Same picture, two workflows

Maybe my favourite photo.

Originally edited in display-referred workflow in darktable 3.0.2 as below:

Now revisited in scene-referred darktable 3.6.1:


I like your old edit better…just my 2 cents…more sharpness and contrast and the sky was better …you did have a couple of dark shadows in the original but over all it looks better at least on my display…

Yeah, I like the old one too.

But are we comparing the workflows or the edits?

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Its a good question…does the second one have local contrast, tone eq and or some diffuse and tweaking white and black points would likely bring them closer…or make the second one better…I guess no diffuse as that is not in 3.6.1 I don’t think. Still tweaking filmic and addressing contrast would make the second one better…if it is workflows I think your are talking about 2 end points …ie you have to stop and analyse after just the base curve or filmic to talk about starting point and then you have to continue the edit to the point you consider the best version you can achieve in each workflow and then you can discuss the pros and cons…at least IMO

I’ve revisited all my old display-referred edits in scene-referred (filmic) workflow and I’ve managed to improve every one.

I agree that I prefer the contrast/sharpness in the old edit but the colours look better in the new one

Well, for the time being, I think my edits with scene-referred are good… until I compare them to my old preset :wink:

Of course it depends on what criteria one has - some may think my display-reffered approach is overdone and that more gentle look is better.

However, that is one of the bracketed shots, and in order not to clip the sky I chose to leave the one which was -1.7 Ev underexposed (at least according to the camera’s lightmeter).

The foreground was really dark. I remember that as long as punch and contrast were so decent with the base curve, it looked like a crafting the image, something like making manual exposure blending in Photoshop, but all done in darktable with lots of masks involved.

On the other hand, with scene-referred I didn’t have to create any (!) masks in order to protect any part of the image from clipping. Nice and fast, but the trade-off was to create few instances of Color Balance RGB to restore some colorful life to the image.

I agree with this, the display ref’d has too much local contrast and the scene ref’d has too little.


Impressive shot.

I feel there is room for improvement in both workflows. To me, they don’t result in a natural look, which is my preference, but have more of a photo illustration impression, like concept art meant to showcase a new development project. I think one way to make them better may be to progressively increase sharpness / clarity / local contrast where you would like to the viewer to focus on. Right now, the colour and texture are too uniform for my comfort. As a result, the former is overall confrontational and the latter is overall muddy.

somewhere between the two for me would be best :slight_smile: would be nice to have the RAW to play with if you were willing to share?

Thanks :slight_smile:

Here it is:

How do I create so lively image now? - Processing / Play Raw -

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Well the sky in the original is the clear winner. But, I think the building looks a bit too intense in color in the older one.