From Bibble to Aftershot

I use Ubuntu for my wedding photography business. I do it reasonably successfully: I don’t have a Mac or Windows system in the house. But sometimes it can be hard to find software that offers the level of sophistication and specialism of the proprietary offerings. This time last year I wrote about my quest for a professional photo workflow and management package.

I settled on Bibble and found it to be almost exactly what I was looking for. Although it’s not an open source application, it was supported on Ubuntu. Having developed a good working relationship with Bibble over the last year, I was a bit surprised when the people at Bibble Labs announced that they had been bought up by Corel. The Bibble software was going to morph into Aftershot Pro, a new offering from Corel.

One of the things that appealed about Bibble was the strong Linux community around it. Although not open source software itself, some of the plug-ins were. Bibble was quirky in places but I was able to do what I wanted, to build a large catalogue of images and work with them quickly. Fortunately Corel have announced that Linux will continue to be a supported platform.

So far my experiences with Aftershot Pro have been positive. The interface is more polished and intuitive and the images it produces continue to be of a high quality. There is a small but growing number of plug-ins. It is shame that certain types of catalogue can’t be transferred into Aftershot from Bibble though.

I hope that Corel will continue to develop Aftershot Pro in the spirit in which Bibble was developed, and that it will continue to be a good choice for anyone wanting photographic workflow management on Ubuntu.

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    23 Responses to From Bibble to Aftershot

    1. Flup says:

      Now put it in the software center.

    2. I feel the same way. I do like using some opensource alternatives like darktable for portraiture work, but for my event work (the bulk of my total work) there’s nothing faster than ASP. I’d even use it for that same work if I were a windows/osx user.

    3. Damon Lynch says:

      I’ve been using Bibble for more than six years now, and when Aftershot came on the scene I immediately started using it. The Linux support by the developers has always been first-rate, and I see nothing to indicate anything will change.

      In 2007 I asked myself how I could contribute to help bring more photographers onto Linux and I decided to start the project Rapid Photo Downloader. I had to learn parallel programming, and pygtk too. My initial design was fully functional but had some inherent performance flaws that became increasingly problematic as more features were added. I redesigned it last year from the ground up to use multiple processes and it’s proven both stable and very fast. I’m now a believer in message-based parallel designs, even if they’re relatively simple as in the case with my project 😉

      In the past six months I’ve learned a great deal from watching the “From Camera to Print and Screen” video series from the Luminous Landscape. I’ve since spent time reprocessing some now glaring errors in hundreds of my earlier photos!

    4. Gonzalo Porcel says:

      Hi Tony,

      I would be interested to hear from you whether you have tried digikam.

      I find it a very compelling solution, it is open source and works rather well, but my needs are not those of a professional photographer, which is why I wonder how well it does in a professional setting.

      If you haven´t tried it yet, please do install it off the software center and let us know your impressions.

    5. Artur Banach says:

      I understand your positive attitude towards Aftershot, but I can’t do the same.

      I’m a hobbyst photographer and use bibble since 4.10 on linux. Bibble 5.2.3 was fantastic with all those plugins.

      Without these plugins in Aftershot I just can’t do what I used to do in Bibble 5.2.3 so I’m still using bibble.

    6. Daniel says:

      What about RAW Therapee? I’m no pro, but for the things I’ve tested it with (not by using the one within the Ubunti Repo thoug – it’s quite old!) where quite appealing for my non-professional point of view…
      And it’s Open Source + for all platforms.

    7. Tony says:

      @Damon, your Rapid Photo Downloader looks like a very useful tool. One of the things that I miss in Aftershot is the ability for it to copy all the photos from a card and create a hierarchical directory structure. I know that with metadata based search, you shouldn’t have to have an organised structure, but the alternative seems to be putting all the photographs in the same directory! I’ll have to give Rapid Photo Downloader a go, I see it’s packaged in Ubuntu which is great!

    8. Tony says:

      @Artur I like that some of the plugins that were produced for Bibble are now incorporated in Aftershot properly. Hopefully more will be developed for Aftershot or ported across from Bibble in due course.

    9. Tony says:

      @Daniel I haven’t tried RAW Therapee since I wrote my blog post last year. It certainly seems to have developed a lot, which is great news. One of the reasons for writing that post was that I was looking to make a commitment to a piece of software, which I did. But if I need to move for some reason I will check out RAW Therapee.

    10. Tony says:

      @Gonzalo, I haven’t tried Digikam since I wrote my first post last year. From what I remember, it was very slow to edit images both individually and in groups. That may have changed since of course.

    11. Artur Banach says:

      Tony, I have seen some of the plugins re-written for Aftershot Pro but not all of them, my best ones are not there yet:) GradFilter and AndreaFilm Simulation were my faviourites ones.

      Before I get them in AfterShot Pro, I will stick to Bibble. To be honest as well, I don’t like Aftershot Pto interface details. Bibble was more sleek and professional in look.

