Thinking Differently

It’s a matter of perspective

Trying to look at your images in a new way? We find ourselves perfecting a work-flow, a way of approaching images that is empowering and streamlines the editing process -- but is that always the best plan? In this week's episode we deliberately take a different path in processing.

In the first edit, we work on the L channel separately, then apply it to the original image in two different ways: one in Darktable, and then another in the GIMP. Thank you, Elias, for your RAW contribution and the inspiration it provides.

In the second edit, we are as interested in reducing some details as in enhancing others. It's all a matter of perspective and choice. Thank you, Aleksandr, for this RAW contribution, and the taste of winter it brings.

This video builds on knowledge from previous videos, running full-tilt through tools and methods to achieve the edit. For fuller explanations, return to the Home Page and scroll down to Topics Discussed or Modules Used on the right-hand bar. Click on any of these, and we assemble a complete playlist of every instance for quick review right here on the site.

Green Gorge RAW
Green Gorge XMP - base
Green Gorge XMP - L channel 1
Green Gorge XMP - L channel 2

Snowy Path RAW
Snowy Path XMP

Complete Show Text

Download complete text here

(Pahoa sunrise)
(Orion from our back yard)


Welcome to Weekly Edit for Wednesday, January 18, 2017.

We got great RAW contributions this week.

Thank you for those.

We open them up like surprise gifts.

They give us windows into your worlds: your challenges, your styles...

They make us step outside our usual ways of looking at things, at looking at images, and get new ideas.

That's what happened this week.

So, keep them coming! This first edit is a scene that could be right out of my childhood in Upstate New York.

Gorges and paths like these were everywhere where I grew up, so we immediately felt a sense of homecoming.

Thank you, Elias, for that contribution.

I think the familiarity of the scene pushed Harry to reach for a new approach.

The second contribution, from Aleksandr, brings its own challenges.

When we're looking at an image, we often say,'When everything is important, nothing is important.' It's a way of sorting out the story in an image.

Again, everybody, thank you for all your contributions, and especially, thank you to Elias and Aleksandr.

We're looking forward to mailing you out your prizes.

(Harry's voice) After processing a lot of images, it sure is easy to have a way that you do it: a way that you start, a way that you work through it.

This offers you the opportunity to get really good at that, so that you get the results you want.

But, it makes it difficult to see things in a different way.

This week, I'd like to look at our two contributions with a different idea about processing them -- something maybe a little more bold.

In this first one, I'll deal with the L Channel completely separately.

We'll create a new L Channel, create a black-and-white from that L Channel.

We'll do our manipulations to it separately, then apply it back to the original image and see where that leads us.

In the second contribution, we'll pick out some bold elements and just work on those bold elements alone.

Here we go with the first image.

I don't know where it's from, but it sure is beautiful.

I notice that there is detail everywhere: in the background, in the foreground; the bridge is nearly the same density as everything else.

In the grand scheme of things, it will be a challenge to give the walkway, the water, and the cliff edge bold and separate identities.

First, we'll look at our Exposure and our Base Curve.

This was shot with a Nikon, so let's try the Base Curve for Nikon Like.

Looking at my Histogram, I see that pushed a lot of things toward the side.

I'll look at the next one, Nikon Like Alternate.

That opened things up a lot more.

It gave us a little brighter top end.

If I'm going to use that, I should bring the exposure down a little so we're not clipping up there.

Can we apply the Fusion options for better results? Let's see.

Oh, that looks nice.

That's with Two Exposures.

Bring down the Exposure a little because we're clipping again.

Well, that's one option.

We'll take a Snapshot of that.

Another option is to not go with any Fusion.

We'll bring up the Exposure so we match our brightness.

What have we got now? It's hard to see any difference.

Maybe this won't get us anywhere.

We'll try the Three Exposures, and once again, bring our Exposure down to match the brightness.

Well, that helps a little in these shadows.

The whole image is a little bright, though...

Yeah, I think there's a slight difference.

Another option is to turn off the exposure adjustment and turn down the Exposure Shift so we're not clipping.

These are all the options I can think of.

What do we think about that? Let's just go with no Fusion; I don't see how it helps in these shadows.

Let's create an L Channel.

Go to our Channel Mixer -- First, I notice that the ISO is 100, so I'm not really worried about noise.

If we use just the Blue Channel, this is what it looks like.

That's terrible.

Our water is very bright and our dark areas are very dark, but this is really cool what it does in here.

I wonder if we can go negative with the Blue Channel? That doesn't seem to help us here, but after we add some color, that might help knock down some of these areas.

The Green: that makes the green very strong and gets us out of gamut really fast up here.

If I'm looking at my Histogram here, this is as far as I can push it, so I'll Take a Snapshot of that.

Then, let's do the same thing with the Red.

Turn our Green down and bring our Red up.

Do the same thing: push our Histogram to the edge.

Then, let's compare them.

I like that a lot better.

Everything is a lot more even.

I was talking about bringing the Blue negative.

That's interesting.

It really knocks down the water.

Let's see what that looks like.

Take Snapshot.

Set the Blue at zero, bring the Red back down again.

So, on the left we've got it with Blue subtracted; on the right just Red.

It seems like subtracting the Blue really knocks down our detail.

I don't want to do that.

So, I like the Red Channel; not worried about noise.

I want to turn on corrections for Chromatic Aberrations, but I should see if there are corrections for that in the Lens Correction.

Oh, look: the whole lens is in this database.

I'll turn that on.

It says it did correct for TCA: good.

Then, let's just export this as a TIFF and work on it.

16 bit TIFF: nice.

We can take off the changes to this one; we don't need that anymore.

I want my Base Curve to stay and I want the Lens Correction too, so actually, I'll just turn off the Channel Mixer.

Okay, here's our black-and-white.

Now, this enables us to think about things with just the L Channel.

A couple of larger-scale things I want to do first: the water down here doesn't look like it's in a chasm because it's kind of bright; this wall is so much darker than this wall that it's disruptive; I want this walkway to show up more so I can have these leading lines going from here to here and from here to here, and everything back here.

