[PlayRaw] RAW Challenge: Backlit


(PkmX) #1

What do you do when you are caught with a beautiful sunset and your dog decides that he is too cool to look at that spectacular giant explosion? Let’s see what people at pixls.us can do to rescue the backlit image with FOSS software!

After processing with darktable and some healing within GIMP:

DSC02168.ARW (24 MB), released under CC BY-NC-SA
DSC02168.ARW.xmp (12.3 KB), note that you need the latest darktable in git because it uses the “color checker lut” module

Tip: Manually select “Samyang 12mm f/2” to correct distortion and TCA if your software of choice supports lensfun.

How to recreate filmic example DT 2.6.0?
darktable 2.6

Thanks for the chance to practise a bit. I used rawtherapee export to tif and then gimp

ok, i did not set the lens corrections :slight_smile:

(Pat David) #3

I’m going to try this for sure (you’ve effectively wrecked my afternoon productivity), but just wanted to say that you did a cracking job on your result. :slight_smile:

(Kees Guequierre) #4

Bit of darktable, and a bit of gimp.


My Filmulated take:

Auto CA correct on, lowered film area, max drama + overdrive, raised black clipping point (to clear out some veiling flare), lowered white clipping point to raise the brightness after max drama, and raised shadow brightness.

(Pat David) #6

Ok, developed in RawTherapee (DSC02168.ARW.pp3 (9.6 KB)), mostly to recover highlights and boost mid/shadows to some degree. Then GIMP for some color toning, masking, freaky details (masked to the dog mostly), and cropping:

(Glenn Butcher) #7

With rawproc, mainly to see if I can open any raw other than NEF. Just gamma to drag the data out of linear, a curve to lift the shadows, and a bit of HSB-based saturation. Resized to 800x534 and a smidge of USM sharpening for posting.


Using Rawtherapee’s Tone Mapping tools.

(Morgin) #9

I can never back away from a backlit challenge. Or a dog photo, for that matter! Here’s mine with some basic adjustments in DT and enhancements in GIMP.


DSC02168.ARW.xmp (12.7 KB)

(Jonas Wagner) #11

A very nice photo! :slight_smile: Here is my slightly faded take:

Somehow the colors on my screen are a bit whaky at the moment. But I hope it looks decent on other screens too. :slight_smile:
The edit is darktable + some sharpening in the gimp.


@Jonas_Wagner, I like this edit alot. It combines a decent structure and sharpness with the washed-out characteristic of the backlit situation. The only thing I would probably change is reducing the yellow/saturation in the blown-out highlights in the sky.

I wonder how you achieved this result, it would be great if you could share some processing details.

(Phil Howcroft) #13

Looks a great shot to edit

I will have a go at the weekend, I love these posts whereby we edit another photographers images, as we see such creativity.

BTW : A Beautiful dog, well cute :slight_smile:

(Jonas Wagner) #14

@chris DSC02168.ARW.xmp (23.1 KB) should reveal all the important bits. The only other step was some final sharpening in gimp/gmic (RL deconvolution to a new layer, added a mask and selectively painted it in). I agree on the sky something is off there. Likely because of the graduated filter I applied. I might give it another shot at some point.

Edit: Here is a slightly warmer version:

(Eric Mesa) #15

@patdavid - amazing - looks like a movie still

@HIRAM - that crop really changes the focus. Love it

I’m surprised no one used some highlight reconstruction to keep the cloud definition as they lightened the image.

Also, I love how many differences came from one base image.


Here’s my submission! This is a lot of fun! Mostly processed in RAWTherapee, with a quick trip into GIMP for some help with the sky.

(PkmX) #17

Wow. This sort of blew up!

@patdavid I like the cinematic approach you went with. As @djotaku said, this could very possibly be a movie still as the camera slowly pans over the grass field into something very… dramatic.

@Jonas_Wagner Nice faded look! I definitely like the second version better as well. The warm color cast also gives the image a nice autumn-ish feel.

@djotaku The main challenge is to realistically recover details from shadows and highlights without producing many artifacts (mainly halo). The latest entry from @RT-Noob actually did a surprisingly good job in this department here!

Again, thanks for everybody who participated!


Hm, it looks worse when I use your xmp with my darktable. What’s wrong here? A version conflict (dt 2.0.1 here)? That’s what it looks like (screenshot, but export does not differ):

Hm, what’s going on here? Is it your screen calibration/output colour profile that makes the difference?

Edit: Maybe a missing input colour profile? Step 48→49 does not change anything.

(Jonas Wagner) #19

I’m on 2.0.4 but I doubt that’s where the difference comes from. I also doubt that it’s the display profile. It could be an input color profile thing or that the xmp I uploaded was outdated. Let’s try again with the xmp for the second edit:
DSC02168.ARW.xmp (29.8 KB)

(PkmX) #20

@Jonas_Wagner Mine also looks similar to @chris’s screenshot (with your second XMP). I think a input color profile is missing here. From darktable’s stderr:

[colorin] could not find requested profile `a6000_darktable.icc'!