[Play Raw] Pools of Light

Well, this image has me beaten, or at least disappointed. I simply can’t find a way of processing it that matches how it looked. There is a wide dynamic range and also mixed colour temperature, as parts of the landscape are in the shadow of heavy clouds, with pools of sunlight breaking through in parts of the valley.

I’ve processed it in Darktable 3.0.0RC1, and also tried DT 2.6.2, but can’t get either the strong contrast between the pools of light and shadow areas, or a natural looking green in the foliage. Hopefully someone else here will have a better idea of how to approach it. I’ve included the JPG I’m least dissatisfied with. Have fun!

DSCF1978.RAF (23.9 MB) DSCF1978.RAF.xmp (29.3 KB)

Image license: CC BY-SA


I will for sure take a stab at it tonight or tomorrow night when I have time. To me this seems like a great candidate for parametric masking and a bit of luminosity mask work with some luminosity selection Dodge and burn in Gimp. Can’t wait to give it a go. Beautiful shot.

My try with RT 5.7

DSCF1978.RT.1.jpg.out.pp3 (12.3 KB)


@steve-d-mottram please add a license to your post.

Thanks for sharing.
My take.

DSCF1978.RAF.xmp (13.8 KB) (dt 3.0)


RawTherapee 5.6+Krita 4.3

DSCF1978.RAF.pp3 (11.7 KB)

I have done selection on the sky with Krita. I ended up painting the sky selection rather than magnetic selection. Not uploading the Krita file as it’s 200K kb.

I used Easy Burn blend mode on a burn adjustment layer to fix the sky after the RawTherapee step. There has been some G’MIC DCP dehaze used.

RT 5.7.1463 newlocallab using two rectangular local fields in the clouds:

DSCF1978_RT-1.jpg.out.pp3 (32.9 KB)


Sorry I left it out - I’ve updated my post accordingly.

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Thanks for the positive comment - looking forward to seeing what you come up with. It’s an amazing location.

I like this moody monochrome take on the scene. I was obsessing about trying to capture the colourful and sunny mood, but this feels like a very valid alternative way of looking at it. I see you used tone curves, while I was trying to get away with only the newer tools in DT3, and it wasn’t working.

My take:

RT 5.7dev
DSCF1978.png.out.pp3 (11.4 KB)

This is how I feel it should have been being there.

Maybe it’s a bit oversharpened, but I wanted to emphasize the ferns reflecting light. Other than that, I tried to make it as natural as possible.


Here is essentially darktable 2.7 (yes, I need to update to 3.0) attempt with just a dash of GIMP in the end.
DSCF1978.RAF.xmp (22.3 KB)


DSCF1978.RAF.xmp (11.9 KB)


DSCF1978_b.pfi (35.0 KB)

RT: Basic processing, plus some toning (DSCF1978.RAF.pp3 (12.7 KB) )

Gimp: Local Dodging and a slight Orton effect

Second take, color.

DSCF1978_01.RAF.xmp (11.7 KB) (dt 3.0)

In my apprentice workflow, I almost never rely on the new tools solely, I only use them to compress dynamic range and give every tone a chance to be fairly displayed. Usually, tone eq. and filmic give a more tone balanced image, but still dull to my eyes. When I get to that point, then I start beautifying the image to my taste.

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I like what you did with the colour contrast in the clouds. I hadn’t noticed those streaks of light filtering through before.

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thanks :smile:
Actually this was only a “sloppy” edit but I wanted to participate in this “discussion” because I had not participated in a play raw discussion in a long time and I liked your photo. (Afterall if I upload a raw to playraw I expect reactions too…)
Well, you have the xmp file, but maybe a word about how I did it: I think I used the contrast equalizer, pulled all parts of the L-curve to the top (kind of extreme clarity) and then tried to limit the effect to the sky with a parametric mask.
But as I said, this is sloppy.

DT 3.0.0rco DSCF1978.RAF.xmp (7.5 KB)

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RT 5.7

DSCF1978.jpg.out.pp3 (12,4 KB)

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