I want to keep the sunlight coming into this area.

There's a little brightness here and here and here; I'd like for that to stay.

Let's start with the larger-scale first.

We'll darken this up a little.

Before I do any of this, I'll look at using the Shadows and Highlights.

Wow, that does a lot.

Bring up our Shadows a little.

Bring up our Highlights a little; it was knocking them down a little hard there.

That looks good, and then our Compression -- I want to be sure we include these darker areas.

That looks good to me.

Now, how much Blend to we want? That's none, and that's all.

I think that looks good.

I want to keep this white-looking water here, so I don't want to affect that area.

I'll combine this with a Parametric Mask..., I want to pin a point.

What I'll do is pin these points so I don't pull them down at all.

Then I want to bring this down because that is just so bright.

Ah, there we go: that kind of thing.

And this wall here looks so dark compared to this one, so I want to bring that up.

Which parts are darkest? I think this, right in there.

Okay, that's looking better.

Now I'd like for this hand rail to stand out a little better too.

Let's see what we can do about that.

Maybe I can do that with the Equalizer Tool, because I could use the size of the hand rail.

Let's try that.


And we'll do a Drawn Mask.

I'll turn this to Difference and then we'll brighten things up a lot.

Then if we go over to our Equalizer and change things, we should be able to see where the changes are.

That's picking out the larger-scale parts of the hand rail.

Let's go down to the next size and see what...

Oh, yeah; there we go.

That's picking it out.

And down here? Yes, I even like that the best.

Now, I don't want this smaller stuff here.

Can I bring that down and bring this over a little bit? I think that's about the right size I want right there.

Now I can turn this off.

Going back to the Equalizer: instead of Difference, we'll go to Normal.

Ah, that makes our hand rail stand out nicely.

But, we've got haloing here.

We'll turn this down a bit, but first, I want to try Lighten only and see what that looks like.

I think that takes care of a lot of it.

Knock down the Opacity a little.

There we go.

Okay, I'd like it to look more sunny here and here where the light is filtering through, so let's use the Equalizer for that.

Let's see: that's here and here and here and here.

We can use our trick to look at what gets changed.

Change our Blend Mode to Difference.


You know, I think I might like that the best.

Yeah, that starts getting real busy.

So, maybe these two, like that.

A little more color in there too? Oh, wait: we don't have a color channel (laughing).

We'll go to Lighten only, and how does that look? There's before, and there's after.

I like it, except I don't want stuff to get too bright up here and right here, so I think I'll apply this with a Parametric Mask and just pull up on the high end here a little.

There we go.

Oh, good, I'm liking that.

In here, I want the same effect, so I'll just add -- and maybe right here too.

Right there.

Alright, before and after.

Good, that adds some highlights; I like it.

Back in here, it looks like there's so much detail that it's hard to pick out what's going on.

I want to give more structure to the branches and the tree trunks.

We'll use the Lowpass Filter.

Get our Radius set so we're not really seeing the leaves but seeing these trunks instead.

Then I can apply this with the Softlight Blend Mode.

That gives me these trunks.

It's getting a little bright right here, but I'm not clipping, so I'm not worried.

I don't want that everywhere, so I'll apply it just in here.

I'm staying away from these higher-contrast areas here, along the edge, so I don't get halos.

There's before, and there's after.

That gives us more structure.

I actually want to get a little more in this middle.

This looks pretty good, but up here on top isn't as good.

So, let's do that again.

Okay, and we'll go with a little smaller detail.

There we go.

That's down around seven pixels.

Drawn Mask.


Before, and after.

It looks a little bright right down here.

Let's come up some.

Okay, that looks better.

What else? I'd like sharper edges, so maybe some edge detection with the Highpass filter.

I don't want to get lost in the details here, so I'm trying to stick to just the larger elements.

There we go; that looks better.

I don't necessarily want to get a lot of detail in the back, because I want it to look like it's farther away.

So I'll use a Drawn Mask and select this area back here that's farther away, feather this, and reverse it.

There we go.

Apply this with an Overlay Blend Mode.

And bring down the Opacity because that's too sharp.

It's working most right here and here and up these sides.

I want to brighten the whole image, so I'll save it first and then make some tonal adjustments.

Okay, this is basically a gamma adjustment.

Let's bring this up right here.

No; I want these leaves.

That's up here.

That looks good.

I don't want to clip up here, that's for sure.

I think I can get a little more detail back in these brighter areas by using a Highpass Filter with a Softlight Blend Mode based on the L Channel and isolating it to mostly just the brightest parts.

I'm trying to get as much detail as I can by adjusting the Sharpness and the Contrast Boost.

I'll use a Parametric Mask; I don't want this everywhere.

I'll bring it up for just the brightest parts.

Add a little Mask Blur.

And then a Softlight Blend Mode.

Before, and after.

That adds a little detail in there.

I don't think it's too bad.

No, that's fine.

Are we catching anywhere we don't want it? No; I think we're okay.

I'm pretty happy with this.

I think I'm ready to apply this.

There are a couple ways we can do this: in the GIMP and in Darktable.

Let's do it in Darktable first and then do it in the GIMP.

You can export it to this .config/darktable/watermarks/ directory.

You'll have to set it up as a JPG because there will be too much data.

You're limited to 8 or 9M as an SVG file.

You can look on my web page to see how I composite.

(If you look at the right-hand scroll-bar of the home page on Weekly Edit, the topic 'Compositing' will create you a playlist to learn from) I set up a pre-set for it.

I'll export it and see what size I've got and maybe adjust my quality.

I've got a script here.

You can find the script on my site under Resources on the right-hand side of the Home Page.

It's a simple one.

This file is just a little too large so we'll bring the quality down one click and that should do it.

And Export.

Checking it with the script: excellent.

Then we can just take this one for the base.

If I was going to do anything to it, I'd like to accentuate the colors.

I'd like to accent the red and this green here.

Let's do that.

First we'll sample these areas.


I love these reds.

Where are we at there? We are from this little bit of green up to here, so let's bring this down a little and bring this up a little.

