Castle Menzies - Retouching

Not quite as popular as Eilean Donan, this is still normally crowded around with cars. This was taken late in the evening when there wasn’t an event on.

I would like to retouch the picture to remove the pile of gravel (used to fill the potholes in the drive), but can’t get it right. Any hints and tips gratefully received.
_CTW6177.NEF (54.6 MB)
_CTW6177.NEF.xmp (11.0 KB)

These files are licensed Creative Commons, By-Attribution, Share-Alike.

You put up the darktable tag. Are you looking for a darktable only solution for this retouching job?

It might be able to do this with dt’s retouch module, but GIMP, Krita and the likes are probably a more obvious/suitable tool. Finish your edit in DT and then use a raster graphics editor to remove/“fix” what needs fixing.

Here’s a quick one done in Krita, shown at 282%:

Jobs like this take a bit of time to do correctly, though.

I copied some parts from the surroundings to cover up the pile with what would probably be behind/under it. Used a healing brush to cover up the transitions between borders from the copied parts. Had to do a bit of softening and sharpening to make it more convincing. This is the result of a <5 minute job and needs refining and more attention to detail. Did this just to let you see it can be done relatively easy in a dedicated tool.


Decided to do the full edit instead of a ~5 minute example screen print.

RawTherapee for the normal editing and Krita for the retouching.

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A fast dirty try. This is some heavy fiddly stuff (*) for DT. Like Jade already did, I personally would pass this to an other piece of software.

_CTW6177.NEF.xmp (14.3 KB)

(*) What I haven’t used but would recommend: You will propably need a handful of forms for this retouch. If your retouch module gets overcrowed make a new instance to continue. It definitely makes it less fiddly.

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Thank you for another of your great photos to play with.
Initial steps: in Filmulator +1EV, then into GIMP. Perspective correction and crop sides.
The gravel heap - not easy! A combination of Heal Selection, Clone and Healing Brush. A few minor tweaks to local contrast and saturation.

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_CTW6177.NEF.xmp (18.2 KB)


You are too kind.

It is the surroundings that provide the scope. The area round us is replete with castles, mountains, lochs, rivers, and waterfalls. On top of that, there is a reasonable amount of wildlife, human activities such as walking, white water rafting and bungee jumping. I am waiting for the local pipe band to start up at the end of May, and the Highland Games at Glamis castle in June.

There are some downsides, one has to be prepared to travel. Unfortunately, this often means single track roads, if you are lucky there may be passing places. What you don’t want is to meet a timber tug coming in the other direction.

Once you have done your travelling by car, there is usually an amount of walking (if there isn’t then you can be certain that there will be a coach disgorging a load of tourists; once they have gone they will be replaced by a second coach). This is probably age related, there always seems to be more “up” getting to the place you want to photograph than “down”.

Guide books are not always the most reliable publications either, what they refer to as a “well-made path” may be just that, but it may also mean that the water only comes up over your boots rather than up to your knees. I used to sneer at people using walking poles, but now I see them as a necessity (backpack, check; camera body, check; selection of lenses, check; filters, check; tripod, check; water bottle, check; walking poles, check; registration on body-building course, check).

Then there is the weather, we get a lot of what my neighbour refers to as “three-season days” up here. It might be clear when you set off on your walk, but thick fog or rain when you get there.

But it does give me a great deal of pleasure, and keeps me out from under my wife’s feet, both outside the house and in :wink:

OK, this seems to have run to an end, so here is an apocryphal story from someone at the photographic society I used to go to.

A woman asks a photographer friend to help with a photo of her house, “Could you remove the waste bin?”, she asks.

A few deft keystrokes and the bin is gone. “That’s much better”, says the woman, “But where is the cat?”

The friend looks at the picture and replies, “I’m sorry, I can’t see a cat.”

“It was behind the waste bin”, the woman responds…

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