Ödensee, Wachau & the Libre Graphics Crisis

Published: So 02 April 2023
By anna

There is no doubt that the Libre Graphics movement is in some sort of crisis. The last Libre Graphics Meeting was in 2019, the darktable devs are estranged and I cannot make the local darktable users have a second meeting. And there is the darktable telegram group, where apparently mainly users whose mother tougue is not English have their discussions. I think I won't be able to publish articles about open source photography software anytime soon in c't. What is the reason for all of this? Is the situation somehow connected to politics? Or was the whole libre graphics phenomenon a GIMP thing? Clearly, GIMP is too old... I don't want to believe that because for real digital artists it is important to have a flexible "hackable" tools that can be modified, obviously this is more important for visual artists than for writers for example. A writer does not need sophisticated tools. A real artist makes their own tools and does not need pre-defined "fast food" effects from the supermarket. So in the long run our party should be on the winning side.

I think Aurélien Pierre is a bit desperate because he could not make more people use darktable who are less tech affine. Well, one cannot force humans to be happy. Also, we are not living in a dictatorship, but most people are just like sheep. They have no use for freedom.

I am curious what the future will bring, if our new user group will be successful etc.

But in this context I also want to mention that I created a new darktable fork: https://github.com/blitzgneisserin/darktable. The most important thing about it is the fact that a lot of old modules are completely removed and not only deprecated. So old edits cannot be opened with this program. I think I would like to add some presets to diffuse/sharpen but I have not tried to modify it's code yet, although in theory I know how to do that. The graduated filter needs to be rewritten, no idea how to do that, although probably somehow the code of the graduated filter, exposure and the graduated mask need to be combined. Btw, I have removed it too from my fork. Well, I would also have some ideas for simplifying diffuse/sharpen, but I definitely don't know how to do that. Probably someone who knows how to do it will have the same thoughts sooner or later.

Yesterday I made a hike in the Wachau, I climed up to the Josef-Gruber-Warte on the Buschandlwand from Spitz and then went down to Wösendorf. It's a relatively exhausting hike with a lot of elevation difference but there are no technical challenges, it's safe. In hiking guides it's often marked as intermediate but except for the fact that it's a bit exhausting it's actually easy. Only for the last meters before the view point I had to put my camera into my backpack.


I think the Wachau is one of the most beautiful regions of Austria. Even in an unphogtogenic season like right now, when there are no leaves on the trees, there is something magical about her. But even though I had been to this region many times before I think I only realized this yesterday. I think it's no coincidence that in German, the word Wachau is actually female. Maybe the round hills and mountains, and the curves of the Danube correspond to the forms of the female body? Maybe it's kind of the opposite of the Dolomites, for instance. I am no poet and it's really difficult to describe the magic of the Wachau with words but probably real poets have already done that.

Anyway, the hike to the Josef-Gruber-Warte on the Buschandlwand is a highly recommended hike, defintely one of the best hikes in the Wachau.

On the way up to the Warte I also met this little fellow:


First I only heared that something was moving under the leaves and stopped and looked. Then the mouse appeared, came really close and apparently she was not afraid at all. It was like she was expecting me to feed her or maybe she was just curious?

A few weeks ago I wanted to photograph the Ödensee in the Salzkammergut, but the lake was completely white and frozen. I only took very few good shots like this one:


On the way back, I saw the Hallstätter See with the white Dachstein and that was really awesome, although I have no photo of it. But maybe there will still be a chance to take photos of it during the next weeks. I had never seen Hallstatt before in the winter.