Alpenglow panorama with climbers


this is my first “serious” effort at developing a raw file with darktable. (I should have stopped down the lens when taking this shot to make it sharper, but for on-screen viewing the quality seems OK to me.)

The result is already better than what I could have achieved with Olympus Viewer, but I’m interested to learn further.

In particular, I’ve been asking myself the following questions:

  • Is the image too dark?
  • To denoise or not to denoise? I chose not to, IMHO the fake detail makes the landscape more interesting.
  • What white balance? I could make the mist in the valley perfectly white, but then the sky looses too much of its blue for my taste. It seems to me that removing all sky-reflected blue from snow is not the way to go.
  • Would this image profit from darktable’s masks?
  • From memory, the sunlit snow should be even more reddish, but I guess we’re approaching the limits of what can be displayed on a SDR screen. Are there ways to make the image more dramatic while avoiding the “HDR look”?

201129_165903.orf (13.6 MB) 201129_165903.orf.xmp (9.9 KB)

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


Very nice image! Well-exposed; no saturated highlights, and the darker foreground is still well above the noise floor.

I used my hack software to produce this rendition. I went a little lighter on the filmic tone curve ( a rather hacky version of the original Duiker filmic, not the elegant implementation by @aurelienpierre) ; loses contrast in the sky but makes the regarders stand out a bit more. Other than that, used the camera-supplied white balance and black-subtraction, the plain color matrix for your camera supplied by libraw, rcd demosaic, nothing special:

I’m a crop-aholic, but I found no reason to depart from your very nice composition.

Edit: Almost forgot, I didn’t see any objectionable noise anywhere in the image. Even then, I tend not to because I mostly downsize which mitigates a lot of noise.

I know you’re figuring out darktable right now, but I hope it helps to consider the generic aspects of this business, stuff common to all raw processing… :smiley:

I would say that yes, the image is overall too dark.

The noise isn’t objectionable in my opinion.

I kept the camera WB; I tried a more daylight-esque white balance but it’s just too blue and neutralizes the warm sunset, while making the snow white is just unrealistic-looking.

I used Filmulator; its tonemapping helps reduce the global contrast without too much HDR look.

  • Auto CA correct 2
  • Exposure comp -1/6
  • Film area 68.8
  • Drama 79
  • White clipping point 0.455
  • Shadow brightness 209
  • Highlight brightness 1000

Great shot, must have been an experience being there at sundown… :+1:

201129_165903.orf.xmp (13.1 KB)


201129_165903.orf.xmp (12.8 KB)


201129_165903.orf.xmp (11.2 KB)
this is my contribution.
trying to reduce the contrast with tone equalizer.
Increase the saturation with color balance
Apply the multiply reverse blending mode in the local contrast module

very good picture! I love it!


201129_165903.orf.xmp (14.9 KB) Uploading: 201129_165903.jpg…


dt 3.4.1

201129_165903.orf.xmp (9.6 KB)


201129_165903.orf.xmp (14.9 KB) 201129_165903_01.orf.xmp (18.1 KB)


Oh neat, I only just noticed the anticrepuscular rays in your rendition, @sls141.

@alpinist Beautiful shot. @sls141 Beautiful renders.

Thanks for posting, a very nice photo
DT 3.4.1

201129_165903_01.orf.xmp (13.2 KB)

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alpenglow.pp3 (21.6 KB) RawTherapee 5.8-2786-g5b329a8de

I really liked editing this one. And, looking at the other renditions, one of those that has so many different interpretations, most of them worth looking at.

Anyway: Thanks for sharing this great shot! Would have loved to be there.

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i like the picture…

but i think people are more perpendicular to their center of gravity. at least according to my experience… :rofl:

Alpenglow panorama with climbers_201129_165903.orf.xmp (15.9 KB)


Well thanks to @CarVac pointing it out I obviously tried to enhance the rays and make it all about the glow. I also decided to crop out the moon since, although beautiful, I thought it was a little distracting.


201129_165903.jpg.out.pp3 (15.3 KB)

Ok, I did some further editing in GIMP and while I know it didn’t turn out perfect it certainly was a good practice. I’d appreciate some constructive criticism here. Did I go too far? I’ve noticed some color fringing already but here we are…

Sorry for the spam. I tried to recreate the GIMP version in RT5.8 with color regions and actually like the result better than the GIMP one.

201129_165903-1.jpg.out.pp3 (16.7 KB)

I won’t go any further from here I swear… :sweat_smile:

I really like that rendering @Tim!

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Here is a RawTherapee 5.8 output
201129_165903.jpg.out.pp3 (12.0 KB)

And a 80% Black&White version!
201129_165903-1.jpg.out.pp3 (12.0 KB)


RawTherapee 5.8.2751

201129_165903.orf.jpg.out.pp3 (22.2 KB)

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What a nice edits here! Thank you all. It’s a feast for my eyes. (Is that proper English?)


Yes, excellent English.

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