Cliffs and water

I got up early this morning and waded into the water to get this shot. Also used a 6-stop ND filter to smooth the water. There was also a very short window of light before the sun went behind a cloud. This shot is one I’ve had in mind for some time. I’d like to get your take on it. Here is my processing in ART.

DSC_1839.NEF (30.7 MB)

DSC_1839.NEF.arp (24.0 KB)

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


Beautiful shot - thanks for sharing.
My attempt in GIMP. I tried to bring out the colours in the cliff, but I think your result is better.

@montagdude I really like how you leveraged ART’s tools to bring out the richness in the colors and in particular how you brought out the water reflections through savvy use of masking.

A suggestion for consideration: You might try clicking on the “Haze Removal” in the “Special effects” tab - it will take those colors one step further, although perhaps too far for some.

Will take a stab at this lovely image shortly.

As is my habit, I took this into the monochrome/B&W realm. Clearly this shot is begging to remain in lush color, but that’s the challenge I’ve accepted for myself…

Using ART’s assorted local edit masks I pulled & tugged on various elements for compositional contrast : DSC_1839.NEF.arp (24.0 KB)

Thanks for sharing this lovely scene.

When you say you used GIMP, does that mean you started from RAW and developed in GIMP? Anyway, thanks for having a play with it!

Thank you for the compliments. I like your B&W treatment, though I agree that this particular scene is begging for color with all the rich orange, green, and blue that are present.

DSC_1839-2.jpg.out.pp3 (15,2 KB)

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RAW converted to tiff in Filmulator. This has become my standard RAW converter because with everything at it’s default values (other than exposure adjustment to centre the histogram) it invariably produces excellent results. I do the detail editing in GIMP as I have available a vast array of tools to adjust aspects and regions of an image. But my result was not as good as yours!


Thanks to everyone who tried editing my photo. After going back, I actually can’t decide if I like this version better or a different one taken about 30 minutes earlier (let’s call it “the earlier one”):

And the one from the OP again for comparison (“the later one”):

I’m leaning towards the earlier one for its lighting and colors, but the later one for its composition. The later one also has a more striking sky and better texture in the cliffs. What do others think?

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Agreed. If I had to pick, it would be the latter of the two. Composition, color, contrast, all strike me as (slightly) better on the eyes. Both are fine images.

Thanks. That’s what I’m thinking too. Too bad I can’t mix the best of both!

Did you attach the correct arp file please ? It looks identical to the one from the original poster.

Thanks for posting
darktable 4.0.1

DSC_1839_02.NEF.xmp (20.2 KB)


Hmmm :thinking: just checked… seems to be the correct arp file (i.e., the one that produced the B&W rendition I posted). In fact, it’s the only .arp file I have associated with this NEF since I never downloaded the OP’s .arp file.

Check again how you’re loading things to see if perhaps there’s a file naming/storage issue at your end?

In a few of these the white clouds to me seem to be unnaturally blue… could be my setup but I used rgb colorbalance and used the highlight picker to find an opponent hue and then bumped up the effect until I got nice looking clouds…this nicely warms up the bluff as well which also seemed a bit cold…so I ended up more with this result…and it seems plausible given the way the scene looks to be lit…

DSC_1839.NEF.xmp (8.3 KB)

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Thanks for checking.

On looking at the links behind the arp files they are identical, so it’s perhaps another issue but at least it explains why I get identical files.

ejm -------------:
montagdude :

That’s pretty weird. I’m going to take a closer look. I wonder how that could be?

@Phil_Smith So I took another look, and confirmed that I only have 3 files in total related to this NEF RAW image on my computer … the RAW file, the jpg I produced (in black and white), and a single .arp sidecar file.

Step 1. I reload the RAW and select “default” processing; it reverts its original color (un-processed) form.

Step 2: I import my .arp sidecar and all of the adjustments I made, including the black & white treatment, are effectuated.

Are you saying that when you do the same, using my .arp file, you don’t get a black and white conversion. Or do you get an original color version?

I’m assuming you’re using the “Load a profile from a file” option under the “Processing Profile” section of the upper right portion of the ART Editor screen?

Perhaps re-download my sidecar file and see if you get this same result?

darktable 4

DSC_1839.NEF.xmp (5.8 KB)


I’m guessing it’s some sort of site issue, maybe since our sidecar files were uploaded with the same filename. Though if that’s the case, I can’t imagine this is the first time it’s happened. I can confirm that when I hover over the hyperlinks for our two sidecar files, they have the same URL.