I decided, after taking some some slow shutter speed shots, that I would take a little exploration of Dark Table, a free and open source RAW image editor, because, partly, the shots did not turn out as expected and I thought that I should at least get myself somewhat accustomed to an emerge piece of software. I was also going to try RawTherapee, but I ran out of time to test it (plus it would do automatic corrections on shots that were in the dark at an ISO of 3200).
I am currently running Elementary OS Freya Beta 1 to test Dark Table.
I first, obviously, tried to reduce the digital noise in the shot that past the test as being the best looking shot. There are three types of denoising options, denoise (bilateral filter), denoise (non-local means), and denoise (profiled). All of them seem to have there uses, though denoise (non-local means) seemed to need the least amount of configuration to output the best result.
Another great thing about Dark Table is how it has the option for different cropping guides, those being grid, rule of thirds, metering, perspective, diagonal method, harmonious triangles, and golden mean. Each one has options as well. If only more cameras and camera apps came with these options by default so that cropping wouldn’t be needed.
Then I tested this capability to line up the photo with the golden rectangles. According to Apogee Photo, “The most common design principle applied in photography, the Rule of Thirds, is thought to be a manifestation of the Golden Ratio. Essentially, it is said that the Rule of Thirds was designed as a simple way for photographers to locate the sweet spot, the point at which the human eye is first drawn to, of the Golden Ratio. (http://www.apogeephoto.com/may2014/how-to-use-the-golden-ratio-to-improve-your-photography.shtml)”
As well as this, I remember when I was testing this piece of software previously that setting the white balance as practically precisely is not as simple as using an eye dropper tool such as is the case on Lightroom. One mostly will manually adjust it, although I thing a similar tool to an eye dropper tool is available somewhere.
Overall, this seems like an interesting piece of software, but some work will definitely need to be done.