Photography and Related Musings

My thoughts and explorations of all things related to photography

Me I enjoy exploring the art and science of photography. I am also interested in digital darkroom tools and hope to share them with you.


I enjoy exploring the art and science of photography. I am also interested in tools of the trade and hope to share them with you.

GIMP and McGimp 2.9.5 Color Corrected Experimental (CCE) Edition Release

February 28, 2017
Important Notice about GIMP native format XCF

As has been mentioned in the past, GIMP 2.9 series has been in active development for quite some time. In particular, the developers have been focused heavily on the layer modes. This build now incorporates the new layer modes. It is of utmost importance that, prior to updating to this version, you save your layered XCF files to a standard format such as TIFF. Once you update to this version, you will no longer be able to read your XCF files saved with the previous version.

As CCE developer Elle Stone says, "*always* put the layer blend mode in the layer attributes (where you give the layer a name/short description), for all layers and groups that are set to any blend mode other than Normal. Labeling the layers with the blend mode will also help 'future proof' XCF files created by CCE, in the event the user wants to switch back to default GIMP".

You've been warned!

This was also recently announced in the GIMP G+ group.

The color corrected experimental edition has been in development for a long time. A huge amount of work has gone into recent GIMP development to improve the layer blend mode code, adding the ability to paint using various blend modes on transparent layers, plus the ability to change the composite mode. CCE has been updated to pull in this new upstream code. This version includes the recently introduced nufraw plugin to open camera RAW images directly from within GIMP/McGimp CCE. Note that a better workflow is to process your RAW images with a standalone RAW editor, as mentioned before, and then send to GIMP/McGimp.

G'MIC version has also been updated to work with this version. You can follow G'MIC on G+.

GIMP 2.9.5-cce Splash

High-Resolution Monitors and Windows 10

This version of GIMP should be safe on your high-resolution monitor. The screenshot above is from a 4K 17-inch laptop. GIMP is perfectly usable on this laptop. To achieve this, the regular version installer adds a registry item that allows Windows to manage non-dpi-aware applications. The portable version does not interact with the registry and so will not be dpi-managed. If you have a higher than 2K laptop and the application looks too small for you, then the registry will have to be modified to allow the portable version to be dpi-managed by Windows.

Some Housekeeping Comments ...

There was an issue with the previous Windows standard version. This issue has been addressed and fixed in the current standard build. Please update to this build. There was an issue with the Mac version for some people whereby McGimp would not open. This issue has also been resolved.

Please email if you have questions, concerns or comments. Thanks.

RawTherapee 5.0 R1 Revision Release

February 5, 2017

The RawTherapee developers recently announced a revision release to address some of the issues that came to light after the 5.0 major release. It is very heartening to see a group that quickly addresses issues as opposed to waiting for the next cycle to address user concerns. This release does not contain any new features, but you are encouraged to update to this build from the downloads area.

You can discuss these builds in the RawTherapee forum or email me if you have questions or concerns.


January 30, 2017
RawTherapee Version 5.0.0

I received some feedback that my GIMP builds seemed to crash when used with RawTherapee. So I have been working with the RawTherapee developers to pinpoint the issues. In the process I proceeded also to build RawTherapee for the Mac OSX. Version 5.0.0 is now available from the download area. I also decided to create Windows 64-bit portable versions (gtk2 and gtk3). In the near future I am going to try and provide an integrated GIMP/McGimp/RawTherapee app for both Windows and Mac and then you won't have to download them separately. In the meantime, you can discuss these builds in the RawTherapee forum or, email me if you have questions or concerns.

A couple of points to remember about RawTherapee. It does not export 32-bit images, only 16-bit tiffs when you send to an external editor. RawTherapee comes preconfigured to use standard GIMP or possibly Photoshop. If you want to use my builds, please use the third option in the External Editor panel: RawTherapee External Editor

For Windows, if you have installed GIMP-2.9.5 in the default location, then the command line you would use for the standard version is

C:\Program Files\GIMP-2.9.5-std\GIMP-2.9.5-std.exe
and for the color corrected experimental version
C:\Program Files\GIMP-2.9.5-cce\GIMP-2.9.5-cce.exe

For OSX, if you have installed McGimp-2.9.5 in the Applications folder, then the command line you would use is

open -a /Applications/
for the standard version and
open -a /Applications/
for the color corrected experimental version.

