Sunset from the ferry

Here is a challenging (for me anyway) photo with a large dynamic range. I have been experimenting with darktable 3.6, and especially the color balance rgb module. I am interested to see everyone’s take on this!

Ferry sunset.NEF (27.4 MB)

This file is licensed Creative Commons, By-Attribution, Share-Alike

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Ferry sunset_01.NEF.xmp (25.8 KB)
dt 3.6.1


A blend of three exposure settings with Enfuse then into GIMP and used luminosity masks to make adjustments with Curves and Saturation.

Ferry sunset.NEF.xmp (13.7 KB)

sunset.from.ferry.pp3 (20.8 KB) RawTherapee 5.8 Development + Future LA Tool.


Done with ART…edits in jpg

My take with darktable!

Ferry sunset.NEF.xmp (7.9 KB)

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Ferry sunset.NEF.xmp (26.1 KB)
that was quite tricky, and yet i still think there was something missing from my edit

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This one is my favourite, because the sky looks natural and the trees on the hill are a discernible green (as opposed to a dull grey in the NEF preview, and too dark to see in the other attempts so far).

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First, I adjusted the exposure and black level correction to pop the details along the shore. Then, I used the tone equalizer to bring the sky’s exposure back down. Last, I tried the color calibration module’s “detect from area” on various areas in the clouds until I got this, which is already not bad:

From there, I first tried to use the color zones module (inspired by @arctic’s edits) to get more saturation and details in the trees and on the mountain slope. I got the nearer trees to be more green, but the mountain slope still lacks contrast. It could be a matter of learning and practice, but I found the color zones module to be unwieldy. The result:

Then I went back to the first attempt and applied the filmic module’s middle tones saturation instead, and finally got this, which I was happy with: