "... gives a technically color-accurate image where whites are white, though aesthetically it may not be what you want."

My Sony SLT-A58 color space has always been set to Adobe sRGB and in RawTherapee changed working profile from sRGB to Adobe sRGB but still no difference in lousy image.

When I first open a .ARW the 'Camera standard' is clicked by default but the Auto-matched camera-specific profile is still greyed out.

Giving up in frustration I tried Darktable Photo Workflow software but it just kept crashing upon opening. Also tried ImageMagick and that also hangs.

The bottom line is that there is no way to get a normal look like a jpg with RawTherapee when working with .ARW files and there is no forth coming solution in the near future for those who use Linux Ubuntu-like distro's.

Using RawTherapee on my XP SP3 OS came out with beautiful colors but crashed when attempting to save. So I found the Sony Image Converter for Sony SLT A58 at www.sony-asia.com/support/download/520164. Which does come with a color profile and does not crash when saving to JPG but it took eons to save.

RawTherapee VS ImageMagick on same ARW file, (both suck)
RawTherapee VS ImageMagick on same ARW file, (both suck)

Color Profiles Added! Update October 2013

Shooting in raw gives you better image manipulation control. This is an update. I added memory from 2Gb to 4GB even though my OS 'Trusty Tahr' or Ubuntu 14.04 can handle up to 8GB memory, I have an Intel CPU that can only handle 4GB and not a AMD CPU that can handle the max of 8GB memory.


At the time of the first writing, RawTherapee did NOT have an ICC profile for the Sony A58, now RawTherapee 4.0.12.0 does have the ICC profile. If want these Sony ICC color profiles then go to http://www.piraccini.net/2011/02/profili-colore-sony-a900-per-adobe-lr.html to download.

Below are the differences of these profiles. BTW - that's a picture of my little Chuggers

Camera Standard
Camera Standard
extract zip files to default directory that RawTherapee looks at, to do this extract and save in home directory, then in terminal mode typ the following while inside the directory where the files are located: sudo cp *  /usr/share/color/icc/colord
extract zip files to default directory that RawTherapee looks at, to do this extract and save in home directory, then in terminal mode typ the following while inside the directory where the files are located: sudo cp * /usr/share/color/icc/colord
Standard
Standard
Faithful
Faithful
Neutral
Neutral
Portrait
Portrait
Leica
Leica
Landscape
Landscape
Positive Film
Positive Film
Skin Tone Darker
Skin Tone Darker
Skin Tone Lighter
Skin Tone Lighter
Vivid
Vivid
Vivid Blue
Vivid Blue
Vivid Green
Vivid Green
Vivid Red
Vivid Red

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2 comments

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

Hi ptosis, well aren't you the clever one? lol! I would have had no idea of how to go about this, and yes I am a cap on the camera type of person too! This is definitely voted up and shared! nell


ptosis profile image

ptosis 2 years ago from Arizona Author

thank you.

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