Introduction to Darktable and GIMP

Course description

This course is run over two weeks, in week one Terry will introduce you to Darktable and in week two GIMP.

What to bring

Please bring your own laptop.
Once students have enrolled they will be supplied with links to the free software utilised in the course to download in readiness for the first class.
One or two loan computers will be available – please confirm if you require one before enrolling.

Week 1: Introduction to Darktable – The free alternative to Lightroom

Darktable is an incredibly powerful and customisable editing program for RAW, Tiff and JPG files. This three-hour workshop is designed to introduce students to the art of RAW processing using the free software Darktable.
If you have never edited a RAW file before then this class is for you. If you are an experienced RAW file editor, you are really going to appreciate the advanced capabilities of Darktable. The workshop is also designed to be an extension course for those who have done a GIMP class with me in the past. The synergy of Darktable and GIMP makes both programs much better.
If you have a Lightroom subscription I would still recommend this class to you. I have Lightroom and love the way it catalogs and organises my images. I also like the way LR merges images for HDR and Panoramas. However, now I have discovered Darktable I rarely edit in Lightroom anymore. In fact, if I had to pay a subscription for LR I would cancel my subscription because I just love Darktable that much more.

What your course will cover

Darktable has 68 or more modules to choose from to edit your images. I want to introduce to the most important modules that you should first choose to edit your raw files. I also want to teach you how to create Darktable picture styles for your specific camera and subjects. These will automatically apply sharpening, noise reduction, clarity, white balance, lens correction and other settings you choose to your images with a single click.
About the software

Darktable is a non-destructive editor that will not alter your original files. It records your editing steps in a separate file and then creates a totally new image file upon export when you are finished. Darktable is designed to extract the most out of your camera’s RAW files but it will also edit JPEG and TIFF files. It works on multiple platforms including Windows, MAC, and Linux.
I have spent a huge amount of time over many months getting my head around how Darktable works and what advantages it has over programs like Lightroom (LR). Darktable has blown me away with the level of control you have in editing. For example, you can select parts of an image to apply an effect to based on a drawn mask which is similar to but better than an adjustment brush in LR or adjustment layer in Photoshop. However, it doesn’t end there. You can select parts of an imaged with parametric masks that select pixels-based luminosity, hue, saturation or even size of detail.
If you install GIMP, which is another free multi-platform photo editing program, and have Darktable also installed you have a very comprehensive set of imaging programs that work together. For example, if you open a RAW file via GIMP, GIMP opens the file first in Darktable where initial edits are performed and then imports the image into GIMP for the final stages of editing.

Week 2: Introduction to GIMP – The free alternative to Photoshop

This introduction class is designed to show users how to get started in GIMP by first opening the image, doing everyday tweaks to colour, exposure etc and then how to export the finished image.

This course is designed for students new to image editing or for people who currently pay a subscription for Photoshop and want to understand how to transition to the free alternative of GIMP. The workshop will interest you if you are unsure about using GIMP and its capabilities

What your course will cover

This course will introduce the most useful and important tools and options in GIMP to improve the look of your images. The concept and importance of layer masks will be discussed. This short course also serves as introduction to the more comprehensive GIMP course offered through Adult Education.
About the software:
GIMP is free and will always be free. It can be installed on Mac, Windows and Linux computers.
GIMP can be a simple to use free editing program to tweak the colour, fix exposure problems, brighten shadows, straighten horizons, and crop your photos before printing.
GIMP can be a very sophisticated free editing program to rival the expensive programs on the market. GIMP has layers, masks, selections, curves, levels, thresholds, dodging and burning tools and much more.

Important information

Please note that children must not attend this class unless it is a specified parent/child activity.

Disability and special needs

Libraries Tasmania is committed to achieving open, equitable access and participation to a range of adult education programs and courses. If you have a disability or medical condition which you think may impact on your ability to participate in an adult education course, please complete the Special Needs Form available at:, or contact the adult education team: This will help us to make the necessary adjustments to maximise your enjoyment and experience in your chosen course. All enquiries are confidential.

Please note that carers supporting learners with disabilities can attend our classes free of charge. For more information, please contact adult education team:

Refund policy

Cancellations and Refunds
Please choose your course carefully. A full refund is payable in the event that a class is cancelled. No other refunds are considered except for extenuating circumstances which are supported by a written application.

Contact details

For General Enquiries contact

  • (03) 6165 5564

Or for specific enquiries relating to issues in your area, contact your local centre

Terms and Conditions

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