[PlayRaw] Roadside Sunset at Newbigging, Angus, Scotland


(David Oliver) #1

My wife and I visited friends in Angus, Scotland last month, and a patch of pink flowers conveniently located right next to a road caught our attention. One evening we popped out on foot with our photo rucksacks, did the five-minute walk back to the bend in the road and set up with our tripods.

Except my wife had forgotten her tripod! I was already set up and starting to take shots (at least that’s how I remember it now), so I somewhat ungraciously declined to offer to jog back and get it for her. Unfortunately, it was during the few minutes that she was gone that the light came alive and created the most glow; by the time she was back things were looking a little flat.

I’m often uncertain of my processing results, but when I showed poor wifey my initial result last night, she dropped her shoulders, held her head in her hands and sobbed “That’s the picture I wanted.” The best reaction I could have hoped for! :laughing:

My result:

Body: Pentax K-3 II. Lens: Samyang f/2, 16mm.
f/10, ISO 200. Processed with darktable and blended and spot-healed with GIMP.

That’s a blend of three shots with pretty simple masks: second lightest for foreground, second darkest for sky and darkest for sun. (I tried going the HDR route but things didn’t immediately work out so I switched to simple blending.)

If anyone wants to process using a single shot, I recommend the second darkest (2426).

IMGP2425.DNG (27.1 MB)
IMGP2426.DNG (27.5 MB)
IMGP2427.DNG (28.6 MB)
IMGP2428.DNG (30.3 MB)
IMGP2429.DNG (32.8 MB)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Attribution: David Oliver, doliver.co.uk


Nice shot :slight_smile:. It reminds me of a marvelous scene that I saw while driving two weeks ago. Actually the best I have seen in years. There was so much going on in the sky and urban-scape:

  • Many types of clouds, from the receding thunderstorm, incoming weather system, plane trails and smokestacks (pastry and recycling plants).

  • Birds (and planes) in flight following the ebb and flow of the caressing breeze, against the sunset, which set the sky on fire with as many hues as there were types of clouds.

  • The traffic on the overpass, and traffic on the highway underneath, providing contrast to the adjacent sidewalk, trees, flowers, lawns and red brick houses.

All of this detail not at all overwhelming but strangely harmonious and beautiful. But I didn’t stop! so I have nothing to share but words. Anyway, thanks for stopping and sharing the sunset with us.

No one will believe us anyway...

Thanks @DavidOliver for the story and the DNGs; that’s a lovely subdued warmth of a processing you pulled out =)
A tripod with two heads…?

HDRmerge and FhotoPlow
Bottom to top, a buffer layer for later further furry hiper-masking warp nothingness existential soundtrack. Basic adjustments on shadows and highlights (masked with lum curve). Shadows/HL consolidation or light’s cement; split details at 27% of fun, further filtered by a clone layer, an invert one, curves and a shape mask – idea was to avoid details on sun and HLs and create a zone of softnes around the sun; the invert layer is 'cause it was an afterlife realisation and just used the curves I had above. Ever so slightly hue shifted Fuji Provia 400x turbo boost (there were other options more eye-catching but I wanted to keep the fuchsias); curves on luminosity dress aiming to cheer up the darkness, gaussian blur layer on the sun and very fine sharpness. Barf the light with a smile :camel:

IMGP2425-2429_pfi.zip (2.8 KB)



(John) #4

I thought I would give macrofusion a go aka enfuse. If I give it all 5 shots this came up

Then tried the centre 3.

More promising so over to the GIMP. Softlight layer and a gradient layer to darken the sky.

I’m sorting out monitor profiles so the softlight layer is probably too intense. Also suspect that the gradient layer should have run a bit further.

I’ll probably try one from a single shot later but this workflow is often quick if each shot isn’t adjusted first. They were all developed in RT neutral profile.

@DavidOliver Whoops forgot to say that’s a rather nice shot. Interesting one to work on too. Thanks.



