delaboratory is a free and open-source Java color correction utility that allows you to modify color/contrast of your photo in a creative way by performing non-destructive operations in different colorspaces with floating-point precision per channel.
Detailed instructions on how to install and use the delaboratory utility on your Mac are available HERE.
delaboratory is a cross-platform utility capable of running on any operating system that comes with Java support (e.g. Mac OS X, Windows, Linux).
WARNING: delaboratory uses lots of memory. This is usually not a problem, but when the developer tried 36 megapixel photo, it hit 2GB memory limit during final image generation. If you need to process huge files - use 64-bit build.
Here are some key features of "delaboratory":
· floating point precision - it means that internal code uses not 8-bit (like Gimp), not 16-bit (like many apps), but 32-bit for each channel
· native support for multiple colorspaces - sRGB, ProPhoto RGB, BW, LAB, LCH, CMYK, HSV, HSL, it means that each effect like curves or vignette can be used in any colorspace, and result is visible on your screen without need for any conversions
· adjustment layers - each effect is separate layer, and each layer can be edited at any time, it means that when you realize that some part of your photo is too bright, you can go back and edit some early layer to make it darker - without this feature you will need to start over
· realtime preview - every action is visible on screen, you don't need to wait
effects (action layers):
· curves - this is most important postprocessing utility, it's easy to start with, but hard to master, let just say that I am learning curves for few years (mostly by using Gimp) and still learn new techniques
· channel mixer - as Dan Margulis wrote, mixer is utility which should be used at the moment when you can't achieve good result with curves, it's harder to learn, less intuitive, but worth knowing
· basic - this is just temporary name, this layer contains sliders like "brightness", "contrast" or "saturation", they are different for different colorspaces, so if you want to play with red contrast go to sRGB but if you want to play with saturation go to LAB, etc
· equalizer - this idea comes from HSV equalizer in RawTherapee, for each color you can change it's saturation, luminance and hue, but of course equalizer can be also used in other colorspaces (except RGB), for instance in LAB you can change A or B for each level of luminance, try it - the technique called "Jacob's Ladder" is just what equalizer in LAB mode does
· apply image - this layer is used to merge two other layers, for instance when you want to bring back original image or apply green channel in luminance mode or just play with blend modes, if you are beginner just don't touch it
· vignette - this layer adds vignette to your photo, but it's much more powerful than you can think, first it's very configurable, second - you can achieve strange effect if you apply vignette to non-luminance channels (like AB in LAB)
· dodge/burn - this is automatic dodge/burn, you can only define some levels with sliders, I use this feature a lot, worth trying
· shadows/highlights - it should be used if your photo has some very dark or very bright areas
· unsharp mask - well known technique for sharpening your photo, try sharpening only some channels (like L in LAB or K in CMYK)
· high pass - set blend mode to "overlay" if you want to achieve sharpening effect, but high pass is a lot more, learn it from tutorials and books, if you want to apply modified high pass on your image - use apply image layer (to merge both layers)
· blur - can be used to add "dreamy effect" to your photo, but also for some advanced techniques, if unsure - don't touch it
· samplers - up to 5 samplers can be set on image, you can see in realtime what are color values on each sampler (in any colorspace), this is very usable when playing with skin tones (that's why CMYK is default)
· color matrix - open the image with colors you like, and run color matrix tool - you will see map of LAB colors (A horizontally, B vertically) so you have some hints how to postprocess your photo to achieve similar effect, in the future it will be also possible to copy colors from color matrix
· delaboratory opens RAW files (via dcraw), 16-bit TIFF files (best output from any raw editor) and JPEGs (worst choice - worst quality)
· delaboratory saves 16-bit TIFFs or JPEGs, it can also send TIFF directly to Gimp
· delaboratory doesn't support any local modifications, like paiting, clone tool, healing tool or true dodge/burn, it can change in the future
· delaboratory doesn't support color profiles at all, RAWs are loaded in ProPhoto RGB, but display works in sRGB and output will be sRGB, so if your style of photography requires wider colorspace than sRGB then delaboratory is not a tool for you
What's New in This Release: [ read full changelog ]
· switch from wxWidgets to gtk+
· two editing modes: preview (like it works now), full size (like in Gimp)
· integration with G'MIC http://gmic.sourceforge.net/ (call any G'MIC operation inside delaboratory, with floating point precision)
· local editing (true dodge burn, local sharpening, painting, etc)