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Manc AvGeek

A fun days - note to self, next time you're trying to find a shorter route between 2 of your favourite spots, wait until we've had a long dry spell...
(This wasn't the worst of it, 10 minutes earlier I couldn't actually see my boots for the mud!)

Welll, so much for the plans to spend the day editing more photos - got a panicked phone call from my eldest, apparently the guy who her boyfriend paid to build a website for his business did a runner with the money leaving them with the bare bones of a WP site, and could I look at finishing it?
10 hours later, and I've managed to do about 70 of what needed doing with the basic design, it's mostly a case of plugging in the content and adding social media.
Damn I'm good/out of practice!

I've made some changes to my watermark - might be starting again from scratch, but here's the latest version, getting a bit meta - hmm, I wonder where I've seen the plane in that logo before? :D
Brussels Airlines SSJ100-95 EI-FWE taking off from Manchester on a rather sunny day, 2017-11-24.

I thought that I would have a go at making a slightly better watermark for my photos, and here is what I've come up with.
I'm just wondering what everyone thinks - which is better, the graphic or the plain text?
(The photos are otherwise identical.)

As a comparison, one of these was done in darktable, the other in GIMP - can you tell which is which?

My recent dalliance with darktable has given me a new found appreciation for GIMP - and with some of the plugins I've recently discovered, I'm getting some of the best images I've done in a long while, where darktable was a bit iffy.
I'm not sure if it was me not being very good with it, or if darktable on Windows isn't quite ready for the big time - but for now, I'm going to stick with GIMP.
Don't get me wrong, I like darktable - it's just not for me.

On the bright side, I have found a batch of plugins that seem to be making my life a bit easier, although each one I add increases GIMP's loading time considerably - it was never fast on this machine, but I'm sure I shouldn't be able to get my daughter ready for school and make my wife's breakfast in the time it takes to start!

Over the last week or so, I've spent so long learning how to use darktable, I have completely forgotten how to use GIMP!
Which means re-editing these pics from scratch is taking far longer than it really should!

This is so, so close to what I want - and yet I can't figure out how to get that last little bit.
I can't figure out why it seems ever so slightly out of focus either, as the original was fine in digiKam...

Get the last of these photos edited so you don't entirely feel as if you've wasted the last week...
10 to go, 2 of which I just don't think are feasible in darktable.
(Might just re-do the entire lot in GIMP!)

... (cont) I can't seem to find any way to restore these overly bright colours to any form of sane state, which renders seemingly good photos unuseable.
This isn't a problem working with .jpgs in GIMP (I have the camera set up to generate RAW and .jpg of the same shot), the colours aren't over-saturated to the same degree, and anything that is can be controlled fairly easily.
Is this an inherent weakness in darktable, and should I just bin the work I've done so far and go back to GIMP?

Working on Windows10, with Nikon RAW (.NEF) files.
I'm using digiKam to sort through the images I want to edit, the only changes I make to the files are binning the ones I don't want.
I then open them in darktable - all images seem okay in lighttable mode, but in darkroom mode a lot of them seem rather over-whelmed with dark blues, reds, and whites under direct, bright sunlight, these colours bleeding into each other and everything else around them.
... (cont)

Well, this is going a bit slower than I expected - it has taken a while to get a bunch of photos I'm fairly consistently happy with in darktable, at least partly because it is so slow on this laptop - when I really get going, I can do basic edits on between 15 and 30 shots an hour on GIMP or Photoshop - with darktable, it's more like 6 - but I'm tending to be happier with the results.
I really need a decent PC to speed this up...

Oddly, 2.4.1 actually sent it to the correct folder, even though it is showing the target as C:\\Users\\Stuart\\Pictures\\Spotting Pics\\2018\\2018-01-26 MAN\\mancavgeek\\$(FILE_NAME) - maybe there is something stripping the extra backslashes out...
Even more oddly, under 2.4.0, it was trying to send images to C:\\\\Users\\Stuart\\Pictures\\Spotting Pics\\2018\\2018-01-26 MAN\\mancavgeek\\$(FILE_NAME)

Well, that's a bizarre bug in Darktable 2.4.0 for Windows - if you try exporting to a folder other than the one you are working from, it doubles the slashes - ie, if you are working on /photos/shoot1/1.nef and want to export to /photos/shoot1/edits/1.jpg, it tries writing to //photos//shoot1//edits//1.jpg, then failing silently.
There is a 2.4.1 update, going to see if it still does it before reporting it.

Well, this is going to be fun - 272 frame shot yesterday, in RAW, because I haven't abused myself enough recently, and because I just need to adjust colours, crop, and watermark, I'm going to try editing them in Darktable rather than GIMP.
Wish me luck!
(Note to self - chuck the Darktable instruction manual on your tablet, for easy access!)

There is so much wrong with this photo - over-exposed, not sharp, high ISO, shooting almost in to direct sunlight, fog - and yet I love it.
The rainbow comes from water vapour condensing out of the air in the low pressure area over the wing.
Singapore Airlines A350-900 9V-SMR taking off from runway 23R at Manchester Airport, bound for Singapore, 2018-01-10.
I'm not sure if I'm going to use this, or re-edit it, but here ya go...

Had a day out taking photos today - 142 shots taken, so far I've cut it down to 79, and there are more to go yet - hopefully, I'll get it down to around 50.
Lets see how long it takes to get these edited and online, seeing as how the last lot back in November still haven't been finished!
There is one I will definately be posting shortly - it's not entirely in focus or correctly exposed, but it's gorgeous!