[Play Raw] maritime museum

I’m struggling with with merging three RAW to a nice HDR. To be honest, I’m far from being pleased with my result …

This file is licensed creative commons
You can find the three RAW files here:

HDR.zip (37.6 MB)

I’m curious to see what you can do with it

My workflow:

  1. hdr combination in luminance hdr
  2. postprocessing the HDR.exr in darktable (HDR.xmp (5.1 KB)

First HDRMerge then Darktable _8237002-8237005.dng.xmp (5.1 KB)

Photo with perspective change:

First HDRMerge then Darktable _8237002-8237005.dng.xmp (6.5 KB)
Two removals in Gimp (heal selection):


Thanks for sharing. There is a lot going on in the photo, which I like. The problem might have to do with the angles; the perspective is too aggressive for my eyes. Reminds me of the statement: “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”.

This is a quick edit using darktable only (First merged three exposures then edited the dng file).

_8237002-hdr.dng.xmp (7.0 KB)


Very nice photos @wiegemalt, nice to get a set of images that are nice and yet requires some fixing. An ideal Play Raw challenge! I used HDRMerge to merge the three files and processed the result in RawTherapee, but the moon and light reflections in water came out bad. So I also processed just the darkest file in RawTherapee and then used GIMP to judiciously merge the two JPG files. This is what I got for my efforts.


A quick edit using Darktable. Merging done with the Enfuse Pro 2 lua-script. Then just white balance, crop and rotate, a simple tone curve to darken the shadows and a slight Orton effect to soften the bright lights. Oh, and a touch of Blacks in the Exposure module.

XMP here: _8237004-_8237002.tif.xmp (5.7 KB)


Gone for something a lot harsher.


Nice picture to play with, thanks for sharing!

First attempt with HDRMerge+PhF. I first merged the three shots with HDRMerge and created a 32-bit DNG. Then I edited the DNG in PhF using a mixture of dynamic range compression, filmic tone mapping, exposure/contrast/gamma corrections, plus some rotation/perspective correction/cropping to get the buildings more straight:

PFI here: _8237002-8237005.pfi (43.0 KB)


darktable only.

_8237002-hdr.dng.xmp (6.9 KB)

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enfuse in darktable and some curves in GIMP. At the end HaldCLUT KDX from ANUBIS in G’Mic :wink:


@Carmelo_DrRaw This is awesome! Nice job.

Merged in HDRMerge and Therapied in Rawtherapee 5.4 dev
_8237002-8237005.dng.pp3 (10.7 KB)

never mind the moon and her reflexion.


That’s mostly thanks to the new “dynamic range compression” and “filmic tone mapping” that I have recently introduced. The HDR compression is mainly based on this code, while the filmic tone mapping function is taken from here.

As far as I could see in my tests, together they allow to get quite natural-looking results with small effort…

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Here’s my version: hdrmerge, RT, and then a touch of GIMP:


I notice that both HDRmerge and the HDR merging directly in Darktable have some serious issues with highlights, in this case especially around the moon and its reflection in the water. Is this something that people are not concerned about? Enfuse does not have these issues when used via the Enfuse Pro lua script, so I am a bit surprised that not more people use this method of merging. That said, HDRmerge seems to preserve the coloured lights on the building much better, so pros and cons with everything I guess.

It could be fixed by adjusting the masks in HDRMerge but I suspect people didn’t spend the time doing that.

I didn’t even notice that weird blob in my edition. Thanks for pointing that out. Is it ghosting because of movement in the water and clouds among the bracketed shots?

I have to admit I did my whole edit on my Mac via VNC on my iPad.

Actually I noticed those spots when I was editing the photo by darktable but since I intended to use darktable HDR creation, I couldn’t find a way to remove them. I even tried bloom iop but it didn’t help much.

I’ve uploaded the zip file containing the 3 ORF files and removed the Dropbox link from the original post. :slight_smile: