B&W with Filmic

bw.filmic.raf.xmp (11.4 KB) darktable 3.9.0

20150505_0037.RAF.xmp (8.8 KB)


Innocent question: Wouldn’t a B&W interpretation
automatically call for visible grain???

I mean, not everybody used Adox KB14…

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

my attempt.
thanks for sharing.

20150505_0037.RAF.xmp (9.6 KB)

Not necessarily.

I have 2 B&W shots hanging on my walls. Both don’t show visible grain. One is mine and was shot using Ilford FP4 (ISO 125), developed and made into a 25x40 print by me. The other I bought from a graduating art student. Not sure what she used, but this 60x30 print also shows no grain.

The choice of paper does influence this, though. With influence I do not mean the amount of grain, but the paper texture becomes part of the print. Mine was printed on Ilford pearl paper (don’t remember the exact name/type) which had a real nice shine/texture. Screens have a tendency to be rather smooth, plastic like, if you want.

You can edit you image and shuffle it over to GIMP/Krita and put it on top on a slightly textured base layer to simulate this on-paper look to a certain extent.

Or you can just embrace the modern, for screen, final product :sweat_smile:

There is a trick with B&W… you don’t have to do it straight away in color calibration. You can have 1 instance of color calib to do the white-balancing, then use color balance to increase saturation, then move a 2nd instance of color calibration after color balance to convert to monochrome. This way, you retain the color data to target hue-specific luminance changes.

Also, in your image, filmic white is too high, the black is probably too low, and anyway the contrast is very low.


I thought that I might show my color version. I was looking for a B&W that had the same punchy feel.

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This makes for a very big difference and considerably better control.

Thank you Aurelien

darktable 3.8.0
I am not a huge friend of Filmic, so only:
exposure > local contrast > color calibration

20150505_0037.RAF.xmp (9.6 KB)

A very nice result … I will take a good look at your processing.

My attempt to create a B/W using color calibration, filmic rgb, tone curves and tone equalizer.

20150505_0037_02.RAF.xmp (13.0 KB)

This image really have a lot of data to recover in the highlights. Using the highlight reconstruction mask it is possible to see a lot of info.

I don’t know if there is an easy way to convert this mask to luminosity mask and reuse it in other modules, if someone knows more about how to do it, it would be good to know :slight_smile: :+1:

Something like this:

Thanks for sharing.

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I always enjoy the look of the highlight recovery mask too :slight_smile:


Thanks Jade, I redid the French version because of poor sound.
Many approaches are possible, scene or display referred, with or without LUTs, I try to use only scene-referred in my videos because it corresponds maybe better to the philosophy of darktable since version 3.0. And it is fun to learn how it works!

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Absolutely love the edit!
I tried to replicate it in RT as much as I could. One issue I’ve had is with the interior of the left hold. Did you apply a spot editing there? Otherwise yeah I think I got somewhat close.

PP3: 20150505_0037.jpg.out.pp3 (14.0 KB)

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And one that’s slightly better I think. The light response of film is crazy. I shouldn’t expect RT to easily replicate the complex formulae of filmic, and yet…

PP3: 20150505_0037-1.jpg.out.pp3 (14.2 KB)

But what about the structure of the clouds?:grinning::grinning::grinning:

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my edit is a bit brighter but the clouds don’t seem much different to me

See post #16, above:

You are right … it works well without filmic … the local contrast really allows the clouds to develop well.


@davidvj , @europlatus

I have tried loading your jpegs as sidecars without success. A couple days ago I ran into a case where the poster had set the export to put the sidecar into the jpg, but it didn’t. If the jpegs do contain sidecars, do nothing; otherwise, could you post the xmp?