Confused about the Basecurve.


I’m confused about the Basecurve. Darktable automatically selects the correct preset for my camera but the highlights are often over cooked and the colours over saturated. Reading through posts about this topic has confused me because some people are saying you shouldn’t use the Basecurve.

(Mica) #2

Basecurve is one of the default, auto appled modules. Certainly, it doesn’t have to be, and you can set the auto applied modules in the preferences. Some people, such as Shane Milton on YouTube, don’t like and don’t use the basecurve. This is completely acceptable, but you’ll need other ways to add contrast to your image.

Don’t think you’re limited to the default basecurves either, you can make your own to give yourself a better starting point.

(Gustavo Adolfo) #3

You probably have already seen this thread, but let me point it for future reference.


Yes, that was the one that confused me

(Glenn Butcher) #5

Here’s a post directly relevant to darktable:

I personally think any base curve other than a linear setting of the black and white points is too dependent on a particular dynamic range in the scene. So, when I make proof images, I apply a gamma to spread the linear data into a range more appropriate for human vision, then apply a linear black/white point curve. That seems to accommodate most dynamic ranges well enough for proofs, and my requirement for further tweaking right now seems to apply to about 20-30% of my images.

As always, others should feel free to school me on my nefarious ways…


I’ve obviously got a lot to learn because I’m totally lost with your reply.

(Glenn Butcher) #7

Ah, my apologies. I’ve been meaning to round up a couple of screenshots for both this and color temperature thread, I’ll do that when I get home this evening. If you understand how curves and histograms work, when you see it on the screen it’ll make sense. If you haven’t figured out a curve yet, no worries, that’s pretty simple also. And an image histogram really is just a standard statistics histogram, counts of things in “buckets”, displayed on a bar graph.

A couple of years ago, I was whereabouts you are now. It’s daunting at first, but quite simple when you get to understanding it. Well, except for color… :smile:

(Pat David) #8

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