I want to be sure my mid-point stays right in the middle though.

If I don't do that, I'm in big trouble.

I'll do it like this: set it back and then bring this over.

There's my greens, and there's my reds.

Then I'll do the same thing on this channel.

Oh, it goes down to zero: perfect.

And bring this up.

Wow, that's a bit much.

So, I can take this and turn it down.

Take this 'a' and bring it down.

You can use your mouse wheel and look at these numbers.

That helps you do fine-tuned adjustments.

Okay, the colors look nice.

I just want to get a little less color in these brighter areas, because it looks a bit overboard.

I'll use a Parametric Mask on this.

I'll turn on my Mask Indicator so I can see what I'm working with.

And bring down this top end a little bit.

Then I can see it up here.

That was before, and that's after, and that does look a little better.

There we go.

Now let's apply the L Channel.

So: Watermark and tmp.svg Now there's our L Channel that we created.

We want to apply this Uniformly.

Blend Mode: HSV Lightness? or Lightness? There are two different options.

Let's see how they look.

Take a Snapshot and let's just apply it as Lightness.

That is quite a bit overboard, isn't it? I don't think that's what I'm looking for.

What I want is that.

Now I've got this really interesting image.

The hand rail really stands out now.

I've got some interesting lighting.

If I want to do any work on this, I have to export it because this Watermark Module shows up at the very end.

If you click twice on these, it shows you the order that these modules are applied, and you can see the very last thing is Watermark.

So, I'd have to go to Export and then export it as a TIFF into the directory I'm working in.

Then I can work on it from there if I want to do final sharpening or anything else.

Here we are.

See, our History starts at zero.

So, I might want to do that; I might want to do some final sharpening here.

I'll use an Unsharp Mask, like that.

I could do anything else that occurs to me, too, because now that L Channel is combined and it's all one image again.

Now let's do this same blending using the GIMP.

We'll need a copy of this image right here.

We had applied this Watermark and these Tone Curves to it, so let's just turn off the Watermark.

There we go.

We'll export that as a TIFF.

Then we'll use this and this one, exported as a TIFF, in the GIMP.

Alright, File: Open As Layers.

There's the one we just did.

And here's the black-and-white.

We'll take those two layers And go up here to Blend Mode We are clicked on this top one.

Instead of Normal, we'll go to Lightness (LCH).

Now, we tried the HSV and the Lightness in Darktable and liked the HSV better, but let's look at the two here also.

This is what HSV looks like here, and this is what the Lightness looks like here.

I like THAT better.

I'm thinking I'll get a little different results, whether I'm using GIMP or Darktable.

But, if I'm happy with this, then I just Export As...

Here we go.

This is our image that was combined in the GIMP.

Fun stuff.

A different way to think of your artwork.

The next image I want to work on has a foreground and a background.

This one has buildings in the back.

I find these buildings compete with the trees.

I don't know what to focus on here.

There's a river; that's kind of interesting.

The buildings are kind of interesting; they make me want to squint and look at details in them.

And I'm not following these leading lines here.

So, what I want to do is to see the top of this trail where you walk, and then I want to see these colored leaves here.

Yeah, they have color in them; they definitely have color in them.

Then I want to see these trunks of these trees to be uprights that fill the scene.

So, I want to knock down these buildings so they're not as competitive.

I also want to make it clearer that this is two different heights, that the river is down here and this is a bank.

And I want to bring out the large-scale details on this path.

I really want to bring out these leaves.

Let's get started.

Base Curve.

Nikon Like.

And Nikon Like Alternate, which I think I like better.

These trees look a little dark up here, but I think I'm okay with that.

I bet I can knock that down just a little with the Shadows and Highlights.

We'll use a Bilateral Filter and do a Drawn Mask so it's pointed up right here, and use that to bring up these branches a little.

That's before, and that's after.

That seems fine.

Now I want to make the river look different than the bank.

Right now it's hard to tell; this white and this white are almost exactly the same.

We'll paint this on.

Drawn Mask.

Go like this, like that, up to here, over there.

We'll make that a little smaller, bring this in.

Let's see if we can bring this down just a little to get started.

That's pretty good, not too abrupt.

I don't want to lose these trees, though; I put all that work into bringing them up a little.

So, let's bring that up just a little.

There we go; now it's starting to look like it's an embankment.

It looks a little dark in here and a little light here.

So, I think I want to have the top of this embankment stay a little brighter.

Just a little bit.

Let's see: it's worst right there.

Okay, now let's straighten this a little.


Now, I want to select these buildings in back and make them less of a factor.

We'll do a couple of Drawn Masks and a Parametric Mask.

There's one, and then another one over here.

Bring it down and make it larger.

We'll use Mask Manager.

Tone Curve too.

First one: Union.

Second one: Intersection.

Then look at our Mask Indicator.

Ah, that's what I want.

Like that.

We'll leave that on because I'm going to combine this with a Parametric Mask to hopefully eliminate the darker parts of the image by eliminating these trees.

That's as close as I'm going to get before I start getting into the buildings.

Let's try that.Now, I don't want to mess with the L too much -- maybe bring down the contrast just a little between the darker and the lighter areas so it's a little less interesting, but that's about it.

I want to do most of my work in the color channels.

Let's see: this is the brightest and darkest parts right there, so we'll bring that up a tiny bit and bring this down a little.

That knocks down our contrast a little.

Maybe bring everything down just a little.

There: we've got a little less contrast and it's a little less bright.

Now, let's get rid of the color -- bring that way down, even less than that, right next to the line here.

Same thing with the b Channel.

Alright, now our city is not competing with our trees.

What does our edge look like? Not too bad.

See, if you don't mess with your L Channel too much, you don't really get a lot of edge artifacts.

I really want to bring out these leaves.

There are a couple ways to do that.

I can selectively adjust those with the Tone Curve, and there's also this great tool here called Color Zones.

If I use the Eyedropper Tool on the Color Zones, I can sample these leaves and make adjustments to Saturation and Lightness.

But, if I want to use both the Tone Curve and the Color Zones, I need to be aware that the Color Zones shows up before the Tone Curves.

