[Play Raw] Damselfly Macro Shot

Here is one of my favorite macro shots, which I have been using recently to test some new sharpening method.

My goal was to make the body and wings of the damselfly sharper. At the same time I have tried to avoid enhancing the noise in the flat areas, as well as over-sharpening the bright reflections.
I’d like to see what others can achieve.

Of course, any other creative interpretation of the image is allowed and very much welcome!

Full resolution version.
Raw file: img00030050.nef (13.2 MB)
This file is licensed Creative Commons, By-Attribution, Share-Alike.


Here’s my quick try in DT…likely over-cooked the sharpening/contrast on the wings.

img00030050.nef.xmp (9.2 KB)

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img00030050.nef.xmp (7.3 KB) img00030050_01.nef.xmp (8.3 KB)


img00030050.nef.xmp (17.7 KB)


Awesome shot, but it’s a damselfly and not a dragonfly :slight_smile:

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Testing darktable 2.7.0

img00030050.nef.xmp (11,0 Ko)

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img00030050.jpg.out.pp3 (12.2 KB)

Edit: because it’s hard to get the processing steps from the pp3 file:

1.) Opened using default profile auto matched ISO low
2.) disabled raw ca correction
3.) changed capture sharpening contrast treshold from automatic to 20
4.) set demosaic to RCD+VNG4 with contrast threshold 20
5.) enabled impulse noise reduction and set threshold to 25
6.) enabled raw hot pixel filter
7.) enabled default sharpening
8.) extended capture sharpening by setting a corner boost of 0.15, also set capture sharpening gamma to 1.4
9.) enabled vibrance and set Pastel Tones adjuster to 30
10.) set Highlight reconstruction Color propagation and Highlight compression 110


Great picture! I exported with full resolution, because some of the awesome details are only visible at 100%.

img00030050.nef.xmp (8.7 KB)


Well, talking about details: Left my version using rt, right your version. Both are crops from the uploaded jpegs


Thank you for the play:

RawTherapee neutral
GIMP 2.8 and G’MIC 2.80

Very nice shot, thanks for sharing!
DT 2.6.3

img00030050.nef.xmp (1.8 KB)

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What a sharp lens … thank you for this Photo!
RT 5.7

img00030050_RT.jpg.out.pp3 (12.4 KB)


And here is my attempt with dt3.0.0-rc0-12

img00030050.nef.xmp (10,1 KB) :

Sorry for this late addition, but I couldn’t help myself!

I love damselflies too!

img00030050.png.out.pp3 (11.5 KB)
RT v.5.7-213-ge5258e6f6

I haven’t cared much about denoising quality, but I think it’s fine. What I liked the most is the backlighting, and so I have tried to enhance it, while preserving the sharp veins in the wings.


Done with darktable 2.6.2 and some processing in GIMP.

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@heckflosse I really love the crispness of the details and the colors in your edit! Will take inspiration for a second version!

@sls141 lovely colors in your first image, well done! I would tune the saturation a bit lower, but that’s my own taste.

I mostly go for back lighting in my macro shots, as I find it gives a lot more “depth”: http://aferrero2707.github.io/photorama/gallery/macro_photography/

@AxelG @Thomas_Do @kakashy not meant to be a criticism, but your edits are examples of what I call “over-sharpening”, and which I am trying hard to avoid with an improved sharpening procedure that I am developing (see discussion here).

Thanks for all your contributions!

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No problem. The whole thing is called “play raw”. So I played with it and tried to create an impressive version. When it comes to fine details or natural presentation, my version is certainly not optimal (compare also the very nice version of @heckflosse).

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@Carmelo_DrRaw I see what you mean but I loved the pastel blue on the damselfly. I have no clue what it looked like in reality, and the Velvia module is one of my favorites. So, like @Thomas_Do pointed out, it is Play Raw.

Lovely image! Here’s my edit using darktable 2.6.3.

img00030050.nef.xmp (7.3 KB)


Exported as neutral from rawtherapee
tone curves in “Y+RGB” using gimp and g’mic
RGB curves for enhance the color contrast
simple unsharp mask in the luminance channel with a radius of 1.6

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