Enhance / Intensify the smoke

Hello everybody,
I know the holiday season is over, but nevertheless! :wink:
I wonder how to intensify the smoke coming out of the chimney to make it kinda “pop”…

Pls find my edit below, made in DT 4.2.0, pls check the sidecar file to see what I tried. i am really looking forward to maybe get some other ideas from you on how to enhance especially the smoke a little more, that would be great!
Thank you very much in advance for your inspiration and please have a nice day!

Here’s the edit:

And here’s the material:
DSC_7182.NEF (24.8 MB)
DSC_7182.NEF.xmp (10.5 KB)


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


DSC_7182.NEF.xmp (9.8 KB)

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dt 4.2

DSC08999_01.ARW.xmp (9,1 KB)

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Hi @Spotty110 & thanks.
That was a very interesting task.
Difficult, as well. Here is my attempt
while re-learning RawTherapee:

PS: I concentrated on the smoke, not the house…

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden


Definitely a challenge! This is my third attempt in GIMP and still not good.

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Thanks for posting Interesting challenge :slight_smile:
darktable 4.2

DSC_7182_01.NEF.xmp (15.1 KB)


this needs moar smoke:

duplicated and messed with in a vkdt graph like this:
DSC_7182.NEF.cfg (3.6 KB)

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thanks for the play

DSC_7182_01.NEF.xmp (18.6 KB)


My version…

DSC_7182.NEF.xmp (37.9 KB)


Well here is my attempt. I used a second instance of exposure with a drawn and parametric mask to isolate the smoke based upon it being brighter than the background. I then increased the exposure on the smoke by +0.484 EV. I am pleased with the result for such little effort. I just love the masks in Darktable and that is why it is my #1 editor.

DSC_7182.NEF.xmp (12.1 KB)

Here is my second attempt which makes the smoke pop even more because the exposure on the smoke was increased to 1.427 EV and I raised the black level correction to ensure mask was invisible.

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Nice image! A fairly quick go with sigmoid in DT 4.2 and a few masks. Could be better…

DSC_7182(1).NEF.xmp (22.8 KB)


With Gimp:

  • duplicate, rough crop around the smoke
  • Increase contrast so that most of the background is pure black
  • bucket-fill in Color erase mode to remove the background
  • add a mask and clean off the few remaining dirty bits (esp at lower right)
  • duplicate layer enough times to increase thickness.

Smoke.xcf (10.8 MB)


DSC_7182.jpg.out.pp3 (14.8 KB)

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With RT 5.9 I found the smoke to be in it’s own color zone:

DSC_7182-4.jpg.out.pp3 (14.4 KB)


DSC_7182.NEF.xmp (15.2 KB)

I give it a try.

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