Extreme backlight

My son took this one last week during a stay on a friend’s cottage.
I’m still amazed these days how much information we can bring out from darkness on the digital darkroom, but I’m not satisfied with my rendering.
I’d like to know if there’s a more recommended approach so that we don’t have that reddish halo around the sun.

DSC_5932.nef.xmp (21.8 KB)

DSC_5932.nef (16.5 MB)

I didn’t asked him but I hereby declare this file to be licensed Creative Commons, By-Attribution, Share-Alike.


a-DSC_5932.jpg.out.arp (12.0 KB)

Tone curve, tone equalize, log tone mapping, highlight reconstruction/color propagation, some haze removal in the shadow.


With Filmulator:

  • Auto CA Correct 2
  • Profiled Distortion on
  • Highlight Recovery 2
  • Exposure Comp -0.83
  • Film Area large format
  • Drama 100
  • White Clipping Point 0.292
  • Shadow Brightness 600

A first on Filmulator.

Interesting that you chose to obscure the sun entirely. Did you reduce the highlight rolloff point?


DSC_5932_RT.jpg.out.pp3 (13.7 KB)


DSC_5932.nef.xmp (9.2 KB) DSC_5932_01.nef.xmp (10.2 KB)


Yeah, in scenes like this, I prefer to leave only the direct sun glow, which is more a less how I would see it with my eyes.
As for the highlight rolloff, it’s 0.597832

The result doesn’t look right when reproduced on the not as bright screen. (Mine isn’t HDR.)

My attempt using ART. Used log tone mapping, tone equaliser, tone curve and local contrast. A tricky one. Still room for improvement, but it looks sunny outside and work in the garden beckons now…

Extreme backlight.nef.arp (36.8 KB)


DSC_5932.nef.xmp (39.3 KB)


From earth ground, sun appears yellow to orange, depending of the thickness and composition of atmosphere travelled by sun light.
Thus, for my taste, I cannot find realistic a photo where the sun appears white, especially when sun is down on horizon.

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DSC_5932.nef.pp3 (14.1 KB)


highlight recovery 2
exposure 2.1
shadow rolloff 0.001
highlight rolloff 0.15
film area sf
black clipping point 0.004
shadow brightness 391
highlights brightness 777
vibrance 67
saturation 40


For me it’s kind of the opposite. When I directly look into the sun, it is most of the time pure white. But there is no point in discussing “realistic” for me, as everybody sees the world differently.

In a situation like this, where the highlights are just blown out, I do not try to attempt to bring or color or details where there is no information.
It’s just a matter of blending the clipped parts as gracefully as possible.

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Ah! yes, when you are on board ISS :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Due to mainly rayleigh scattering, that cannot be true on ground.

The information is that from antiquity, sun was perceived as yellow/orange by human beings.

After that, it is an artistic decision. I have nothing against blue sun.

Yes, you are right :relaxed:

Like both of these, looks natural. All a question of taste though…

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Not easy :slight_smile: .

DSC_5932.nef.xmp (18.9 KB)


Man, this took way to long for a play raw image :smile: As mentioned by others: This one isn’t easy…

dt310.extreme.backlitght.nikon.d7000.xmp (18.2 KB) darktable 3.1.0

Thanks for the challenge!


DSC_5932.jpg.out.pp3 (12.0 KB)