Is there an equivalent to the autolevel tool in Capture One. It’s a one clicks solution, to map the tonal values in an image. It is typically used to expand the tonal range shown in the Levels’ histogram. It is especially useful with low-contrast images, such as those taken in flat lighting or heavily diffused light (hazy or foggy daylight that contains compressed tonal values with few if any clipped areas).
Thats usually my first step in CaptureOne. It would help the type of image of the OP. Would be great if there is something like that in darktable.
With the scene-referred workflow, you set exposure to get your midtones right; then you use sigmoid or filmic to map the tonal range to the display. filmic has auto-tuners for the black and white levels (but you can adjust them manually, by eye, as well). With sigmoid, the defaults are often quite good; if not, you can adjust the contrast and the skew. If that is not enough, you could use the tone equalizer.
If you want a levels tool, there is levels (works in Lab) as rgb levels. Both have pickers and an auto button.
I guess what @paperdigits is trying to say is, the better you specify what you would like to archive, the better others can respond to your question. E.g. if you say
What is it exactly, that you are not impressed with? You hinted at the sharpness and the highlights - if you state that in the play_raw, people can put focus towards those issues.
Of course, its great fun to simply see how others interpret your images
Welcome…I would say the best advice I can give you is to throw away the concept of matching the jpg. If this is the goal then just use the jpg. The jpg is good to get an overall impression of the color and esp the exposure that you might want to keep in line with however the raw is not a super jpg or better jpg waiting to happen… there is a secret sauce in your camera that is applied. There are things for sure that can be done to attempt to match color etc but really the raw file is an opportunity to manage dynamic range in a way that you cannot with an already baked jpg. Also you can be more free with WB but if you obsess about matching the exact contrast and sharpness of the jpg you will usually feel like you are coming up short… I think many will see that often even though we like the look on first impression of a jpg that the more and more you work in raw you see that they are often over sharpened and over contrasted which can actually destroy aspects of the image, introduce artifacts and reduce possible outcomes for the final product…
If you search the forum you will find several discussions around this topic. This is esp true with DT as it is not the goal of the software to match or come out looking like the jpg and often it does little initially to the image and so many users apply their experience with other packages and judge DT as inferior… its not just different
I have to say that in this experiment I didn’t even downloaded and looked at the jpeg (apart from the initial quick look at the thumbnail in the lighttable). I just followed the process outlined in an introduction to darktable’s workflow, watched Aurélien’s basic photo processing for beginners in darktable 3.6 video, to have an idea of what to look when trying the adjustments (I have no real clue!), and edited as I liked it. I also played with the correct lens distortions and local contrast modules to finalise the image.
I cannot say I was dissatisfied with the result as soon as I finished. But then I imported the camera jpeg, and noticed my development was way less sharp than that.
Now I’ll try some of the modules for sharpening (like contrast equalizer or diffuse or sharpen), and see how they’ll affect my image. I will take the following consideration into account though.
Great! This is a fairly recent addition to the user manual and it would be good to have some feedback from the perspective of a new user. Was it fairly clear what you had to do? Is there anything that could be improved?
I think the manual is super well written. After years on commercial software and their useless documentation, it’s great to read a manual that goes beyond a mere description of procedures, and actually teaches you how things work.
As for improvement, I was a bit confused when setting the white and black points (but consider I am completely inexperienced, previously I had just played a couple of months with OM Workspace and Silkypix). I found Aurélien’s video helpful on this regard, showing the use of the picker for the white point, and setting the black point so that some details are still visible in the darker parts of his image.
If you get in the habit of setting exposure to give you a well exposed middle grey then you have your anchor… The pickers esp the white one generally do a great job…The black one will sometimes go astray and need adjusted to your taste… How those sliders affect the image show well in the filmic DNR map graph…