      RAW Therapee is for someone who would like to start working in RAW. For serious activities, only Bibble or Aftershot PRo (on Linux of course)

    12. Damon Lynch says:

      @Artur, Andrea is renamed to Nostalgia and is available. Hopefully you’ll find it better, too. Sean has put plenty of work into it.

      Roger (MindSocket) has not yet had time to port the grad filter plugin. Maybe he will later this year — here’s hoping. Another developer has paritally completed a different grad filter plugin which works similarly, but he’s not yet finished.

      In time, the Aftershot Pro interface grew on me, and now I strongly prefer it to Bibble 5.2.3.

    13. Daniel says:

      @Artur: I’m sort of a newbe, that’s why I like playing around with free alternatives, before I start spending money on it 😉

      But thanks for all pf your information everyone provided here! Maybe some day I will switch from RawTherapee and Gimpt o something more expensive (since I don’t post-process many pictures ATM, this might take a while – hopefully there will still be some good programs available for Linux, too!!!).


    14. Artur Banach says:

      @Damon: yeap, I have installed Nostalgia already on my Aftershot Pro and it works great. It is different but still does the job.

      @Daniel: Aftershot Pro is quite cheap compared to what Bibble Pro 5 used to be priced:)

      I will wait till grad filter will be released and will try Aftershot Pro once again:)

    15. Ingo Socha says:

      @Tony: I am not much of a fan of metadata based search, either. I import my pictures from the camera to the Mac, rate and cull them with Photon, which is amazingly fast and does not insist on importin into either iPhoto or Bibble/Aftershot Libraries.

      Herzliche Grüße

    16. Tony says:

      Thanks Ingo. If I had a Mac, I’d give Photon a try. 😉

    17. Ingo Socha says:

      Sorry, I missed that tiny detail.

    18. Ingo Socha says:

      @Damon: What is this other grad-filter plugin you mentioned earlier? Roger has repeatedly stated that other projects were more pressing. So I have sort of given up hope that he will port Grad-Filter Pro to Aftershot. Any alternative would be worth investigating.

      Other than that, I really think ASP delivers a good balance of speed/ease of use and image quality. Have you guys seen the latest version? Check out HR if you haven’t!


    19. Roger Barnes says:

      Just a note for readers of this post, I have ported my graduated filter to Aftershot Pro (as linked). Enjoy! 🙂

    20. Ari Makela says:

      I found this post and discussion when I was googling for linux photography software. Very interesting.

      One little notion: in an unix-like operating system having pictures both in a single directory (an Idea I don’t like) and in a structured tree is not a problem: hard links solve the problem.

      Personally, I shoot the combination of RAW and JPEG. JPEG is usually good enough for my purposes i.e. my food blog. I use a python scripts I have written to organize my pictures.

      – I copy the pictures to a directly like ~/Pictures/2012/09/24 – if there are pictures from several days I run a script than copies the files into day directories according to EXIF data.
      – I run a script with moves the files to directories called orig_jpg and orig_nef
      – I make a directory call cand and hard link the JPGs there.
      – I use gwenview in directory cand to select the pictures I want to use – I simply delete the files in Gwenview. If I make a mistake the original JPG files can always be found in the directory orig_jpg.
      – If needed, I run a script which rotates the pictures and scales them down.
      – If RAW processing is needed I can always use the files from orig_raw.

      Mind you, I’m very inexperienced with RAW processing but I going to get the experience.

    21. Tony says:

      Thanks for the great comment Ari. You’re right, using a Unix system does give you access to lots of tools that make life easier. It’s just a shame that Bubble used to handle sorting the photos for me, and now with ASP I have to think about it myself!

    22. Sam H. says:

      Thanks for helpful discussion!
      I am a linux user because of it open source philosophy or spirit, speed, no viruses yet etc. I ve been using bibble pro 5 for two years. I find the program fast, flowing and useful. Both mentioned plugins Andrea film simulation and grad. filter are very useful tools. I must say, that Andrea made wonderful photos from something I wanted to throw away. After shooting as amateur with Pentax K5 and nice old and new Pentax prime lenses, I find the colour profiles not exactly fitting . The product reduced setting gives a bit ( like -5 saturation, that I would consider the right colours) and product gives like + 5 saturation. So when I adjust the white balance, exposure and do not use the Andrea, I have to do colour adjustment or saturation in all photographs. Do you have similar experience?
      Is there some way of generally change the settings in bibble pro and or is it now different in After shot?
      Thanks for reply
      p.s. I recommend this program for all photographers, who use linux platform and want to shoot RAW.

    23. Tony says:

      Hi Sam, thanks for leaving your comment. The colour profiles feature is gone in Aftershot Pro, so no need to worry about it! Of course, if you are editing large numbers of images, you can create your own presets with the settings you like and apply them to your images in one go.

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