I am in a little dilemma. I tried out a lot of software including Lightroom, On1, Luminar, Rawtherapee, and darktable while I was trying to hunt for a editor that fit what made sense in my brain. For some reason darktable makes sense in my brain and I love working with it.
During this time I developed what I consider a weird workflow possibly not sure why I developed the habit but I really like the results it presents.
Basically what I do is:
- Lens corrections/CA
- Correct exposure/white balance if needed.
- “Pre Flatten” the image
- Start the develop process.
When I say pre flatten basically what I do is pull the highlights and shadows closer into the mid tones which makes the image really flat compared to even just a straight raw file.
This seems to give me tons of control over everything because what I assume is happening is I am expanding the dynamic range I have to work with. It really lets me go “ham” on the contrast, I love contrast
My issue is with darktable I can’t quite figure out the “best way” (a very loose term) to flatten out the image to get a nice flat result.
- It seems like Filmic can be used to do this but I really struggle figuring that module out.
- Shadows and highlights module should be able to do it but I can’t seem to get results out of it.
- Tone Curves is the method I am currently using but my results are not quite there yet, as out side of contrast , I don’t quite fully understand everything here yet.
If anyone has any help and or advice to give it would be much appreciated even if it is only some resources that I have failed to find in my hunting.