#173 – Riley Brandt – Darktable

Riley Brandt

Riley Brandt is a full time photographer for the University of Calgary.  Over the years he has transitioned to using Open Source software for most of photography needs.  In this episode, Riley discusses an Open Source alternative to Lightroom called Darktable.
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Riley Brandt

(go here for his About Me page,  selected info below.)

I am a full-time photographer and sometimes videographer at the University of Calgary.

I also spent two wonderful years working with Fast Forward Weekly (FFWD) and Sophia Models International (formally Mode Models) in Calgary, Alberta.

I graduated from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT Polytechnic) with honors in Journalism Arts. I majored in photojournalism, a highly sought-after program that is limited to 16 seats per year. In addition to photography, I also studied news writing, marketing, and graphic design.

Show Notes:

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  • Intro Questions:

    • Outside of what you have to shoot for work, what do you like to photography?

      • During the week paid to take photos, on weekends I still like to take photographs.  I am not for hire…paid during the week and no time on weekends.

      • Happy not taking photos for money

    • Camera Gear used

      • Canon 5D, Mark III

      • Lens 16-35

      • Prefer Nikon, however, job pays for equipment


  • Interview:

    • Have you always been a Linux and Open Source software user?

      • Yes…all computers run Linux.  Using Fedora

    • Ever use Microsoft / Apple?

      • Started with Windows and started using 50/50 Windows / Linux and now work only with Linux at home

      • At work I use Apple

    • Why do you prefer to use Open Source photography programs when the Adobe products seem so capable?

      • Darkroom is comparable to Lightroom with more features

      • Able to edit RAW files

      • Cataloging files

      • Not a true comparison to Photoshop

    • What are the main photography programs you use and what are their Adobe alternatives?

      • Adobe at work, Lightroom

      • Darktable at home

    • Why should a current Adobe user consider Open Source?

      • Tell us about Darktable

      • There is a Mac version but can’t use graphics card which is a big performance hit

      • If it is a slow day at work and working on some portraits I prefer Darktable

      • No official version for Windows

    • Darktable Cost?

      • Free

    • What about DNG files?

      • Not sure…don’t use DNG

    • One issue with Adobe products that they handle OK is adding RAW profiles for new cameras.  How fast does Open Source software deal with this issue?

      • Community project…as a camera is available the photo is submitted to the developers and a profile is created

  • Wrap Up:

    • What’s in Your Camera Bag?

      • Bag 1, from Grandfather

        • Canon XT

        • Timer for camera…mechanical

        • Remote shutter cord

        • Lens Case

      • Bag 2

        • Canon 5D Mark III

        • Camera 1 – Canon 70-200 f2.8 with filters

        • Camera 2 – 24-70 f2.8 with filters

        • Canon flashlight with pocket wizard

        • Umbrella


Discuss the show in our forums! – Forum Post

Album for this episodes can be found here – Riley Brandt

Albums from previous episodes can be found here – Podcast Images



Riley Brandt




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About geephotant

geephotant (Geek-Photographer-Accountant) (aka. Mike Howard) is the creator of Nov Studios and the jpeg2RAW podcast. Mike is an accountant by day as the Controller for a large US based corporation. By night, he is a geek and has appeared on the Home Server Show Podcast & the BYOB podcast ( both found at www.homeservershow.com). He has also appeared on the Home Tech Show podcast (www.theaverageguytv.com) and is now a regular guest on that show. Mike's true passion is photography and shoots when ever he can find time. As an amateur photographer, he is always looking to learn more about the craft.

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