[Play Raw] Sunrise image missing vibrancy

DSC_0552.NEF (18.7 MB) I took this picture of the sunrise recently, and I really liked the display on the camera. When editing it later, I had a really hard time bringing out all the colors while also trying to keep it from looking too fake. Here’s my final result, but I’m not too happy with it:


DSC_0552-2.jpg.out.pp3 (12.3 KB)

Tweaking the white balance and dropping exposure gave me this:

DSC_0552.NEF.xmp (6.9 KB)


@rockclimber112358 Welcome to the forum!

Definitely takes time and care to help it match the scene as much as possible (not just the JPEG). The Play Raw is the place to share and learn from one another. Hope someone gets close!

Thanks for the image. I am more the “sunset type”. It’s difficult for me to get up in summer that early.

DSC_0552.NEF.xmp (7.9 KB)

DSC_0552-1.jpg.out.pp3 (11,5 KB)

1 Like

Always so difficult to edit this kind of scene when you weren’t there to see what it looked like IRL. (Because you can’t trust sensor data, or non-data, for such large dynamic ranges).

Anyway, darktable 2.7, development branch, with experimental stuff coming soon.

Edit: similar edit with only the grey level raised in filmic:

1 Like

Nice composition! My take, with my hack software:

Here’s the tool chain, in order of application:

  • colorspace:6988,-1384,-714,-5631,13410,2447,-1485,2204,7318,assign - I couldn’t find primaries for the Nikon D3500 in dcraw.c, camconst.json, or in any of the DCPs I have on this computer. Too lazy to boot up my Windows tablet where I’m sure to have one in the Adobe collection, so I just used the dcraw D3400 profile, which seems to work okay.
  • subtract:camera - blackpoint subtraction value from the camera metadata
  • whitebalance:camera - multipliers from the camera metadata
  • demosaic:ahd - good all-round choice
  • blackwhitepoint:rgb,data,minwhite - Here, I scaled the image to the “min white” channel, which is green, to truncate the other channels and avoid the dreaded magenta cast in the blown highlight that is the sun. No worries there, I think this is a viable alternative for light sources in the scene.
  • curve:rgb,0.0,0.0,36.0,14.0,166.0,169.9,255.0,255.0 - drug down the shadows a bit
  • crop:0.003367,0.027103,0.962587,0.986324 - only to remove the slivers of cloud and reflection at the top and bottom edges of the original capture
  • sharpen:1 - Left over from the resize I deleted, but it puts in a bit of local contrast so I kept it

That “missing vibrancy” is all about the selected exposure, both the in-camera capture and the post-processing scaling. There’s good data there, you just have to put it in the right place in the histogram…

Edit: I uploaded a full-resolution image, but I really don’t like the result of the browser interpolation to viewing size. I may yet replace the uploaded JPEG with a more-appropriately resized depiction…

DT + Aurelien’s toneequalizer + some very artistic LUT.

DSC_0552.NEF.xmp (12.4 KB)

1 Like

Here is an attempt using RawTherapee 5.6
DSC_0552.jpg.out.pp3 (12.5 KB)

A lot of the editings miss ca-correction

It’s just a single click in RT, dt, filmulator (and I guess also in photoflow) to correct that.


For comparison:

left without raw ca-correction, right with dt (dt only does one iteration for raw ca-correction):

left without raw ca-correction, right with the default settings of RT (RT does two iterations of raw ca-correction by default):


darktable (2.7-git): DSC_0552.NEF.xmp (9.4 KB)

I think sometimes it’s okay to let highlights blow out. It’s the sun after all :wink:


RT 5.6

DSC_0552.jpg.out.pp3 (12,1 KB)

1 Like

DSC_0552.NEF.xmp (7.8 KB) DSC_0552_01.NEF.xmp (7.6 KB)

@rockclimber112358 in addition to processing, keep in mind that 2018 cameras and smartphones have a brighter and more vibrant screen than a laptop’s.

DSC_0552.NEF.xmp (3.9 KB)


Thank you all so much! This has given me some great ideas and direction!


DSC_0552.NEF.pp3 (13.2 KB)

I’ve used an exotic s-curve due to the clipped highlights :space_invader:

DSC_0552.NEF.xmp (12.9 KB)

1 Like