So, if I want to make adjustments to the Tone Curve, I must do it after I make my Color Zone adjustments.

So, let's sample this.

Eyedropper Tool.

It says we're bouncing right around in here.

So, let's bring this up.

This is our Saturation.

We want more.

Oh, look at that: nice.

And a little more Lightness.

We don't want that everywhere; we just want it here.

So, I will draw that on.

Now, I can use the Tone Curve to really pick out these leaves here.

Drawn Mask.

We'll get these leaves.

Turn on our Mask Indicator and combine this with a Parametric Mask.

Let's see what we can get rid of.

We want to get rid of everything but the leaves if possible.

Getting rid of these branches is a good start.

Let's zoom in and see.

I want to make sure we're not hitting these leaves.

I know how I can do that: turn of my Mask Indicator, Take Snapshot, and then turn back on my Mask Indicator.

Then I can be sure the yellow always covers my leaves as I try to avoid the branches and whatnot.

And it does; that's good.

I might be able to use the hue of the leaves.

Can't use the Eyedropper Tool when the Snapshot is live.

So, click once.

Eyedropper Tool right in there.

It says we're right around in the 50s.

It went from like 50 to 60.

So we'll turn on our Mask Indicator again.

Let's bring this down and bring this up.

Look, we've got mostly just the leaves.


A little bit of a Mask Blur there; 1 px ought to do it.

Now I can use this Eyedropper Tool and select these leaves.

Here we go.

And then bring this up.

There we go.

That's looking more like it.

Now I want to bring out the large-scale feel of this path.

I'll use the Lowpass Filter for that.

Bring up my Radius.

That feels good, right there.

I'll use a Drawn Mask.

Bring that down a little; there we go.

I want more of the effect closer to me, so I'll combine this with another Drawn Mask, like that.

Spin this one around.

I can use the Mask Manager to grab the tool I want.

It's really nice when you've got masks on top of each other.

I'll turn on our Mask Indicator.

The first one set to Union; second one set to Intersection.

There we go.

It fades from top to bottom and stays in this area; that's exactly what I wanted.

We have large pixels: 40.

I'll change this to Softlight Blend Mode.

This is with none of it, and this is with more of it.

I think I want more of it up here, so I'll bring this up.

Then I'll bring this one up too.

Before, and after.

Then I want to do it again but with a slightly smaller size.

Set my Saturation down to zero.

Bring my Radius right to this point.

I'm looking for the details in the snow so it looks more 3-dimensional.

Change my Blend Mode to Softlight.

Bring down the Opacity.

That's with none of it, and it looks good right about there.

Okay, and I want to pick out these larger details, like the tree and these trunks, and separate them from the back.

I'll use the Lowpass Filter to do that.

Set my Saturation down to zero, get my Radius set right, like that, to give me nice bold elements.

I'm way up to 20 px.

This time I'll use the Overlay Blend Mode.

That gives me a lot of contrast on these larger objects.

I like that, but I don't really like it here, so, once again a Drawn Mask.

We'll go like this.

Now it's not in the path so much, but just hitting these trees up here.

Okay, a little edge detection.

What this Highpass Filter does is give me more contrast right on these edges, kind of like a local contrast.

Speaking of edges, I want to hit the whole thing with an Unsharp Mask.

There we go.

Are we bright enough? We'll do some final Tone Curve adjustments.

This part should be pretty bright.

And set our Black Point.

I want even a little more color here.

I already have a lot of yellow.

There we go.

The town has a little more color than I wanted, so I'll turn it down just a bit more.

I'll bring these all the way down to the line.

I really want to de-saturate that background.

There we go.

Let's see where we started with.

That's where we started, and this is where we're at.

I'm trying to think outside the box today.

It's a fun thing to do once in a while.

(Mouse's voice) Nice edits, and fun to do something new.

I particularly liked that both of those images had paths in them, drawing you into the picture.

Thank you again, Elias and Aleksandr, for your contributions.

Everyone: send us your suggestions.

We need to know what you want to learn about.

What are your challenges? A lot of our shows have been direct responses to viewer questions.

For example: Red Hair.

Fernando asked us a question about skin tones and we made a whole episode.

Or Lab Color Charts: that one was two or three questions that we got.

Some of the tools in Darktable are so familiar that we forget what questions we ourselves once asked, so we need you to ask them.

It's so important to us that we've included this link right on the Home Page, down in Resources.

Go to Show Suggestions and there's an email link there.

Email us! Let us know what you want to know.

While you're communicating with us -- we are ALL OVER the internet! Find us on Facebook at Harry Durgin Photography, where we post not only the Weekly Edit posts, but also Shoot with Harry.

Whenever we do a new blog post, those go up on our Facebook page too.

You can Comment just like on any other Facebook.

Write us a comment.

We're also on Google+, of course.

And on YouTube, where you can leave us a comment right there: Add a Public Comment.

And on Patreon, where we post every week on Wednesdays.

You can write a comment to us right there, or, since you're on the page anyway, you can Become a Patron.

Support us; support the show.

Again, thank you for watching; thank you for contributing and writing to us.

We hope to hear from you, and we'll see you next week.

A hui hou.

Shot of the Year 2016

Reflections – Compositing in Threes

Our favorite shot of the year, hoarded away in RAW to savor as a treat on New Year's Eve. This is a shot of the Milky Way reflected in a lake, taken on a midnight hike high in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.
We break it up into three sections, treating the lake, the land, and sky each as a separate image. Then we assemble them using the Watermark Module and finish processing the image as a whole.
This video builds on knowledge from previous videos, running full-tilt through tools and methods to achieve the edit. For fuller explanations, return to the Home Page and scroll down to Topics Discussed or Modules Used on the right-hand bar. Click on any of these, and we assemble a complete playlist of every instance for quick review right here on the site.

Hurricane Pass RAW

Complete Show Text

Download complete text here

(coast of Hawaii Island near Pahoa)
(lava ocean entry at Kamokuna)

Aloha and welcome to Weekly Edit's first edition of the new year, Wednesday, January 4, 2017.

