Newbie needs help

I am new in processing foto’s, learning a lot through youtube videos,
There is one thing I really want to learn and that is brighten up some pictures.
I have this test foto where I want to see and learn what I could to to brighten up the orange from the sun and if its possible to regain some of the details on the foreground.

DSC_2930.NEF (24.1 MB)
DSC_2930_04.NEF.xmp (69.3 KB)

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


Hi @RonM, and welcome!
Is this what you had in mind?

DSC_2930.NEF.arp (10.6 KB)


Hoi Ron,

Here’s a relatively quick darktable edit: (11.6 KB) darktable 3.0.2

I did not spend any time trying to “fix” the blown out sun part.

BTW: Welcome to pixls!


When you “brighten up” the sun, the color saturation should decrease (from orange towards white) because very bright (> white) and very dark (> black) objects have no color information.
The good thing of raw files is that they contain also much information in image regions that appear dark. That’s why @agriggio and @Jade_NL could recover the foreground so well. For this there are different tolls available (exposure, tone curves etc.).

yes thanks, amazing job

Thx for the welcome, I hope to learn a lot here, you guys are amazing

Thx for the tips, I will definitely go try to learn more about these modules

Downloading the sidecars (xmp’s in your case) that are posted (and if the RAW isn’t yours, that one too) and looking at how people did their edits will teach you a lot. I still do when I see an edit that I like or if I wonder how some result is reached.


This happens, when you correct the whitepoint according to the color of the building.
Less impressive but maybe more realistic :wink: .
Done in darktable 3.0.2, sidecar file attached.

DSC_2930.NEF.xmp (12.9 KB)

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Welcome to the forum :wink:
Played a bit around with the image

DSC_2930.NEF.xmp (11.8 KB, dt 3.1)

  • Increased exposure to find out how far I can brighten the darker areas
  • Denoising (didn’t invest much time for that because it’s not my camera and I didn’t want to search for good settings, same reason I skipped sharpening later)
  • Filmic to handle the dynamic range and highlights around the sun
  • Adjusted color and contrast with various modules

DSC_2930.NEF.xmp (11.6 KB)

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My try.
Using Gimp:
. my white balance then Gimp Shadows-Highlights (values set to 100)

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Enblend with Macrofusion: 5x the same photo with different EV (0 EV to 5 EV)

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Thanks for sharing, but the photo is not mine, it’s the author Ron Mollen who is expecting indications.
I gave him mine.

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