-With Darktable to tif, default settings
-With Macrofusion all 5 tif to jpg, default settings > output.jpg
-Wit Darktable output.jpg.xmp (7.6 KB)> output_01.jpg

Second try:
Only IMGP2426 with Darktable IMGP2426.DNG.xmp (9.1 KB)


IMGP2425-2429.dng.pp3 (10.3 KB)


@DavidOliver, thanks for sharing such a wonderful shot! Here is my try. I combined all exposures with Darktable as a HDR photo and then edited it purely with the Darktable. I am not sure my workflow for creating and editing HDR photos with the Darktable is accurate but I am quite happy with the result :slight_smile:

Sidecard for the combined HDR photo: IMGP2425-hdr.dng.xmp (5.4 KB)

(John) #8

I tried Fotoxx just using it’s curves and zonal flattening. Also tried the newer version of that - edit brightness but had problems. Based on a 2426 jpg from RT with a neutral pp3.

Tried to tone down the greenery amongst the flowers but that would have needed brush work in it.


(John) #9

RT only this time from the 2426 jpg. Some messing about in the pp3. I wish those could be edited out on the fly somehow when changes are discarded.

IMGP2426ARTdOnly.jpg.out.pp3 (10.0 KB)



Thank you for the really beautifull shot!

Basic development in RT.
Heavy enhancements in GIMP 2.9.5,
Went for super juicy, realer than real look…

(Antorris) #11

I took three of the shots blended and edited in Gimp.

(PkmX) #12

I aligned/enfused all 5 images within Hugin and then processed the TIFF in Rawtherapee:

Some things I noted during processing:

  • The most important part of this photo is the flowers being back-illuminated by the sun setting behind it, so I made the purple very saturated to give it a semi-translucent look, and to contrast with the yellow scene.
  • The bush should also be yellowish-green, because well, it is sunset.
  • The bottom part of the image should overall be darker than the sun to avoid “the HDR look”.
  • The sunstars should be well-defined, and there should be no ugly color blocks in the highlight.
  • The sky in the corners is made more blue again to contrast with the red/yellow sun.
  • Added some very subtle blue tone in the shadows.


@chroma_ghost Out of everyone so far, I like how you handled the sun.

@yteaot I prefer your first attempt but respect your second. The colors are nice.

@msd I enjoyed your take the most. It is an all-rounder and well-balanced.


IMGP2425-2429.dng kodak_porta_160-.pp3 (10.4 KB)


CA recovery on
Highlight recovery 9
+0.5 exposure compensation
89 drama
Overdrive on
White clipping point 0.194
Shadow brightness 184


LuminanceHDR 2.5.1 results from fattal and drago operators, with the sky from the fattal at a lower input gamma. Layered and masked in McGimp 2.5.9. Sharpened and resized and sharpened in RawTherapee 5.2.

(John) #17

One last go. Thinking about composition and not being happy about the greens between the flowers on the other versions. It’s a sunset so gone for that and tried to make the flowers added interest. I try to keep things fairly natural.

All from 2456 with heavy work in the exposure panel to bring it all in. Purple augmented with lab. Tried all of the other colour adjustments and reset them. Then thought extreme lighting, looked at the histogram and used a red curve to shift and augment red. :wink: I may decide I’ve boosted some of it too much so saved full size from RT and then reduced and sharpened in Fotoxx.

IMGP2426.DNG2.pp3 (10.9 KB)


(Karlheinz Lehmann) #18

Hi there, thanks @DavidOliver for the nice picture. My try is pure RT … IMGP2426.jpg.out.pp3 (13.1 KB)

(Shreedhar Inamdar) #19

IMGP2426.jpg.out.pp3 (11.8 KB)

(Shreedhar Inamdar) #20

Here is another attempt. Thought that the clouds and flowers are competing for attention, so cropped out the drama in the sky.
IMGP2426-1.jpg.out.pp3 (11.9 KB)