Filmic with Dark Subjects

I recently have been shooting in a forested area that has a strong canopy blocking out most of the light. I have used auto-shutter speed and this has resulted in a very nicely developed histogram with good shadow detail.
The problem is that the overall image is far too light in general appearance (I do not mean overexposed), it simply does not reflect the dark woodsy appearance that I would like to achieve.
To solve the problem I am currently ‘unlocking’ the 18% pivot and moving that point down to compensate. Sometimes I even need to additionally adjust the RGB-Levels.
Is the above a reasonable way to attack dark/moody images that do not ,on average, emulate a gray card or should I use an exposure adjustment which may loose for me some of the nice shadow detail.

May not even need filmic…try a strait tone curve and use multiply blend mode…maybe 50% or less…could also try overlay or softlight too just to see…maybe if you share the image you will get a better answer…it may involve filmic but not every image needs to use filmic…

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Why do you think the work flow changes?

Adjust the exposure module until you’re happy with the midtones, the fimic white relative slider for highlights, then black relative for shadows.


If you post a raw image (and license it freely) we could give examples of what you could do?

Also, Boris Hajdukovic has an excellent youtube-channel. He presents many examples of how to edit forest images.

I agree. The purpose of filmic is to reduce a high dynamic source to an output medium with less dynamic range. If your dynamic range is low to begin with, filmic might not be necessary.

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