Highlight does not work

I am new to darktable and editing in general. I think I have an issue with the highlight slider. As seen in the pictures below when I slide the slider it is like it only has two settings as it does not change. In picture 1 it is the basic setting (I have not touched the slider yet). In pictures 2 and 3 I have placed it on different settings. It does not matter how I place it as it will also look the same as in picture 2 when I change the setting. Any idea how to solve this?

Picture 1:

Picture 2:

Picture 3:

You histogram shows no highlights, so I guess the result you get is what is expected. Try increasing exposure.

“Highlights” is always contextual to something, here to CIE Lab 1976 lightness. Lightness > 50 % (or more) is considered highlights. If there is nothing matching that requirement in your picture, then the slider has no effect.


Also, shadows and highlights is an old module, not really recommend by most nowadays.
You could try tone equalizer. Or post the problematic raw as a PlayRaw, and see how others deal with it.

Note: Aurélien is one of the main developers of darktable. Check out his videos; the first one in this list is about filmic and tone equalizer:

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This is mostly about shadows, not highlights, but you may find it useful:

Hello Rasmus and welcome to the forum!

As others have already mentioned, if you look at your historgram you can see that your highlights are closer to the mid tone range, so the highlight slider wont affect it. Try the Tone Equalizer module instead, which will allow to hone in on the entire picture and then brighten or darken regions as you see fit. That module may seem complicated at first, but most of the time you’ll get what you need with a just a few mouse clicks.

There’s a category called Play Raw where people can post their raw files so other users can make their own edits and then you can study what they did. It’s an excellent resource for someone starting out.

And BTW, that’s a great picture of your pup. My little monster would have that plush toy torn to shreds within an hour.

Good luck!