We are recording this on New Year's Eve, as Hawaii gets ready to bring in the new year and chase out the old year.

Harry has a special edit to share with you this week.

It's one from the mountains of Colorado, a midnight hike he took with a friend.

It's a single shot, lit only by starlight.

The challenge will be the balance between detail and noise reduction.

I hope you enjoy it as much as he has.

(Harry's voice) In this image, I've got really dark mountains because they're only lit by the stars.

The area down here, which is a lake, also is brighter.

I have different colors in the sky because of the airglow and because of the light from the city of Durango.

So, I need to break this image into three parts.

I'll give the sky one treatment, the mountains another, and the water a third treatment.

I've made copies of this image and put them in different directories that I've called 'sky', and 'earth' and 'water.' I'll process each of them separately and combine them using compositing.

There is a lot of glow here from the city; we'll have to deal with that.

And we have a lot of noise.

When I bring out the mountains, it will be a lot of noise.

I'll use this feature called Fusion, which takes various exposures and blends them together with an HDR-like technique.

There is Two Exposures.

And you've got this Exposure Shift, too, which lets you push this.

I don't know how that will look different from using Three Exposures with a different Exposure Shift, so I'll take a Snapshot.

I'll go with Three Exposures for this side and try to match the level.

Does it look any different? No, not really.

It looks a little different in the sky, but I'm not going to use this sky, so it doesn't really matter.

It looks like it doesn't matter which one I use.

Well, things are brighter.

We've got some sensor noise here.

I can deal with that with a Tone Curve.

We've got a lot of noise in this, a lot of noise.

And these mountains look flat; I want to be able to discern the contours in the mountains.

How can I do that? It looks like I should get rid of as much of the noise as possible and then work on those contours so that I don't exaggerate the noise when I do that.

The Denoise (profiled) gives us this pattern.

I can get rid of some of that pattern by decreasing my Patch Size; that helps, but we still have this crazy pattern.

If I turn up the Strength, I can get rid of that pattern.

Right about like that: 2.481.

We're getting this crazy green-red-green-red pattern also.

Maybe we should split off the Color and the Lumanance Channel on this Denoising.

So, that Non-local Means I used on the L Channel.

Now I'll knock down this color noise with a separate instance.

I'll use Wavelets for that.

Now we'll do that on the Color Channel.

We can probably knock down the Strength some.

Whoa: too much.

We still have this leftover gunk.

I don't think I can get rid of it.

Even when I turn up the Strength, it doesn't go away.

I don't see any improvement past 1.7, so I'll leave it there.

I will deal with this separately.

Maybe I can use the Equalizer to get rid of some of that.

Let's see.

Yeah, that gets rid of some of it.

Maybe some of it's in the Color Channel.

That didn't go away.

Let's try Lowpass Filter.

Set the Radius way down, and bring it up slowly until we get rid of that noise.

There we go.

Now the noise is blended in.

I'll see if I can just apply that to the Color Channel.

No, I've still got it in there.

It looks better, there's less of it, but it's not all gone.

One more pass.

I'll make the Radius as small as possible: 1.2px.

That will make everything soft.

It gets rid of a lot of the noise, though.

I'll turn on Hot Pixel detection.

Detect by 3 Neighbors is the way to go.

I'll turn on Chromatic Aberrations correction.

Now I'll save this.

Hopefully, that will give me a lower-noise version to work with.

Then I'll work on enhancing contours and things like that.

Okay, I put it in the right place: Reflections/earth TIFF.

Create Unique Filename.

I'm working in Adobe.


Okay, let's see what we can do with this.

There is a lot less noise now: good.

Maybe the Equalizer can help us bring out some of these details in here.

Okay, that looks pretty good.

I can increase the Edges on some of these.

That gets a little more definition.

Maybe a little color too? Nice.

Oh, I want to do something about this sensor noise here.

I don't worry about this sensor noise down here; I'm only working on the mountains right now.

That looks better.


I want to see more contours in the mountains and bring out more shapes.

I think the Lowpass Filter is our best bet.

Set the Saturation down to zero and get my Radius so I get the features I want.

Softlight Blend Mode is the ticket.

That's before, and that's after.

Now my valleys look a little deeper.

I want more contrast.

I should finish sharpening and then add contrast, because the sharpening will add SOME contrast.

I'll bring out a little more contours and features with the Highpass Filter, then I'll use a Highpass Filter to add some contrast too.

For the contours, I'll just use an L-Mask with a Softlight Blend Mode.

What I'm doing is bringing out these little rounded areas.

You can see the size of the features that I'm accentuating.

Then, with the Softlight, it adds these tones.

That's before, and that's after.

It gives me a little more of these fine-grained tones.

Now the sharpening part.

I want to bring my Sharpness way down until I'm just getting the sizes I want, like these little rocks.

Then I'll bring my Contrast down so I'm not getting any of that noise.

I'm just looking for edges.

The trick here is the Overlay Method.

Then I'll have to turn down the Opacity; it's too much.

Right about there: 32%.

What else? It's a little too bright.

It's night time, so it should be dark, not light.

This is awfully light back here.

I'll take care of this first, and then worry about how light the whole thing is.

That looks better.I don't really care about the sky because I'm not using this sky.

It's still a little bright right in here, like it could have a little more contrast.

I'll do another instance.

That looks better to me.

The whole thing is a little bright, so I'll bring this down a little.

There we go; that looks more like a night time shot.

So, I'll crop it so we've just got the part we want.

I think that's as good as we'll get.

Okay, let's start on the sky.

Base Curve.

Do we want to use any of this Fusion? I don't know; let's see.

That looks pretty cool.

I'll take a Snapshot.

Change that to None and compare.

I think the original is better (laughing).

I've got more delineation between the Milky Way and the rest of the sky on the original.

I've got vignetting up here in the corners from my lens.

I made a Preset for my lens that gets rid of most of it.

It has this size and shape, and then it adds a little Brightness and keeps the Saturation at 1.000 It looks like I could use a little more Brightness on this one, so I pushed it up to 0.200.

