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Playing with digiKam

Hi art friends,

In working toward my goal of regular posts here at Tenukihandcrafts, I’m writing this post on March 24th, but you’re seeing it several weeks later.

It’s kind of timey-wimey, init?

About 2 weeks ago (from the post date), I signed up for Sebastian Michael’s Photoshop Artistry Grunge class. In Module 3, he talks about how he uses Light Room, which I don’t have because here at Tenukihandcrafts, we’re Open Source.

As I’ve mentioned in any number of previous posts, I use the Gimp for photo manipulation. I use digiKam for downloading images from my various photo cards. There was a period where digiKam would not transfer images directly from my devices, so I got in the habit of removing the card.

But I digress.

My alternative to Light Room

The point is, after watching Sebastian’s video on how he uses Light Room, I thought I’d play around with digiKam’s basic photo editing features and see what I can do with my images before I open in them in the Gimp.

It turns out my random pick of digiKam was a good choice. According to a brief interweb search for Open Source alternatives to Light Room, digiKam has the most features. Score!

How I’m using digiKam

As previously mentioned, I use it to import my Canon raw photos onto my laptop. It has been a handy way to organize my photos, although I admit that I’m still trying to figure out the best way to sort them for using them in my art. Now that I’m getting further into photomanipulation, I’m feeling the need to re-evaluated my filing system.

But not today. That would be procrastination.

I liked the results I got using Curves and Brightness/Contrast/Gamma.  I prefer the way Levels in Gimp works – you get a mid-range slider that digiKam does not offer. It’s warrants additional experimentation, though.

I liked the Color Effects, particularly the Instant Photo filter. Didn’t like the Frames. Text is handy for adding a watermark.

My main complaint with digiKam is it seems to lock up quite a bit, so I need to check the memory setting. Perhaps bumping that up will help.

Here are a few of the photos I edited using only digiKam.

This first photo was a selfie I took as homework for Vivienne McMaster’s class, Be Your Own Beloved. I adjusted the curves, added a moss filter, gave is an edges blue. While I still am not excited about photos of me, this class got me to like such photos…a bit. This is one of my favorite selfies. It might be the successful pin curl wet set 😉

The second and third photos are of assemblage-style mixed media works in progress, as part of my infatuation with the Finnabair style art. Having experimented quite heavily with Gimp and photo layering, I want to incorporate these as either backgrounds or overlays.

The photo with the lace pieces was processed with just a curves adjustment. It already has great color and texture. The third photo I applied the Blue Crush filter then dialed down the effect.

What on your work table, virtual or otherwise?  Leave a comment and link; I’d love to see what you’re up to.

Happy creating!