[Play Raw] Aerial fireshow at night

About a year ago I took part in photo-meeting where we photographed very interesting fireshow, being done while suspended dozens of meters above the ground. I couldn’t get my eyes away from it and do decent settings. Another problem was It was freezing and event lasted only so long, so I couldn’t play enough with settings to get them “right” so I hoped I’d be able to recover something from RAWs.

Below is one image from many with performer spinning burning steel wool. I wanted to somehow show both - the colour of sparks, the intensity and city nightscape in the background.

I have this image, but I don’t know where to start. Or end. I wanted to follow as much as I could the process with linear rgb in darktable but I don’t think I’m heading in right direction. OOC JPEG was very dark:

Here’s my RAW from the event and sidecar from today:
IMG_2282.CR2 (24.1 MB)
IMG_2282.CR2.xmp (8.9 KB)

I really want to see what’s possible to get from the image, especially in darktable and all the new tools in 3.0 :slight_smile:

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


Thanks for sharing, unusual edit.

I basically increased exposure up to a point where the background showed up, than increased contrast with color balance (first set up contrast fulcrum by clicking on the picker, than increased it to my taste). Then I went to filmic and set middle grey to 18,45, contrast to 1 on the next tab, then back to the first tab clicked on the white relative exp. picker and narrowed it to where the fires are, set manually black relative to 9,24 (to my taste), then back into Look tab decreased shadows/highlights balance to -11,27 to give more color to the fires, and finally activated local contrast.

IMG_2282.CR2.xmp (5.8 KB) (dt 3.1.0 dev)

EDIT: This was done really fast (< 5min), I didn’t care about noise or sharpening
EDIT2: Next version I will address NR, which maybe reduce the sky pattern that shows up
EDIT3: NR applied, the sensor pattern on the sky almost disappeared. Usually I don’t apply it so strongly, but I wanted to see if I could get rid of the sensor pattern. Btw, great module the Denoise Profiled one.

IMG_2282.CR2.xmp (6.3 KB)


I used more or less the same set of modules, but lightened the scene overall, taking care not to oversaturate the “wheel of fire” too much.

IMG_2282_01.CR2.xmp (8.3 KB)
I hadn’t noticed the grove of trees in the foreground until the the exposure was raised a bit. I think they make a nice, natural vignette!


Nice image. My first tries with fireworks were back in a time where I was shooting RAW+JPG. Didn’t know what to do and didn’t get results as good as the JPG. But that changed with time…

Here’s my one:

IMG_2282.CR2.xmp (12.4 KB, dt 3.1)


darktable 3.0.0
For example

IMG_2282.CR2.xmp (11,3 Ko)


IMG_2282.CR2.xmp (4.7 KB) IMG_2282_01.CR2.xmp (5.5 KB)


different colours an a crop!

1 Like

My edit in darktable 3.0.1.

IMG_2282.CR2.xmp (8.2 KB)

1 Like