[PlayRaw] The colorful bridge

So here’s an interesting challenge I offered the Darktable developers in another thread, thinking that it was just me having trouble with the tool. Turns out, I actually stumbled upon a lot of newbies mistakes but also key limitations of our free software tools. A bunch of people joined in to figure out what was up with that file and it was a bunch of fun.

I nevertheless kept going and processed a final picture out of this thread. It turns out the picture I chose to do those tests was (somewhat intentionally) a zoom of a larger picture which I think is a slightly better subject, because it brings new interesting elements in the frame. I ended up with this processing.

So here’s the result of my processing of the larger picture:


I’m very curious to see what you people make out of this. The key challenges here for me were getting clarity in the image (there’s smog in the city which tones down everything) while keeping the spirit of the picture (that there’s a hazy horizon). I was looking for dark tones (it’s night time) and punchy/realistic colors, although I’m not a fan of excentric HDR tonemaps…

I’m at this stage of creation when I can’t bare looking at the thing anymore. Hopefully it’s somewhat good. :wink: I feel the bridge has lost definition, but I’m afraid that touching it will make everything else fall apart: after all, as we’ve seen in another thread, Lightroom and the camera are just cheating us of those details, so there isn’t much we can do, so I’ve come to embrace that noise.

Here’s the RAW file: DSCF1112.RAF (22.8 MB)

From what I understood in that other thread, the JPG above can serve as a sidecar as well in Darktable (that’s pretty neat!) but I’d be happy to share the sidecar of the above as well if that assumption turns out to be incorrect on my part.

Like most my work, this photograph is released as Creative Commons, By-Attribution, Share-Alike.

Creative Commons, By-Attribution, Share-Alike


@anarcat Thanks for sharing. It is an interesting image with lots going on, besides the technical aspects. I am sure that plenty of people will dive right in. As for myself, I have a terrible screen, so my future entry might not be pleasant :blush:.

Diving in! I had already been fiddling with the image in the other thread. I kept it quite simple, and tried to keep the bridge blue :slight_smile:

DSCF1112_01.RAF.xmp (23.7 KB)


Yes, the editing data are saved in exported images. Some time ago, there were problems with this forum’s engine, deleting some darktable’s metadata, but it looks to work now as expected. Just in case, here is how I see your history stack (from the jpeg):


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I like the colors in the image and couldn’t resist to make them rather punchy. Furthermore there is quite a nice three-dimensionality, which I tried to emphasize.


looks like what i have here, indeed!

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Very nice picture, tried to get as much detail as possible out of the bridge!
My version has a magenta/purple colour cast because I have watched too much serge ramelli :wink:

DSCF1112.RAF.xmp (18.2 KB)

I wanted to try and put the focus on the bridge, so lots of desaturation.

DSCF1112.RAF.xmp (9.6 KB)


Blade Runner style :grin: but I’ve removed too much contrast

DSCF1112.RAF.pp3 (13.3 KB)

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you forgot to add gas blowout torches lighting the sky! :wink:

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Some coloring added:



Very nice versions everybody, mr mccao {tip of hat}
Thanks @anarcat for the Ralf comodo =)

Dunno why anything, but specifiluciferly all the time I was thinking 'bout Jarmush most ill received film The Limits of Control… I actually liked it, but I am a fan look how I spill air fsuusshhhhhhh

→ 1:1 Photoflow ay mi fotofou que te mejoran por acá y te me estropean por allán

DSCF1112.pfi.zip (3.0 KB)

→ 1:1 into gimp for gmic goodies, man that film conversion is dope, here a tweaked portra 160

Cheers mael


DT DSCF1112.RAF.xmp (10.1 KB)

@yteaot I like this one, the saturation and color gives it a very appealing graphic look.

DSCF1112.RAF.pp3 (13.6 KB)


Really nice image to work with, thanks for that!

Here’s my take on it:
DSCF1112.RAF.xmp (4.7 KB)


darktable: DSCF1112.RAF.xmp (6.2 KB)


And my try, as always in DT

DSCF1112.RAF.xmp (7.1 KB)

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A quick attempt in Darktable:

DSCF1112.RAF.xmp (13.0 KB)