A question of honesty

Hi all
Moonlit scene so expect it to be dark but there is detail in there.
Lets see what you can do to keep it
a, honest
and / or b, believable
_MG_1119.CR2 (19.6 MB)

This file is licensed Creative Commons, By-Attribution, Share-Alike.

You can’t be honest to a scene you have not witnessed… Believable, yes. Honest, no.


Looks like this to me:

You wanted the detail, so I used a technique I’ve been using with images like this, a bright highlight but the majority is in the weeds. First I apply a log curve to lift the shadows to where they can be seen, then a S-shaped control point curve to put things to my interpretation.

Quite a few wonky pixels, some which survived the downsize.

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I should have cloned out the flare rather than desaturated etc. And I think the sky could lose some more of the redness. But time for bed.

_MG_1119-moonlitview-RawConvert.xmp (50.0 KB)

It is playing…I tried the low light module just for the heck of it …I think I like the blue version…not maybe keeping it honest though…and I didn’t really do much to it…


Depends on what we mean by honest. :stuck_out_tongue:

In Rawtherapee:
With only 2 modules and few clicks I already see the green color of the grass:



question.of.honesty.pp3 (17.7 KB) RawTherapee 5.8 Development.

I opted for a bluer look. It is rather hard to determine what the overall colour would have looked like without having been there and I do associate night with dark blue skies. Then again, maybe there’s light pollution influencing the colours toward brownish/orange.

Probably neither honest nor believable!
Created 4 different exposure levels from the raw and blended with enfuse.

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_MG_1119.CR2.xmp (15.6 KB)


This is the best I could achieve in Darktable. (The image is larger than the original)

Nice play, thanks for posting! My most honest attempt using RT 5.8 dev.
Camera WB was too warm IMO, so I altered it a bit

_MG_1119_RT-1.jpg.out.pp3 (15.0 KB)


Can anyone be honest about a scene even if they witnessed? 24 hours later I don’t really remember what I saw. I edit to make a good looking photo. Honesty is ephemeral, subjective and elusive. If not impossible.


Hi folks,
Thanks for taking the time on this, comments too give lots to think about (or not - think less do more…)
Anyhoo, the honesty bit was fishing for ideas on how far to illuminate a dark scene. Think it came out ok
before and after screen grab

and a 25% jpeg from the stitched tiff from 8 horizontal images


Fun with GIMP

_MG_1119.jpg.out.pp3 (14,3 KB)

jimd_MG_1119.CR2.xmp (17.8 KB)

Moonlight, being just Sunlight bounced off a distance reflector is not very much different than sunlight. Only darker. From photographing portraits under moonlight I learned that digital cameras have no problem capturing that. But our own night-vision somehow sees those colors rather muted and shifted towards blue.

Since photography is never really honest let’s go with beautiful or interesting. :wink:

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