Why all this yellow in highlights?

20230105_081247_0024.ORF.zip (19.3 MB)

If you open the raw file in darktable you can push down exposure and see colours in highlights.

Here’s how I corrected (dt 4.0.1)

20230105_081247_0024.ORF.xmp (13.7 KB)

But my question is: why all that yellow? It doesn’t seem clipping to me, and even underexposing a lot, it’s still there.

Everything licensed Creative Commons, By-Attribution, Share-Alike .

Most likely that’s just early morning (or evening) sunlight hitting the peak of the mountain. It approaches from the left side.

At what time did you take this image?

1 Like

Did you mean to upload the raw, as well?

I tried and uploaded the raw. Isn’t it there?

8am, it was the first light hitting the peak. That yellow hue seems like unnatural to me though.

I have the same problem with my em5 mkii and em1 mkiii photos, which have, against the jpeg in the raw, missing red and too much yellow . Its a bit better when i use not the latest filmic rgb preset (better with 2021).
ATM i am not sure if it is my view-brain-remember problem or a real one. But i found it interesting to read here about the same “feeling”, or issue.


The light in the morning and evening is more yellow than mid day. Looks like you have a decent, middle of the road white balance: shadows are slightly blue, highlights are warm, other things like the clouds are more neutral. Maybe you even have a hint of alpine glow so its a touch red. I don’t see the issue here.

1 Like

What does it mean “against the jpeg in the raw”?

Your second image seems realistic.
In your first image, I think you pushed the highlights too much. That causes oranges to shift to yellow. The how and why is very well explained in this video by @s7habo.

1 Like

Most cameras include a JPG version in the raw file that is used for previews. My Nikon DSLR, and many others, include a full-resolution version, process using whatever settings / colour effects / contrast settings you had active in the camera.


In your top post, I only see the embedded images, plus the XMP, but not the raw file.

If you don’t use the waveform for your histogram I highly suggest you start. It makes it so easy to analyse your photo. And start without filmic so you can really see what you are starting with… get your exposure and then when you apply filmic and or other adjustments you will see what happens and better know how to adjust it…the waveform will give you information about the color channels in regions of your photo…

1 Like

The first image resulted from my attempt to upload the raw file. In fact, it should be the OOC jpeg embedded in the raw file. (BTW I need to upload the raw file again, putting it in a zip archive first).

The second image is my developed version.

I thought that was the case, but if I reduce exposure, the yellow hue is still there. Plus, I would expect filmic rgb to address such issues, as explained in the video you linked.

Hi solitone, as kofa explains, when i make a duplicate of my image in the beginning of a scene refered workflow, than in lightroom i see the jpeg which is inside the raw.
And than, when i work on the duplicate in darktable, i can compare my work on the duplicate with the jpeg in the raw in lightroom.
Yes its a jpeg, with all stuff olympus does with it, but my first impression was, why the hell is it so brown and yellow, where are the reds. In beginning of decembre i made a foto of two horses and a second one of a tree with old red brownish leaves. First impression when i begin in darkroom:
all yellowish and no contrast :wink:

With the help of a good friend, we worked it out with exposure, filmic (yes 2022) and colour balance.

To me also the raw itself has too much yellow, not only the embedded jpeg.

sry, i am not an english native speaker:
my jpeg is more to the picture in my brain as my work in darktable with the raw, thats what i want to express.

Thanks. I thought I could directly upload an ORF file (Olympus Raw File) here in pixls, but apparently I need to zip it first, otherwise only the embedded jpeg is uploaded.

Now you should find also the raw file.

1 Like

and that is really interesting for me, that you also have an olympus and found your pics to yellowish, like me sometimes.


It should work, there are many examples with ORF files. A random post: Vulkano eruption stromboli - help needed with clipped highlights

Are you wondering why it’s yellow rather than reddish/orange as in the low exposure edit? Or are you wondering why the peak has a warmer tone?

Clearly the morning sun is hitting the peak and it should have a warmer tone than the side of the mountain. I do think that the way the yellow looks in your edit isn’t great. It looks sort of flat and unnatural.

If you use Sigmoid tone mapping (default settings) the highlights will have more red in them.