We recently interviewed Riley Brandt on how he uses Fedora. This is part of a series on the Fedora Magazine. The series profiles Fedora users and how they use Fedora to get things done. Contact us on the feedback form to express your interest in becoming a interviewee.

Who is Riley Brandt?

Riley Brandt uses a Mac running OS X and Adobe for work at a university in western Canada. “The job can be really amazing at times. I’ve watched a doctor perform brain surgery using a robotic arm, been in a lab used for quantum teleportation, met Olympic athletes, and taken photos from a helicopter.” However, for his personal photography work he uses Fedora and FOSS software to process and organize his photographs.

Riley Brandt Photographer

Brandt tried Linux for the first time in 2007. At that time he dual booted Windows and Ubuntu 7.04. He switched to Linux full time with the release of Ubuntu 7.10. Riley switched to Fedora, though, with version 21. “I was a big fan of the GNOME desktop, and I was tired of Ubuntu GNOME always being a version behind.”

His childhood heroes were filmmakers like John Carpenter and John Hughes. When asked for his favorite movies, Riley was hard pressed to name just two. “I love movies, so I don’t really have a favorite. But a couple that I loved growing up were Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Big Trouble in Little China.”

Riley counts taekwondo and pixel art as hobbies. “I have been practicing taekwondo for the last year. It’s super challenging, but really rewarding.” His interest in pixel art was inspired by video games. “I think there is a lot of beautiful art work in video games and want to try and create some of my own.”

The Fedora community

By the time Brandt was running Fedora 22, he was giving back to the community by submitting bug reports, answering forum questions and writing articles. Riley also has a fantastic series of tutorials on Youtube that cover GIMP, Darktable and general photography workflow in Fedora.

Riley Brandt Photographer

Brandt was initially worried that he would have a more difficult time getting help when he was making the transition from Ubuntu to Fedora. “I was worried that since Fedora has a smaller user base than Ubuntu, I would have trouble getting support. But that wasn’t the case at all. Fedora users were quick to respond to my questions and full of useful info.”

His experience with the Fedora community helped him realize it should not just be the desktop environment or package manager that influences the decision on what distro to use. “Not enough people think about the community. Fedora’s community might be its biggest selling point.”

Riley thinks it’s awesome to see maintainers make changes to Fedora that reflect feedback from the community. “After I made a YouTube video about Fedora for photographers, Luya Tshimbalanga, a Fedora Design Suite maintainer, added extra GIMP plugins to the default install.”

As a content creator Brandt would like to see more applications provide packages for Fedora. “I would like to convince developers of creative applications like Photomatix HDR, Aesprite, and the Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve video editor to provide packages for Fedora, not just for Ubuntu.”

What hardware and software?

Brandt has a desktop computer equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and an AMD RX 470 video card. His laptop is the Dell XPS 13. Both run Fedora 25 Design Suite. If you are interested you can find Riley’s complete photography workflow in his 2015 blog post here.

The key photography apps are Geeqie, Rapid Photo Downloader, Darktable and GIMP. For recording his video tutorials he uses SimpleScreenRecorder and Kdenlive. “For an image viewer, I am just looking for something simple, fast and color managed. The image viewer just needs to be able to open all major photo formats quickly, so I can review my exported images. Geeqie does all that wonderfully.” Riley does not use Shotwell or Eye of GNOME because he requires color management.

Riley Brandt Desktop