New to raw - hate my results so far

I am a raw novice and have not yet failed to make an image look better than my camera jpegs - I often up the brightness and contrast using faststone editor (My old micro 4/3 12-32mm zoom seems to be quite a low contrast lens). This image was taken with a Samyang 7.5mm (15mm equiv) - it is just glass, so no lens details. I tend to take on f5.6 with this lens. The pic is of a lake on the Cental Plateau of Tasmania (The Pool of Bethesda)

P1120111.ORF (14.9 MB)

I use RawTTherapee to edit my pics - and so far I have not come close to making them as good as my camera jpeg images. This jpeg image has a brightness upped and contrast upped from original.

I would love to see what was possible by experts. My exports to jpeg end up looking over saturated and having jpeg exports with low fidelity. I am using RawTherapee. Love to get some pointers, and see how people can beat the jpg.

This file is licensed Creative Commons, By-Attribution, Share-Alike.


Thanks for sharing. “Good” is subjective. Once you know how to use RT well, you can do anything you want, including making things look the way you want them to.

As for your result, I don’t “hate” it. It is okay. Edit Oh, I see; that was the OOC JPG. :blush:

This was the image I was dissaponted with.P1120111.jpg.out.pp3 (11.9 KB)

P1120111.jpg.out.pp3 (11.9 KB) This is pp3 file.

I prefer your colours, but the JPEG looks much crisper, probably due to the large warping caused by the attempt to straighten trees.

Lens distortion correction can soften the image. @BarneyMaroon Have you tried Capture Sharpening (raw tab)? That could help.

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Hi @BarneyMaroon here’s my take on your picture using RT 5.8 (development version). I maybe should have pushed the brightness a little further. I think it’s quite a beautiful scene!

P1120111.jpg.out.pp3 (12.5 KB)

Edit: when comparing with your OOC JPEG it seems as if my take has a bluish/purplish color cast. Maybe you can play with RawTherapee’s Haze removal module?

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Here’s my version. I did a little color balancing. I think the sky is too much towards the purple. Although the evening light (or morning light) is actually warmer, if you take away the red part, in my opinion the photo gets a little bit “fresher”:

P1120111.ORFHaBo.pp3 (12,0 KB)

A few touches using Lab adjustments, sharpening and noise reduction only.

P1120111.jpg.out.pp3 (13,1 KB)

With darktable and R&D filmic v4 (don’t try to re-use the XMP):

About as close as I could make it to the jpeg, however there is some strange magenta-ish color cast going on and it gave me a hard time.

Sorry, I used darktable, but this is just to show you that with enough perseverence you can definitely do as good (and most times better, up to your taste) as the builtin camera processing.

P1120111.ORF.xmp (24.9 KB)

I see a lot of unnatural-looking skies and radioactive grass in the pictures above, as you can see personal taste definitely varies from person to person :slight_smile:


My interpretation, with ARTP1120111-art.jpg.out.arp (11.2 KB)

My attempt on darktable dev 3.1 (so xmp may not work for everyone)

P1120111.ORF.xmp (15.9 KB)

P1120111.ORF.pp3 (12.3 KB)

P1120111.ORF.mixer.pp3 (12.3 KB)

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P1120111.ORF.xmp (10.4 KB) P1120111_01.ORF.xmp (10.9 KB)

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lake.hate.results.orf.xmp (7.5 KB) darktable 3.0.1

Wonderful scene!

Edited in darktable. Started with preset from Basic semi-automated style for darktable 3.0/filmic. Added a second instance of color balance with a parametric mask on the greens. I wanted the greens a little warmer and push the contrasts. Hope it is not overcooked :wink:


Your pp3 with two modifications:

  • use of Adobe standard DCP instead of the bundled one as I find it saturates colors too much for my taste
  • use of tone curve/perceptual; I use film-like if I want to boost colors.
  • a little vibrance

P1120111-2.jpg.out.pp3 (12.7 KB)

note : for the photo I process in raw, I don’t try first to reproduce the jpeg as I made above. It seems to me that it is limiting the possibilities. If it was one of my images, perhaps I would keep the OOC jpeg with possibly some small tweak.

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Loooooook at that distortion… clearly architecture is not the strength of this lens :wink:

P1120111.ORF.xmp (32.7 KB)

Most of my work is the crop. Nothing special in the processing… I failed to neutralize the yellow in this shot that I didn’t much care for.