[PlayRaw] Dornbusch Lighthouse -- A Film Emulation Challenge


(Andrea Volpato) #21

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Processed with darktable. I used the AGFA APX 25 film emulation from the t3mujinpack for darktable (https://github.com/t3mujin/t3mujinpack), all the film emulations are based on curve and channel mixer modules. Then I added a lot of grain.

(jo) #22

great shot! another black and white one using darktable:

helmholtz/kohlrausch b/w and went completely overboard with local contrast (but without the halo effects). i find surprising how far you can push sliders in monochrome images without looking completely ridiculous. worth zooming in for the detail on the bark btw.

(Alberto) #23

RT with Ilford Delta 400 film simulation. Thanks for sharing!

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@chroma_ghost Thanks! I really needed that!  :joy:

@arctic Well balanced: I like it! The only things that I would have done differently is apply a finer grain and keep a bit more detail, but perhaps the film emulation is supposed to be softer.

(Marco) #25

@Wocket Thanks for the raw, just beautiful! I hope
I did not use a preset, just a bit individual processing in darktable…

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Thanks @all for your edits and I’m glad you like the image :grinning: Would love to see more edits :+1:
I hope you don’t mind, if I don’t name any favorite edit. One interesting observation are the massive differences in the brightness. Another observation is that quite a lot of the color edits appear to be a little on the greenish side (in fact that applies to the ooc jpeg as well). In most cases I tend to shift colors a little tiny bit to the red.

Regarding the question why to use film simulations: For me it is not so much a matter of nostalgia or something like preferring the old time stuff. I started photography in 2005 when the digital era had already began. So for me there is no emotional relation to the analog era and particular films. However, people who did a lot with film often talk about particular characteristics of their favorite films. Assuming that such characteristics actually exist, I think these film simulations (or emulations, no idea which is the correct term) might be an interesting approach to investigate this a little bit. Of course this can at most be a more or less good approximation. A search on google images for particular films shows quite a lot of variations, which is not a big surprise as the development processes vary and the digitization adds further variations.
Apart from this, I think these filmsimulations can add an interesting look and they can be an interesting point to start from. E.g. for this particular image the Ektachrome preset came quite close to how I remember this scene, while giving some nice consistent colors.
There was and is a lot of hype about these Fuji film simulations. Actually, IMHO there is no magic about it, like some people seem to presume. Nevertheless, for jpeg shooters it adds a valuable option to receive jpegs which do not look like every jpeg, which could have been created by any camera.

@afre, regarding the halos: It made me feel a little insecure about my edit :open_mouth: :wink: I thought, I manged to avoid the halos (although I used the Gaussian blur in the shadows/highlight module, which tends to produce halos more easily, but it adds nice contrast). In fact, the image is quite prone to introducing halos.


I find each film I try does something subtly different. Starting with auto levels, I enabled CLUT film simulation, selected a film, reset levels and commence processing. For this challenge I used Kodak Elite Extra Color 100 in Rawtherapee. WB on a grey cloud to emphasize the solar chromatics. Attempted to fix the shadow in the middle of the tree in GIMP.

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(John) #28

I had my tongue in cheek when I used the term warped. Some of the emulations appear to go back to the very early days of colour photography. In other words “worse” than anything I have ever seen.

I had another go with RT using an adobe camera profile and a setting in that area in RT that I hadn’t noticed before. Then essentially reduced contrast down to reduce the action of the profile.

The grass now looks as I’d expect it to. Rest pass as I didn’t see it all. I have this feeling that colour film reproduced colours and views more accurately than digital generally does. Fuji changed that in some respects as people like flattering pictures of themselves and family etc. A pro photographer friend of mine had to switch to it for weddings etc but didn’t use it for commercial work. People eventually wanting borderless prints also meant that they had to be colour balanced more carefully too.


(Alberto) #29

another one, in colour this time :slight_smile: RT with Fuji Provia 400F, plus a little bit of grain with G’MIC

(Stefan Chirila) #30

@Wocket love the Ektachrome. good choice :slight_smile:


No worries. I always aim to encourage or inspire people with my comments :blush:. I observed the same thing in others’ results, so I was wondering whether it was due to the raw, post or both. I will attempt this challenge at some point :slight_smile:.

(Boris Hajdukovic) #32

I used Darktable and GIMP. In Darktable I have reduced the contrasts and with GIMP intensified the lightness and colours of the tree and the soil. After that I applied Kodak Portra 160 film emulation:

Authentic reproduction is not so important to me. I use film emulations rather intuitively. I look at the overall impression they convey and how they affect the important details of the image.
Applying Kodak Portra 160 emulation in this picture, the warm tones of the evening sun reflected by tree bark and grasses are discreetly emphasized without strongly affecting the blue colors of the sky and green color of the leaves and grasses.

(Mica) #33

Darktable only-- I went to apply a film emulation, but I thought this image already looks fairly film-like, so I didn’t. :smiley:

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I’m not sure, if I understand you correctly. Do you consider the quality of the emulation as bad? Or did you mean the results from the very early days of color photography are that bad? :thinking: In case of the latter, I think that imperfection can add to the aesthetics of a photo.


In fact I can see halos in some of the edits, somtimes they are quite pronounced. In my own edit I might find it, when looking long enough and viewing it on a smaller scale. It is in fact a result from processing. I tried a slightly different version and I wonder if you still see a halo.



If you view them much larger, then large-radius halos tend to disappear.


Since I liked @PkmX’s so much, I used Kodak Portra 400 NC ++ on my take. Unfortunately, G’MIC doesn’t have 3+. (Thanks @patdavid for the clut.) Processing:

  1. PhotoFlow
    a) Daylight WB, hot pixels + lens corrections, linear ACES without clipping.
    b) Subtle rotation to the left, crop.

  2. gmic
    a) Apply gamma, increase local contrast, remove gamma.
    b) Generate DD mask from D50 L*.
    c) Blend original image with local contrast variant using the lightness mask.
    d) Apply gamma, apply Kodak Portra 400 NC ++.
    e) Prep for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Feedback appreciated. I want to improve. Perhaps a tighter crop from the top would be nice…

Alt Crop

(Gord) #38

I like the closer crop a lot.

(Carmelo Dr Raw) #39

Nice job! I also like the tighter crop more than the full image.


Thanks, I discovered this view when examining the image on my smartphone in portrait mode. I often do this to double check the colors of the image, since none of my screens are profiled. This perspective makes feel like I was there and, fortunately, I kept enough detail and contrast to make it work.