Piney sunrise as it looked ... ?

The composition (if you want to call it that) is pretty …meh… but I was more interested (processing-wise) in trying to make this look like I saw it. I realize others weren’t there, but like my Red River Sunset, maybe it’ll be an interesting challenge. This was about 15 minutes after a cloudy sunrise in the midst of a fairly dense long leaf pine forest. I bracketed two stops over and under.

Processed first in ART 1.20.2 then in Affinity Photo 2. I used AP’s HDR persona as a test, since I rarely ever do HDR. There was a bit of experimental did’t-read-the-documentation button-pushing, but I think it turned out realistic enough (if not very artful). The pine needles are a tad greener than in reality, but at least they don’t look weird. The usual approach would be to mask and paint-in the lesser-exposed sky but once again there are so many leaves, pine needles and such. Oh to live somewhere with simple hard-edged rock horizons!! :smiley:

IMG_9814.CR3 (29.6 MB), IMG_9814.CR3.arp (12.2 KB)
IMG_9815.CR3 (22.3 MB), IMG_9814.CR3.arp (12.2 KB)
IMG_9816.CR3 (34.4 MB), IMG_9814.CR3.arp (12.2 KB)

These files are licensed Creative Commons, By-Attribution, Share-Alike.


It’s indeed a challenge, I made the HDR in Darktable and then processed the DNG with classic modules such as tone egualizer, RGB Color Balance, Sigmoid, … and I fine-tuned the colors with the new RGB Primaries module present in the master version.

IMG_9814-hdr.dng (92.4 MB)
IMG_9814-hdr.dng.xmp (15.5 KB)
Darktable 4.5 (master)
Any criticism is welcome
Greetings from Brussels,


You did a better job on the sun than I did.

An interesting thing we both did was to bring out slightly more detail on the pine trees than was actually visible (to my eyes at least) in the low light at the time. But that’s only a factor if you’re going for a literal rendering (which I’m often not). It’s all-too-easy to pixel peep and overcorrect I guess. Plus you have the valid excuse of not being there. :smile:

IMG_9816.jpg.out.pp3 (13.6 KB)

IMG_9815.jpg.out.pp3 (13.6 KB)

IMG_9814.jpg.out.pp3 (13.6 KB)

IMG_9814-1.jpg.out.pp3 (13.8 KB)


Thanks for the play, an interesting challenge.

Should probably not be too warm in WB at this time, I guess.
Tried to keep the shadows a bit darker.

IMG_9815.CR3.xmp (33.9 KB)

If I may ask, why did you bracket? More for learning purpose or do you feel it is an upgrade for the image, when you HDR compose it (in this specific case)?


Even though it was still pretty dark the sky was bright enough to create a fairly large dynamic range. The shot could be done without bracketing but I did it just to have the extra range. By today’s standards my camera isn’t the most noise-free ever and it helps to not push the exposure excessively.

That’s partly why I thought it might be interesting – To process with or without the “assistance” of extra targeted exposures.

Even though I was there (obviously LOL) I still was tempted to bring out in processing more detail in the shadows than I humanly saw. Not necessarily wrong, just not 100% literal. Then again, I’m not a literalist, so…

Understood. Better to have the bracket shots and not need them, than the other way round.

As a sidenote, I didn’t find (even the darkest image) too noisy :man_shrugging:

It must have been a beatiful morning walk in the forest, definitely looks great!


I like the second image…

IMG_9815.CR3.xmp (11.7 KB)


It was very humid but at least it wasn’t hot (71F at sunrise). Have to admit though, it wasn’t much of a “walk” – Drive 50 miles, walk a paved path for a few hundred feet, then a trail for a few hundred more. That was it :smile: Other than a couple dozen stone steps.


Yes, I admit … I’m a pixel-peeper. Sometimes even more than 100%.

There. I’ve said it. :slightly_smiling_face:


I have another one I may post, but it’s even more meh…

My version…

IMG_9814-hdr.dng.xmp (16.5 KB)


IMG_9815.CR3.xmp (10.8 KB)


That’s a really nice rendering. Were you there looking over my shoulder? :smiley:

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Thanks, i was on top of the tree… :grin: :slightly_smiling_face:


IMG_9815.CR3.xmp (13.3 KB)

Nice photo :slight_smile: I got nothing new compared to the other takes, but it was a fun play raw, thanks for sharing. On an extra unrelated note, this lens seems really good, the sharpness is great and I’m always impressed how easy canon raw files develop, a lot of fun.


It’s an older (2005-ish?) Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro. No IS and focus isn’t earth-shatteringly fast, but the landscape doesn’t move too quick, either. Nothing special by today’s standards and Sigma has released an updated version (or two?) of it in the intervening years. It’s designed for APS-C cameras, but they claim the advertised focal length is a full-frame number. I asked once about that and that’s the answer I got. Not sure why that is, but whatever. The pictures are what they are. LOL

I’ve actually toyed about with the idea of replacing it with a used later-release Canon 24-70mm f/4L. I rarely use the wider ends of focal length nor aperture anymore. There’s quite a bit of vignetting wide(r) open and past about 60mm it softens a bit. But then again I usually add vignettes anyway.


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I think that’s always the case? I mean, the focal length is actually an internal physical measurement in mm, as I understand it, not some sort of oblique reference to field of view, even though that’s how it tends to be used.
I think Sigma are just trying say that it’s not giving a 17mm-on-full-frame field of view on your aps-c camera… with the emphasis on ‘trying’. :laughing: That len would actually be ~12mm-ish.

No one in the interchangeable lens camera market labels APS-C or M4/3 lens with their ‘35mm equivalent’ focal length. (umm… except… pentax Q… possibly?). That’s a compact camera trick - I suppose they think (with some justification) that it’s too hard for buyers to know what field of view they’re actually buying.


Maybe if they wanted to sell more telephotos, Fuji 150-600 is now a 225-900, sounds a lot more appealing :smiley:

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Canon (or compatible) EF Mount lenses can be used on full frame or crop sensor bodies, while EF-S mount lenses can be used on only crop sensor bodies. Usually EF mount lenses – which this Sigma is – are just called full frame lenses and the 1.6x factor applies to APS-C cameras. EF-S lenses’ focal lengths are literally for APS-C bodies and that’s that. But for some reason Sigma chose to muddy the waters by describing it as being made for crop sensor bodies, but still put the full frame focal length on it.

Supposedly (from what I read somewhere) it won’t work on a full frame body. But not owning a full frame EF mount body I can’t confirm that. But it works on my camera so whatever…