These lights of the city down here are too bright.

Let's knock them down before we do anything else.

Probably centered right about there Let's concentrate on this, right there Uh-oh; this starts to look dark.

Alright, I've added back in a little contrast and knocked down the brightness a little.

Speaking of brightness, the center of the Milky Way looks a little bright to me, so I'll knock that down too.

There we go.

One of the things I'd like to do is: some of these bigger stars got totally burned out.

See that? I want to get rid of the fringing around the outside, this purple fringing, and make these larger stars a little smaller.

So, Lowpass Filter.

Now, for the fringing: I'll use a Parametric Mask.

That fringing has got an awful deep color, so I'll use the C Channel.

Turn on the Mask Indicator to see where I'm at.

Then I'll bring up these levels until only the most colorful parts of the image are selected.

See? It's got this down here too; I don't want to select that.

So, I'll combine it with a Drawn Mask and select this area.

Then reverse that.

Oh, it looks like I need to go out a little more.

Then a little Mask Blur around these.

Like that.

I'll turn off our Mask Indicator.

We've got these bright purples: that's what we're trying to affect.

So I'll turn my Saturation way down -- way, way, way, way down, like zero; that sounds good.


I still have quite a bit of purple in here.

I can take my Saturation negative.

That gets rid of it: perfect! Now our fringing is in check.

Did that affect our Milky Way in a negative way? No: good.

Now for these larger stars: let's fix them.

Oh, look; we still have some of this purple here.

I'll bring down this bottom one a little to see if I can pick that up.

It should be picking it up.

That's about as good as I'll get with that.

So, another version of the Lowpass Filter, and this time I'll set my Radius to, like, one and a half pixels or so.

That fills in the inside of the star with the color around the edge.

Now I'll change my Blend method to Darken only, so it won't affect the outside.

It just affects the insides of these stars.

And I don't want to do it on the smaller stars; I just want to do it on the brighter stars.

I'll use this with a Parametric Mask based on the L Channel and then I'll select for the brighter stars.

There they are.

Give it a little Mask Blur.

A couple of pixels there.

There we go; that knocks down these bigger stars a little.

Okay, before we started messing around, we had this purple fringing and these bigger stars were burned out in the middle.

Afterward, we've knocked down our fringing and our stars look better.

That worked out pretty well.

Let's do a Highpass and see if we can bring up some of these lighter stars.

I want to avoid the brighter stars, so once again I'll use a Parametric Mask based on the L Channel, turn on my Mask Indicator.

This time I'm excluding the brighter stars instead of specifically including them.

So, this is where I'm at.

I'll give it a little bit of a Mask Blur, not much: half a pixel.

Then I want to increase the Sharpness for these smaller stars, but not the noise.

There we go: like that.

Then I'll use Overlay Blend Mode.

Let's see what that looks like.

I might need a little more Contrast here.

That's bringing up the noise too; I don't want to do that.

If I can exclude the sky but include the lighter stars, that would be better.

Then maybe a little Mask Blur.

If this doesn't work, I won't do it at all.

I'm not getting good results with that.

Try the Equalizer.

Okay, we'll bring that up a little.

Once again, I want to exclude the brighter stars.

Let's see if we can do that.

That's probably messing with the Milky Way, isn't it? Right in the middle.

Does that do anything, though? Did that hurt the Milky Way at all? No, it doesn't.


Then I want to knock down this noise some.

Maybe we can do that right here.

Oh, that looks better.

A little bit of this Chroma noise too.


The Milky Way still looks good too.

I want to get a little more impact on the Milky Way itself now.

I'll do another instance of the Equalizer, and I want to work on these larger values here.

That brings out these larger structures of the Milky Way, too: nice.

And how about this next one up? Oh, that looks good too.

Maybe the Chroma also? That looks good.

The Milky Way is looking pretty gold to me.

I think it needs to be more blue.

I'll knock this down some.

There we go.

That's starting to be more of what I'm looking for.

And I think we can go a little brighter.

Oh, I don't want it to look too crunchy.

Hey, that looks good.

As a matter of fact, I wonder if I could get deeper colors and knock down my highlights by just using a Subtract method instead.

We'll use a Parametric Mask based on the L Channel.

Turn down our Opacity.

Use Subtract.

And bring this up slowly.

That knocks down our high end.

That looks pretty good; I think I like that even better.

And our noise looks pretty good.

Our stars look good.

Our fringing looks pretty good.

And we've got color.

I'll turn on Chromatic Aberration control and Hot Pixels, and Export this one.


This one's going into 'sky' Same thing: TIFF, 16-bit, go.

Now, the last one is the water.



Okay, Base Curve.

Let's look at our Fusion here.

Two Exposures, and Exposure Shift.

Oh, nice: I can see the Milky Way nicely in the water now.

I don't care about the sky and I don't care about the mountains; I only care about the water in this one.

I want to show the Milky Way more; I want to control noise.

Yeah; there's a bunch of noise.

Let's see what we can do about the noise first.

Now, this one doesn't have sharp edges because it's in the water.

Maybe we can get by with the Wavelets.

That gives a real shiny look.

Can we bring down the Strength some and still be okay? That's the limit.

Then can we use the Equalizer to finish? No, maybe not.

Well, we know we can do it with the Lowpass Filter.

1.8px Alright.

Let's try to bring out the Milky Way.

Oh, that works.

So does that: nice.

And that one too: great.

Okay, how about on Color? Then I want some Edges too.

This is looking better down here; I like it.

Now, we had to make a color adjustment to the sky, so we should make a similar color adjustment to the water because it has the Milky Way in it.

Like that; that looks good.

Maybe we could make this a little brighter still? Oh, I'm afraid I'll lose these stars if I do that.

Tone Curve maybe? Let's see.

Then, this looks a little bright towards this end, so another Tone Curve with a Drawn Mask.

Bring this down a little.

Oh, there we go; it was almost like I had to squint when I was looking at it.

That's looking better.

We've got our noise under control.

Let's turn on our Hot Pixels and Chromatic Aberrations control and Export that one too.

