Sorbus aucuparia - Italian ikebana with a scent of Japan

There’s a photo I’ve taken in Asiago’s plateau that puzzles me. Same place where I shot this Rubus fruticosus. Heat and pain

What should I do with this photo?

When I was framing the scene in the viewfinder of the camera I didn’t quite know what to do with that little tree of red berries in the foreground (BTW, the little tree is a Sorbus aucuparia; in the land where I live hunters have planted these trees since always because they attract the birds they want to catch) and with the other parallel planes/layers/worlds behind it. Maybe I wasn’t fully aware of it at the moment, but there was something in the air with the scent of Japan.

For instance, the scent of Hiroshige’s art (Hiroshige - Wikipedia). He exploited the asymmetry of the composition, placing large elements in the foreground, like a sort of photographic macro, creating a space for many parallel planes, developing a depth that challenges the infinite, from micro to macro. This technique of him looks particularly photographic to us today, two centuries after.
Ok, maybe the parallel is exaggerated and of course I do not pretend to compare myself to Hiroshige (absolutely miles away from that). I just put him here as a source of inspiration for you.

Here, I post the photo preview without any particular development, because I don’t want to influence your creativity (it’s NOT the in-camera cooked JPEG).

This file is licensed CC0.


_1010481.RW2 (19.5 MB)


_1010481.pfi (65.2 KB)

Teal-orange and CIE Luv tonemapping


Thanks for sharing the image. The lighting was very challenging for you and you have approached that well. I wanted to bring back color and brighten the foreground without losing the sky. This I achieved by firstly using the tone equalizer module to brighten and darken the image. I then added on top of this adjustment default shadow and highlights adjustment softened with the bilateral filter. I used the color balance module to increase saturation.

_1010481.RW2.xmp (10.2 KB)


I’m not sure how you were able to recover the RAW burnt highlight, but I’ll take my time to go through it (and through the [in-]“famous” Shadow and Highlights module that I never tried).

In the photo, you took alive many many colors, but it’s not what I was looking for. I was looking for depth, depth, indeed.

Thank you @Terry, I’m a newbie here, but I learnt to know you for your ever kind, useful, honest and informative comments!

Actually I gave this no special attention. The highlights recovery module of DT often works very well at the default settings as in this case. I did use tone equalizer to raise the darker regions and darken the lighter regions. This produced a flat contrast which I lifted in filmic. Shadow highlights made just a small improvement (subjective opinion) but did not make a huge difference. It certainly revealed the jet fuel trail in the sky a bit more along with the cloud detail.

As for the colors, I really pumped them up in the color balance module and if this is too much for your taste it can easily be tamed down.

RT 5.9

_1010481.jpg.out.pp3 (14,9 KB)


In 4.2, yes. Older versions are not as good in this respect, 4.2 has the new default “inpaint opposed” in the highlight reconstruction module which is terrific.

My version. I tried to emphasise the depth by ensuring I didn’t loose the contrast between the hazy distance and contrasty foreground, but I’m not sure if I succeeded…

_1010481.RW2.xmp (15.2 KB)


If you want the little tree:
RT5.9 + gimp for text:

20230203_1010481_RT59.jpg.out.pp3 (20,2 KB)

And if you don’t want the little tree because you prefer the landscape:

20230203_1010481.RW2_05.xmp (10,4 KB)

Edit: The order of the © was wrong

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:rofl: Fun. Thanks.

I owed you my version of the photo that I didn’t post in the first place.
I have only partially succeeded in my attempt to give more spatial depth to the scene and more importance to the little mountain ash tree (moreover creating a version that has something fake). I still have to learn a lot about Darktable.
Thanks for your collaboration.

_1010481_01.RW2.xmp (15.9 KB)



_1010481.RW2.xmp (12.1 KB)


My version…

_1010481.RW2.xmp (18.9 KB)


Hi, thanks by sharing.

_1010481.RW2.xmp (9.3 KB)


Thanks for posting the image.

_1010481.RW2.xmp (17.0 KB)


@Brunolas981 thank you. Your development looks similar to mine in many ways.
I suppose the master image wasn’t good enough to play with. The green area, the second layer, is irrecoverable anyway, both when you want to enhance it and when you want to diminish it.

What I was really looking for from the beginning when I posted this Play Raw was to know if one can programmatically achieve some sort of depth contrast. I mean, in RAW editing softwares you get different ways to obtain contrast and local contrast, but they all work in the 2-dimensional space of the original pixels, not in a 3-dimensional depth. Maybe only a soon to come artificial intelligence will be able to do this.

I’m novice here, but since this is your first time posting in a big welcome to you!

1 Like

@Thomas_Do Thanks to you. I’m new here, but one thing that struck me in the comments of this community is the fact that when someone posts a Play Raw image he is the one that is thanked. I think that the ones who post a comment with their own edits of the image should be thanked. They (you) are those really contributing to the overall discussion.

I learn from you, not vice versa.


But without kind donation of raws nothing would be achieved. So, we need both sides.


The beauty of Play Raw is it is a win win situation where we all learn. Seeing the different interpretations, workflows and techniques teaches us all. In another Play Raw image I learnt about the detail threshold slider which allows to sharpen just the detail so as not to increase noise and this same slider can be used to avoid softening detail when denoising. This has revolutionized my workflow and improved my edits.

Another bonus is getting to see some beautiful parts of the world.

1 Like

_1010481.RW2.xmp (25.7 KB)