Edit landscape photos with RawTherapee 5.9

Tutorial – RawTherapee Workshop

Article from Issue 273/2023

The current RawTherapee version finally adds selective image editing, among other long-desired features, to help it compete with king of the hill, darktable.

When developing landscape photos, the problem often arises that individual areas of the image, especially very bright or overly dark areas, have a color cast or colors that look too intense or too pale. Changing contrast or saturation is more likely to intensify the phenomenon. Good masking and selection functions are must-haves for landscape photographers.

Both free and commercial RAW developers now offer extensive tools for selective image processing. But of all the open source programs, only darktable has offered these features thus far. Although darktable is basically an excellent piece of software, there are drawbacks for some users. It takes a bit of getting used to, and you have to thoroughly understand what is going on to achieve good results. In addition, darktable only runs really smoothly if you have a fast graphics card.

The release of RawTherapee 5.9 [1] in November 2022 after several years of development added the ability to modify specific areas of an image in an intuitive and effective way [2]. Developer Jacques Desmis was inspired by the ingenious selection technology of the popular Nik plugins when programming the function. The good thing is: The program is a RAW developer with similar performance to darktable [3], but avoids the above-mentioned drawbacks [4].


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