I learn the manual way in the darkroom when I was 13-15 yrs old. It was great to learn about the process, the testing, the patience, the temperature of the chemical solutions, the drying….
Nowadays we have digital camera. for those that shoot with RAW files, it is full of possibilities with limit-less experiments.
I used a few RAW processors over the last few years, they are my new darkrooms. I have try rawshooter, lightroom beta, Adobe Camera Raw (with PS). They are good and probably the most commonly used beside captureone and aperture (MAC).
Lately I have try Rawtherapee, a new free software. It is not mature yet, but it shows a lot of promises. I like it and wish the engine is faster.
What I use most now is… Silkypix. It is a Japanese made raw developer. I use it because I use Panasonic Lumix cameras.
It is very quick to tune photos, if you know what you are doing. For those who would like to get a bit more out of the photo, I highly recommend it. It is good for both RAW and JPG from version 3.0
If anyone has experience with silkypix, please let me know. I would love to share with you the tips and tricks.