Emulating HDRish Lightroom Look with RT

Hello All,

I’m new here, but have been reading a little in this forum before signing up. I am a relatively new Rawtherapee user and have stumbled across the local contrast topic lately, because I have been looking at some Lightroom landscape tutorials. So in these pics I’ve tried to emulate the kind of standard Lightroom trick:

  • Pull the highlights down and the shadows up in order to reduce global contrast and then process the pic and raise local contrst somehow.

I’ve tried emulating this using the Curve in the exposure tab using a quite strong inverse S- Curve. This was the basis. After that it was mainly setting white point, sharpening, denoising etc. The aim was to use one Raw file (This was actually the middle exposure of a three exposure set) and to go for that HDR kind of hyperrealistic look.

The jpg of the original raw looks like this:

After grinding it trough RT i got this:

Now I’m still missing the final ingredient to give me a little local contrast at the end, so a very light last step was done with Nik Collection pro contrast, creating this:



A good result except for the highlight in the sky - it’s greenish, and should be just yellowish. Hard to say exactly why it happened without having the raw file at my disposal (though I would guess it was because of too strong Highlight Reconstruction/Compression and a clipped channel in the raw file), but regardless it is fixable right in RT.

This is also doable in RT in more than one way. My current method of choice is using Wavelets.

Hey Morgan,

thanks for the reply, True the sky could be better.
What would you do in wavelet to improve local contrast?
I have tried wavelets for the first time on this picture, mainly using the contrast part but it just looked strange to me, so I finally didn’t use it.

You can find the raw here:


Wavelets > Residual does wonderful things, play with residual contrast for example, and try a tiny bit of Edge Sharpening.

Thanks again Morgan,

I played around with the Residual part of Wavelet, but I’m still learning, so the results weren’t that good yet. But I will play around more and see if I can get to a point where I’m happy. I’ll also read more into it, because oddly enough I don’t like just pushing sliders around without even having a clue of what is happening. (I do understand the basics of the Wavelet part, but not yet the details)
The Finishing part worked quite well for me, even though I have no idea what that actually does?