Erlauf valley / Hintere Tormäuer

P7260191.orf (17.7 MB)

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Hi. So this is a photo of the Erlauf valley in Lower Austria between Erlaufboden and Stierwaschboden/Wienerbruck. The mountains are called “Hintere Tormäuer”.
The biggest problem in this shot are the clouds which are overexposed.
I played around with Aurelien’s highlights reconstruction in Filmic4 and combined it with the colorize module, but I am not sure about the result. I kind of found that the coulds looked to yellow, i.e. too different form the sky. Though I am not even quite sure what are coulds and what is the sky here.

P7260191.orf.xmp (12.8 KB)

Thanks in advance for the feedback. Please also try to describe your edit in addition to the sidecar file.


Edit: The wires are not exactly pretty but they are there since they are coming form a power station.


P7260191.orf.arp (12.0 KB)

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I tried to preserve the structure in the sky (highlight reconstruction [LCh], shadows and highlights) and reducing artifacts at the boundary of rock/sky (chromatic aberrations, defringe). White balance set so that the overcast sky is grayish not blueish.
The brightness of foreground was mainly increased with the tone equalizer and final adjustments made by tone curves.
Color was adjusted with color balance, contrast equalizer 1, color zones, velvia and contrast/sharpness increased with contrast equalizer, local contrast and highpass module. At the end some “magic” with the tone mapping module to increase contrast & brightness.

P7260191.orf.xmp (14.8 KB)


P7260191.orf.pp3 (15.2 KB)

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P7260191.orf.xmp (44.6 KB)

Ok after your edits I gave it another try. I think I overdid exposure correction last time, and I added the shadows-and-highlights module.


darktable 3.0.2

P7260191.orf.xmp (45.0 KB)

Great scene! I suspect my highlights look a bit funny. Others have done a much better job with them. I’m not skilled enough to get those results in darktable alone - would need to export two versions and combine, which I haven’t done here.


Plain old highlight reconstruction in Filmulator does the job fine, because you only have one clipped color channel when looking at the raw histogram:


I don’t know why darktable’s Filmic module turns the less-exposed clouds blue, though; they should all be white. It’s a cloudy day.


  • Auto CA correction: 2 (needs extra strength for this lens)
  • Profiled distortion: on
  • Highlight Recovery: 2
  • Exposure Compensation: -5/6, just enough to bring all the recovered data back within the usable range for the film simulation: Screenshot_20200802_093406 (note: the top “threshold” is a rolloff point so it doesn’t hard clip there)
  • Drama: 71
  • White Clipping Point: 0.57, just enough to brighten the clouds to the top of the brightness of the post-film simulation image: Screenshot_20200802_093523
  • Shadow Brightness: 356, to lighten the image overall.

Thanks for posting, my take with DT 3.0.2

P7260191_01.orf.xmp (14.4 KB)


I noticed that most of your edits are quite dark. I think you don’t want the edit look too different from the… well the raw or whatever. I think the shot is quite underexposed and that’s ok because most of the other shots in this series are overexposed in the sense that the sky is overexposed and cannot be reconstructed at all. Even though the weather was cloudy everything was quite bright. So I think if you had been there you would not produce so dark edits. It was cloudy and yes eventually it started to rain but it was not a super stormy darkness.

Well, anyway, thanks for the edits and the feedback.

1 Local contrast edits flatten the overall brightness of the image.
2 People have the propensity to make the sky dark and contrast-y.

Solutions to this might be to increase exposure, add haze or make it dreamier (give it the @s7habo treatment).

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Just playing (thank you):

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