It is going into 'water' (Mouse's Voice) This week I'd like to share with you another Island photographer.

This woman, Leslie Gleim, is not just a photographer; she's an artist who uses photography.

That distinction is what sets her apart.

She inspires me.

She makes me look at her work.

This was her New Year's shot.

A depth, a complexity, a simplicity.

I really enjoy her work.

Check her out; she's only on Facebook.

She doesn't have a website.

Leslie Gleim Photography.

Enjoy it.

(Harry's voice) Let's take a look at our exports and make sure everything is good.

First, we can crop this: we only need the water.

Our black level looks good; our colors look good.

I bet we can get a little more color in here.

There we go; that looks better.

I think I'm good to go on this one.

Let's look at our 'earth' one.

It looks like there's not much contrast.

Okay, one more, just a simple contrast.

There we go: like that, and like that.

I don't want it to be black.

Okay, I think that's about it; it's about all I can do.

Maybe I can bring that down a little.

Oh, there we go, that looks a little more night-like.


We'll export this one first.

It will go here: .config/darktable/watermarks I'll save it as this tmp.jpg here.

I've got a pre-set I call Watermark that saves it there as tmp.jpg.

I've got to change that to Overwrite.

93? We'll see what size it is.

And I'll leave these sizes the same.

I might be able to increase this.

Okay, I've got a little script here.

Here's what it looks like.

It just looks for the most recent file that starts with tmp and converts that with Inkscape to tmp.svg That's all.

Then it reports back the size.

We'll run that.

Oh: 1.2M We can have that be a lot larger.

Let's see if we can increase the quality all the way.

Don't forget to Overwrite.

Yes! Great.

Now we'll go to our original image here, with the sky.

We want the Watermark module.

Here's our file.

Let's bring it down a little.

We'll set our Opacity down so we can do some aligning.

That looks like the hot ticket right there.

Now we'll use a Parametric Mask to separate it from the background.

Let's see: Blend method; Parametric Mask.

You know, sometimes it's nice to use the Gray scale instead of the Luminance Channel.

The Gray scale is based on a mixture of red green and blue that isn't equal amounts of each.

I don't know that it really matters a lot of times, but where it can really make a difference is that it goes from zero to 255, and the L one only goes from zero to 100.

You get finer granularity with the Gray.

So, when you get to the end, here, and you have very few numbers to work with, sometimes it's better to use that.

Let's see what the Mask looks like.

Well, that looks pretty good.

These look awful bright.

Let's give us a little blend there.

I don't want to include this area here, so I'll combine this with a Drawn Mask and just draw this out.

There, that looks better.

These mountains are awful bright.

Let's go back and fix the original.




Let's make these darker back here.

Tone Curve.

And Drawn Mask.

Let's try that.

I want these darks to come down the most.

Maybe I can bring this down a little bit too.

I don't want to lose contrast back there but it's so bright...

That's a little better.

Let's hit it again.

It's starting to look more like night time back there.

Now look: my Black Point is so off.

Let's see if we can fix that for the whole image.

There we go.

Alright, that's looking more like a night time scene.


Now we'll go back to our sky.

Did that replace it? Yeah, it did replace it with the new one, automatically: nice.

That's sweet how that works.

It still looks a little bright on top, so I'll feather this to get all of the pasting down here and then it drops off on top.

Maybe I can get rid of this and instead use this, like this.

That's what our Mask looks like.

Yeah, maybe like that.

Well, that looks pretty natural.

That helps with our transition here, too.

I'm happy with that.

Now all I have to do is save this and paste in the water.

I'll save this into the directory it's in now.



Tell it to give it a unique filename so it doesn't overwrite our original.

And it's a TIFF.


Let's get our water portion.

We'll create this one into a Watermark now.

Set the quality all the way up.

Since it's cropped, it might be just fine with that.

Oh, I should have hit Overwrite, just to keep my directory clean, but my code works either way.

That WAS under 8M Nice.


There we go.

So, we'll grab our most recent one here, which has our mountains.

Let's put our water in.

There we go.

Now we just need to not include the shoreline.

How are we going to do that? I guess we can use the L or G Channel.

Let's try and exclude that.

What does our shoreline look like here? That is not giving us enough differential, is it? Ah, that works better.


Then I want to exclude all of this stuff.

So, I'll combine it with a Drawn Mask and paint over this so it doesn't include it.

There we go.

Reverse the polarity on that.


We've got our shore edge here.

I'll give that a little Mask Blur so it fades in.

That worked out great.

I'm getting a little bit of an edge up here.

See that? I'll add more.

I can make this one bigger because I don't have to be right along the shore.

There we go: perfect.

Now I'll just do a second instance without an L Channel and catch this bottom part.

So, I'll Duplicate Instance and get rid of the Parametric Mask part, and just do a Drawn Mask.

And we don't want these ones; we want this bottom part.

We can make that smaller.

There we go.

Okay, now we've got our water, and we've got our mountains, and we've got our sky.

Everything is put together.

Let's do some final processing.

I'm going to Export it so that everything gets pushed together as a TIFF and once again Create Unique Filename.

I'll put it in the directory I'm working in, not the Watermark directory.

Here we are with our combined image.

Now, let's do final touches.

This part of the sky looks really dark.

I want to do something about that.

As a matter of fact, this whole top part looks pretty dark too.

Well, it looks like I'll be using the Tone Curve for a while here.

We'll hit these one at a time.

Make these blend areas big.

Too much.

Okay, that helps some.

Now the whole top looks like it's dark.

Let's see what it looks like.

This part here looks a little dark, and getting too colorful at the same time.

As a matter of fact, this whole top does.

Okay, so I'll make it a little brighter, but turn off Automatic and put it on Manual.

That will de-saturate it a little.

That helps with that saturation issue.

This looks a little low-contrast -- like the Black Point is off, right in this part.

This is all the kind of stuff that's really nice to do in the GIMP with the stylus.

Oh, this is starting to look better.

This looks a little dark down here too.

Reverse the direction and bring this up.

