With a little luck....

Some fog this morning during my morning walk and, on my way back, I came across this customerless gas station during what normally would be a busy rush hour. The Netherlands just entered a more severe lockdown and it shows…

Liked how the scene looked, but it is a rather dark time of day and there’s a wide dynamic range. I only carried my trustworthy lx100m2, no tripod and no flat surfaces to be seen. There was a tram stop with a tubed railing and, with Lady Luck smiling down on me I was able to stabilise the camera enough using my hand and the railing to make a 5 shot bracket.

At the time of shooting I hoped, but did not really expect even one shot to be usable and I had my doubts about the composition (being limited to the width/height of the railing). Put in the time and effort anyway and it turns out it worked out rather nicely.

Also thought this would be nice to play with. Hope you have fun with this one.

-2 EV: P1002170.rw2 (17.0 MB)
-1 EV: P1002171.rw2 (17.1 MB)
0 EV: P1002172.rw2 (17.2 MB)
+1 EV: P1002173.rw2 (17.3 MB)
+2 EV: P1002174.rw2 (17.3 MB)

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

EDIT: Pic doesn’t behave, re-uploading it.


Filmic doesn’t like this shot, nor the HDR

I took the 1/2s

P1002171.rw2.xmp (12.0 KB)

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Sometimes with images like this I have to just whip out the control-point curve, but I was able to get a decent lift from my cheap filmic. In rawproc:

Bit of rotate to horizontal-ize the front edge of the canopy, and some good-ole HSL saturation to punch up the green…,.,

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I just had a really quick go at P1002171, the 1/2s one, and compared it to yours:

The most notable difference seems to be the difference in white balance. Yours being colder compared to mine, but that might be a taste thing.

I did not have any problems using filmic. My pixel workflow is set to none and looking at your sidecar, yours seems to be as well. Could this be an exposure setting thingy?

Here’s the quick, darktable only, edit I did:

P1002171.rw2.xmp (9.1 KB) darktable 3.5.0+3~ge3efd26b0

@ggbutcher: Don’t sell rawproc short! It (you :slight_smile: ) did a really nice job here.

I’m not able to see if there is much of the, little to begin with, fog left. This might be due to the smaller size though.

Did you pick one of the images or did you stack them first? I’m asking 'cause I’m curious if stacking does indeed benefit the tonal range in this set.

Yes, the white balance is just an artistic decision.
I have the scene referred option in darktable. The thing with filmic in this photo is that in it’s defaults it crushed shadows and highlights in a way I didn’t see it did before.

I took the 1/4s and kept the right part while cropping. Thanks for posting!

P1002170.rw2.xmp (8.9 KB)

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I was in a bit of a hurry, so I just picked the one @Eduardo_Battaglia used, 2171…

White balance, I just stayed with the “as-shot” from the camera.

@Eduardo_Battaglia : This bracket series was made with both opposites in mind; I did not have the gear to do a very good spot metering on location but the -2 EV for the highlights was just about right. Shifting all -2/3 EV might have been better for both highlights and shadows (hindsight and all that). This does mean that P1002171 will a bit of a challenge being on the dark side and having a bit too much highlights.

@Thomas_Do : The fog is nicely visible in yours!

@ggbutcher : Using my as-shot white balance might not be such a good idea… I tend to use a fixed one or, when using my D750, spot white balancing via live view using a grey card. Reason being that I shoot a lot of double/triple overlapping shots (not necessarily panoramas) and I don’t want any hassle afterwards with different wb values due to my camera trying to be smart. And RAW makes changing it afterwards rather easy.

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P1002171.pfi (41.9 KB)

I’m using CAT16 RGB as a working space (using a colour balance module for white balance). Using Bradford rho,gamma,beta space gives similar results but the greens come out a little bit yellower. I took white balance from one of the fuel pumps. I just used P1002171, there isn’t much noise and clipping isn’t a problem…



This edit is the closest to the neutral colours as seen in daylight.

The reality is a tad warmer. All the whites are off-white a bit, just going towards yellow/orange. But that is something you could not know :slight_smile:

0EV. Strange image. Very interesting. Just a quick look with darktable.

P1002172.rw2.xmp (11.8 KB)

May I?

P1002171.rw2.xmp (15,3 KB)

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A quick online search suggests that forecourt lighting is likely to be around 4000K or so. Plugging in the theoretical colour balance values for 4000K gives this:

P1002171_4000k.jpg.pfi (48.6 KB)

Which looks a bit greenish to me rather than yellow/orange.


That might be, but colourwise this one looks spot on. My ‘yellow/orange’ remark was about the (off-)white material colours used, seen in daylight.

Anyway: Very nice!

P1002171.rw2.xmp (13.0 KB)

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You got rid of the fog! :scream_cat:

Thought I’d give it a try with my (limited) RT skills…


Fuel seems to be more expensive in Netherlands than in Germany…

@heckflosse : As far as I can remember this has always been the case.

I was born and spend my younger years in/around Enschede and I can specifically remember our neighbours (and many others as well I learned later on) hop across the border to fill up their tank, and that was in the early 70’s. Worth it, even if having to drive extra kilometres.