Recently I have been working on my photo editing skills using the open source software Darktable. Unlike the bettor known Adobe Lightroom, Darktable is 100% free to use and an equally powerful photo editor. This works great for my photo editing and photography budget which is zero dollars.

What I have quickly learned is that a raw format photo can be dramatically changed with this type of photo editing software. Originally I thought that GIMP would be a great option, but as it turns out you need specific photo software to edit NEF raw format files.

The coolest thing I found out about NEF raw data images is that they are comprised of 100% of the data a camera has taken in.  Unlike a JPG or PNG, it is possible to edit the raw data code of an NEF file as if you had used the perfect settings on your camera.  This is not possible with a JPG or PNG.

Below are some of the photos I have edited compared to the non edited photos using Rico Richardon’s Darktable tutorial:

Before After
Before After
Before After

The Darktable modules I used to edit these photos were:

  • Basic Adjustments
    •  This module has the saturation and vibrance sliders which bring out the color in your photos and make them pop
  • Tone Curve
    •  By adjusting the slider you can help fix under and over exposure
  • Tone Equalizer
    •  Can either brighten up or darken your photo


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