Summer by the sea

DSCF3938.RAF (48.2 MB)

I took this image a couple of days ago, and was experimenting with JPG out the camera with poor results. Alas, I played around the RAW and was not happy with the results. It’s very dark when opening up in Darktable, and as soon as you bump up the exposure you lose the sky.

I’m very interested in hearing the approach you would or will take to edit this photo.

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Not easy. The shot is somwhat underexposed with relatively bright sky. My try in darktable 3.4.

DSCF3938.RAF.xmp (10.7 KB)

Welcome to!


For this image the graduated filter module can do a good job.

Arturo. (16.0 KB) RawTherapee 5.8 Development.

Not a darktable but a RawTherapee edit. I was curious what I could do with this rather underexposed RAW and the “lost” details in the sky.

Having to push this over 2 stops to get the brightness back in the lower part didn’t do this, ISO 800 image any good; It introduces some noticeable, hard to tackle noise in the sky :smile: I’m not all that displeased with this result though.

Thanks for sharing.


Kinda threw everything at this one - it was a challenge. Here’s my attempt in darktable 3.6:

DSCF3938.RAF.xmp (19.5 KB)


Hm, about color edit, noise reduction etc., others may have done a much more decent job than my quick go in dt 3.2.1. However, as I think often, one of the biggest influence on image perception is the crop. With the X100, this scene is IMHO hard to get right because either a really wide angle or a very narrow one would fit best. Therefore, here my 2 attempts …


Yep, pretty hard for me to work out with the bright sky and dark foreground.

dt 3.4.1

DSCF3938.RAF.xmp (9.0 KB)

Interesting problems to tackle, so I also did a darktable one: (14.9 KB) darktable 3.7.0+10~g79067124e


Some really interesting attempts here. I felt the primary problem here was the sky, so I used a parametric mask to work on that area specifically. The greens on the trees are probably still a little-off but what do you think?

DSCF3938.JPG.xmp (2.6 KB)


That’s a lot better then your first one :wink:

Interesting to see which modules you used, but this one does need a bit of creativity, doesn’t it…

I added the XMP. The first one was actually JPG straight out the camera. It’s a slight twist on the classic chrome simulation I was experimenting with, but will just go back to standard classic chrome I think.

I never shoot jpg (or RAW+jpg). Although having a jpeg reference can probably be nice at times. I’ve noticed that in camera settings that manipulate a jpeg (a lot do) also, indirectly, influence the RAW that is produced.

Take, for example, Picture Control (Nikon) or Photo Style (Lumix); These settings influence what the light-meter and histogram show, tools essential to a RAW shooter. I like my camera settings to be rather neutral.

But: To each their own! As long as you’re having fun and get, in general, the results you want, right.

GIMP plugins WIC => Mantiuk2006 => GIMP-LAB


I’m pretty sure those sorts of settings still impact the histogram (don’t know about the light meter) - unless you have a really snazzy camera, the histogram is almost certainly based on a processed JPEG even if you’re not saving that JPEG to your memory card.

I used Filmulator, and tried to get that bright and hazy look while trying to bring out the highlight detail.

One intriguing thing about the noise reduction in Filmulator is that because the image started so dark, the NR strength I had to use was extremely low.

  • Profiled CA on
  • Profiled Vignetting on
  • Noise Reduction on
  • NR Strength 3.5
  • Chroma NR strength 28.26
  • Exposure Comp +2.83
  • Film Area 65.9
  • Drama 100
  • Overdrive On
  • White Clipping Point 0.262
  • Shadow Brightness 94.5
  • Highlight Brightness 814.6

Yes, definitely. Histogram and, I do think, light metering info is jpg based, something I do not understand with the current (higher end) cameras. Having the option to switch to RAW based would be nice-to-have…

Luckily most cameras have neutral options and can turn off stuff so that the “jpg influence” is as limited as possible, which is what I was talking about. It might not look as nice on the back of the camera screen but, at least for me, that’s not an issue at all.

That had been a very difficult task indeed. The details in the sky are in a very narrow area and to highlight them was a surgical job. Despite the effort, the result is far from satisfactory:

DSCF3938_08.RAF.xmp (26,0 KB)
darktable 3.5.0~git2615.900680c696-1


Yes. I do this too.

DSCF3938.RAF.xmp (16.5 KB)

Wow, what a challenge! This is why its important to have that histogram showing on your camera and to try and make a good exposure from the outset.


There is usually a JPEG embedded in the raw file, even if you shot only raw. The resolution of the embedded Jpeg might be reduced, but probably good enough as a guide/source of ideas if that’s what you’re looking for.