Comparison old<->new

Sometimes it pays to heed one’s own FB feed, especially when it pops up those “today, X years ago” messages reminding you of an image posted long ago. Today was one of those days. A BIF shot popped up, not a subject I do on purpose by the way, and I thought to go back and rework the original raw file with today’s software (notably my freshly installed DT 4.6 which hit the Manjaro repos a few days ago) but also with new insights.

Her is the original shot I shared on my FB today exactly 9 years ago:

This was shot on my then-awesome Pentax K-5 IIs with the equally brilliant DA*50-135mm/f2.8 lens - a dream team so to speak. Looking at the image today, I thought I could do better so I looked up the PEF file and fired up Darktable.
Software : darktable 4.6.0
Date and Time (digitized) : 2015:01:04 12:33:27
Exposure Program : Aperture priority
Exposure Time : 1/5000 s
FNumber : F2.8
Focal Length : 63.0 mm
ISO Speed Ratings : 200
White Balance : Auto

So, after loading up DT I proceeded with the new (to me at least) RGB Levels tool, applied auto tune levels in the Filmic module. Also the Diffuse or Sharpen tool with the “No AA filter” preset. As a last tweak I used the tone equalizer to bring out the birds a bit better and saved the image. Last step was to apply GMIC’s photoillustration filter at half strength and crop to a 16:9 format.


Hi Mike, I feel there are two factors of old and new in play here. The changes in software over 9 years , but maybe more importantly is the change in your editing abilities and experience. That applies to all of us. The two edits are very different styles that go beyond software changes. Have a good New Year with your photography.