Hope this is clear. Please email with questions and concerns.


People have been asking me about Darktable build for Windows. I have ceased building this software after version 2.0. There is now a github source available that contains the modified code to build it on Windows. There are also documents available to build that version. You can obtain the source code here.

Previous posts from October 30, 2016
McGimp 2.9.5 Color Corrected

McGIMP and GIMP 2.9.5

McGimp 2.9.5 (same as McGimp and GIMP 2.9.4 with the latest git pull)

I have packaged the latest McGimp and GIMP 2.9.5 (corresponding to 2.9.4 with the latest git pull). All versions are available. For the Mac, we have McGimp and McGimp-cc, the color corrected version based on Elle Stone's fork of the standard git repository. To understand the many differences between the standard GIMP build and the color corrected version, please read Elle Stone's highly informative article. It is strongly recommended that you have more than a passing familiarity with color profiles.

G'MIC has been updated to pre-release 1.7.5. David has been busy updating the plugin. The preview is no longer static, though you cannot enlarge the embedded preview image.

Bug Reports

Two bugs were reported.

One dealt with certain JP2 images not rendering correctly. This has to do with a bug in the JasPer library used to render JP2000 images. This has now been fixed.

The second bug dealt with certain JPEGs not rendering correctly. This bug has to do with the Exiv2 library used to render the metadata embedded within the JPEG. This has now been fixed.

Please email me if you still experience these bugs.

Banf, Canada


How to create high dynamic images in GIMP

I have modified the Nik Collection HDR Efex Pro 2 interface so that one can create genuine high dynamic range (HDR) images with GIMP. You will need to load all your TIFF images as layers for this to work. Once all the images are opened in GIMP, go to Filters > Nik Collection > HDR Efex Pro 2. This will launch the app and start to create your HDR image. Follow the process to create an HDR image. If you are not fully familiar with how to do this, then this website will be very helpful. Create your HDR image and then save. Once you do that, the HDR image will be opened as another layer in your image stack.

Please watch the video to see how this done.

Peyto Lake, Canada


How to stitch panoramic images

I have added another plugin that allows you to stich large panoramas from within GIMP. To do this you will need to get the free Panorama Stitcher from the App Store on your Mac and install it in your Applications folder.

It is important to remember that the images need to be loaded as layers. Once done, start the panorama stitcher from the filters menu, and you are good to go. Once the panorama is created, you must save the file in the default location (your Documents folder) and close the stitcher. The panorama will now open in a separate window for further editing.

Please watch the video.

On Windows, please download and install the capable panorama stitcher available free of charge from Microsoft. Install it in its default location C:\Program Files\Microsoft Research\Image Composite Editor. Once installed, you'll be able to use the panorama stitcher on Windows.

Remember that the images need to be loaded as layers. Then, start the panorama stitcher from the filters menu, and you are good to go. Once the panorama is created, you must save the file in the default location (your Documents folder) and close the stitcher. The panorama will now open in a separate window for further editing.

Please watch the video.


I enjoy exploring the art and science of photography. I am also interested in tools of the trade and hope to share them with you.

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Helpful Hints

  • General Installation Instructions

    Important: Uninstall previous builds from the target installation location. Installation has been streamlined as much as possible.

    Download and double-click on the installer and follow the instructions on your screen. Your computer may ask you to provide your administrative password. This is normal while installing software on the target computer. The software will be installed in the Program Files folder if you select the default settings. Also, it will create necessary files and folders.

    The portable versions do not require any particular installation instructions. Simply double-click on the executable and unzip it to your desired location. The portable versions are self-contained and do not interact with your system or any existing GIMP installations.

    File Association

    Remove all references to the software you are installing from the registry and then use Windows to associate this version with your desired image formats.

    Mac OS

    These versions are compatible with Lion and above. Simply unzip the version you prefer and drag it to you Applications folder.

  • About Virus Alerts

    My builds are based on source code from the respective developers. Some modifications have been made to make the code compatible with Windows. These builds are compiled using GCC 6.2.0 available from the great folks at MinGW. I have received reports that some virus checkers are triggered by my builds. There is not much that can be done with these reports. They are false positives that you will have to take up with your virus checker software company. Please read this interesting article on how frustrating these reports can be.


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