Underexposed sun rays scene


I recently walked along the English coast and captured a nice afternoon sun bursting through the clouds over a scenic setting of a lonely house and lake. Perhaps overambitiously I intentionally under-exposed the image by -3EV, hoping to recover all the details in Darktable. Unfortunately, for my lack of knowledge of Darktable I have not been able to to this well; I managed to obtain some over-processed image that does not look at all natural anymore (XMP attached). While not pleasing visually it shows that a lot of detail remains in the dark parts of the image, so my hope is that some more capable photographers can rescue this image in Darktable.

DSCF0185.RAF (22.1 MB)
DSCF0185.RAF.xmp (5.0 KB)

(Edited to add the JPEG images).
Here is the JPEG straight out of camera (Fuji X-T3):

And my over-processed edit corresponding to the above XMP darktable file:

All four files are licensed Creative Commons, By-Attribution, Share-Alike.


Lovely cloud formation! Thanks for sharing!

My try using RT dev. I liked it more with the building almost black

DSCF0185_RT.jpg.out.pp3 (14.5 KB)

@Sebastian_Nowozin Because your first post does not contain the jpeg, the preview does not appear on the playraw main page, as you can see in this screenshot

Would you mind to edit your post and insert a link to the jpeg?
I can also do this for you, if you like.

sun.ray.scene.pp3 (30.1 KB) RawTherapee 5.8-2745-ge0e93d9fe

Thanks for sharing!


DSCF0185.RAF.pp3 (14.4 KB) DSCF0185rt


Well, since it is very noisy in the dark area I just prefer not to fight for colors and convert it to b/w. I don’t care about the blown out sky, I want it to create certain mood. Reminds me of gritty HP5+ shots.

Done, thanks for letting me know.

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Great image. I always love when the cloud open little windows. Mornings are always fun.
I did not want to pull too much light in the house - there is blue/purple sections in the house which to me start becoming strange when trying to lighten the house too much. This is my first ever take in play_raw. Always wanted to do this but never had courage enough to post my edits - there is first for everything :smiley:

DSCF0185.jpg.out.pp3 (16.3 KB)
RT 5.8-2652-g1bd22668f

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DSCF0185.RAF.xmp (11.2 KB)

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DSCF0185.RAF.xmp (13.0 KB) DSCF0185_01.RAF.xmp (13.4 KB)

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DSCF0185.RAF.xmp (19.4 KB)

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I thought I’d play with the color calibration module, as it’s there. I haven’t the foggiest how it’s supposed to be used though :slight_smile:.

DSCF0185.RAF.xmp (15.9 KB)

And a black & white version. Tried to keep the highlights in check.

DSCF0185_01.RAF.xmp (15.1 KB)

A dark, moody edit :slight_smile:

darktable-git: DSCF0185.RAF.xmp (15.8 KB)


DSCF0185-1.jpg.out.pp3 (13,8 KB)

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I like the monochrome edits, almost did one myself, but decided to try another trick. In rawproc:

Instead of a filmic curve, I applied a loggamma curve to lift all the shadows into the mid part of the histogram, then applied a S-shaped control curve to better control the shadow gradient with control points. Also, since there is very little “color” in the image, i applied my dorky HSL saturation tool and amped the multiplier to 2.0. Not natural color, but pleasing to me…

Edit: The danger with the control point curve is that one can play with it to one’s demise… In using this image to debug my x_trans mosaic selection; I decided to drag the low-left control point to the right a bit to crush the lowest blacks, and in doing so I got better low-end contrast:


As the dynamic range was truly extreme here, I output two different exposures using Filmulator and blended them manually in GIMP, taking care to maintain the contrast of the sunbeams.

This is my first time doing it and I’m using a mouse so the blending might be a bit lumpy…


dt 3.4 DSCF0185.RAF.xmp (12.5 KB)

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Some color scratching in Art…

DSCF0185.art.jpg.out.arp (12.8 KB)

Thank you everyone for these lovely edits!