Five Simple Photo Fixes with digiKam

Dmitri Popov

Productivity Sauce

Jun 14, 2010 GMT
Dmitri Popov

digiKam is an immensely powerful photo application, so learning all its features requires time and effort. But this capable photo management application also offers a few easy to use features which you can use to instantly improve your shots.

If a photo has problems with exposure, the Color | Auto-correction menu item should be your first stop. The Auto correction feature offers several presets that can instantly improve the default exposure. The Auto Exposure preset usually provides the best result, but there is no reason why you shouldn't experiment with other available options, such as Auto Levels, Normalize, Equalize, and Stretch Contrast.

As any photo editor worth its salt, digiKam offers level adjustment (Color | Levels Adjust) and curve adjustment (Color | Curves Adjust) tools which you can use to adjust exposure. Using both tools is not particularly difficult. With the level adjustment tool, you can tweak the exposure settings using the slides under the histogram, while the curve adjustment tool lets you adjust exposure by dragging the curve on the histogram.

The Color | White Balance tool lets you adjust the white balance settings, which can come in handy not only for fixing incorrect white balance settings, but also for tweaking the available settings for artistic effects. The White Balance tool sports quite a few options, but you can choose the easy way out and use one of the many presets. In addition to white balance, you can also adjust exposure compensation settings to fix overexposed or underexposed shots.

The Enhance | Restoration tool can be used to fix noisy photos taken at high ISO settings. The Restoration tool uses sophisticated algorithms to reduce noise without compromising the overall quality of the photo. Alternatively, you can use the Enhance | Noise Reduction tool which lets you reduce noise in the photo by adjusting the Threshold and Softness settings. And if you are feeling lucky, you can enable the Advanced Adjustments option and tweak the available settings.

Transform | Perspective Adjustment is another handy and easy to use tool that allows you to straighten photos of tall buildings, among other things. The perspective adjustment tool is ridiculously easy to use: just grab one of four red handles on the photo and drag it with the mouse to straighten the image.

Of course, digiKam offers many advanced features for manipulating your photos, but the few simple tools described here can help you to improve your photos with just a few clicks.


  • Noise reduction

    I would suggest first to remove the noise with "Noise Reduction" tool with advancement settings. Basicly it is enough to set smoothing to full and then play with treshold, especially the luminance (top option) threshold. That will remove well the noise and the luminance. And if there is needed to leave some noise or luminance because of the photo subject, then after that using the restoration to get rid of that.

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