Wow, that was really dark down there.

Okay, how are we looking? It looks like this, right from here in here could be a little lower contrast, like the brighter parts are a little too bright and the darker parts are a little too dark.

Right about like that.


Mask Indicator.

And we need to go to our Mask Manager.

Cleanup Unused Shapes and this is Tone Curve #5, so we'll change the first one to Union and the second one to Intersection.

Then our Mask Indicator should show us...

There we go; that's the area I wanted.


Now I want to bring this up and this down.

Bring that up just a little.

And this green part here down.

Okay, that's looking better.

This is looking overly green in here.

See if I can make an adjustment for that.

I'm liking that better.

I'd like to bring out some of the large-scale detail in the Milky Way.

I think my best bet for that is probably the Equalizer tool.

Let's see what that looks like.

Yeah, that really helps in here.

Let's see what the next size down looks like.

Oh, it brings out some of these darker ones, doesn't it? And the next size down? Okay.

I think I want to do two passes.

I'll do one with this larger-scale stuff, but I want to do this Lighten only.

There we go.

Then I want to catch some of these mid-scale ones Darken only.

So, a new instance.

Go to Luma.

And bring this up.


A little bit of that.



Darken only.

Let's look at that.

That was before.

That's after.

I like that.

I don't like it down here, though.

Look: I've got halos and it looks cartoonish.

So, on both of these, I'll use a Drawn Mask and keep it away from these high-contrast areas.

There we go.

Drawn Mask.

And I'll use that same one.

Okay, what else? The whole image is a little dark.

I think I can brighten it up some.

Look at this edge here: it sure looks like I can brighten it up.

I think I want to do my final adjustments, though, with Black point and White point, when I'm all done.

Let's look at our stars, though, and see how they look.

They still look a little noisy up here.

I wonder if we can do a little color smoothing to help that out.

Take our Radius down; go to our Color Channel only; bring our Radius up a little.

Well, it doesn't hurt our Milky Way, does it? And it definitely puts that noise in check, and gets rid of some of the fringing too.

Okay, I'm happy with that.

We can get more of the large-scale features by using Overlay Blend Mode.

Let's do that.

I'll turn my Saturation way down.

See these features? Let's emphasize them.

Bring our size up, like that.

That looks good.


Then change my Blend Mode to Overlay.

I'll try increasing my Brightness some.

Then, I don't want all of it; I just want to use a little.

That says 35% Here's before, and there's after.

It's a bit much in these brighter areas.

I'll combine it with a Parametric Mask and bring down the brighter ones a little.



Before, and after.

Oh, I think we can do it more now.

And maybe a little smaller Radius.

Bring the Brightness down.

Now let's see our before and after.

Before, and after.

That makes it more dramatic.

I'd like to get some more color in the Milky Way.

I'll use the Equalizer Tool.

So, Chroma Channel and let's try some of these larger sizes.

Oh, look at that: that's beautiful.

I like that.

Then bring it back down a little.

Okay, it's way heavy in here, so let's use a Drawn Mask.

I like it.

Okay, I'll save everything, then change my White point and dark point, and then I think I'm done.




Unique Filename.

Here we go.

Okay, bring up my brightness a little.

I'm pretty happy with my dark point.

It's right there.

Have I got some purple fringing? No, not really; I don't.

Well, a little bit.

A little bit of purple fringing.

Once again, I think we can hit it with this.

I know we did this once before.

C Channel.

Take these brighter parts, this way.

There we go.

Those fringe parts right there.

Mask Blur, a little.

And I hope we're not into the Milky Way here.

No, we're not, but we've got this down here.

I don't mind knocking that down a little, though; that is a little bit much, isn't it? Let's see if it's too much, though.

Okay, turn off that and let's turn down our Saturation.

Oh, good: that got rid of a lot of that fringing.

And, before, and after.

Yes! Too much, though.

Bring up our Saturation a little.

Okay, now: what did it do down here? Oh, that doesn't work.

So, I'll combine that with a Drawn Mask and get rid of this.

There we go.

Everything else good? Maybe a final sharpening? Not much.


Hey, that was a great year! I'm so looking forward to 2017! (Mouse's voice) Aloha friends.

Thank you for bringing in the new year with us here at Weekly Edit.

This was a fun edit, and I'm glad we got to share it with you.

Speaking of sharing, we love it when you upload your Edit my RAW submissions.

Not only is it a challenge and part of the show, but it inspires us to do a little research, find out some new things to share with you, and it shows us glimpses of the world through your cameras.

It's nice to step outside ourselves and see what you are looking at.

And always, feel free to contact us: We always reply and we love to hear from you.

This week we got a fun share.

We showed up on a French Darktable website! This was thrilling for us.

We felt international.

It was cool to see ourselves in another language.

So: thank you to darktable-fr! Don't forget, you can find us on Patreon, where you can become a patron and support us.

You can also find out what our next week's show will be.

And we love to hear from you on YouTube! We get some great comments, and we really enjoy responding to them.

Again, we always respond -- and we love to hear from you.

So, please: send us your comments.

We'll see you next week on Weekly Edit! Aloha.

Story Telling with Panoramas

Akaka Falls

This week we create two stories with panoramas, each as different as the elements the images are taken from: fire and water.
In the first example, I use Bash scripting to pan through a tall waterfall panorama I created in Hugin. A slow pan conveys the journey of 442 feet, giving viewers the feeling of following a single strand of water from top to bottom of the falls.

Here is the code I used to make the frames in this video

typeset -Z4 c
seq 0 4901 |while read c; do
  convert akaka.jpg -crop 1920x1080+0+$c frames/$c.jpg

and here is the line that creates the movie from the frames

avconv -f image2 -r 60 -i frames/%04d.jpg -b:v 15000k video.avi

Waterfall RAW 1
Waterfall RAW 2
Waterfall RAW 3
Waterfall RAW 4
Waterfall RAW 5
Waterfall RAW 6
Waterfall RAW 7
Waterfall RAW 8

Waterfall XMP 1
Waterfall XMP 2
Waterfall XMP 3
Waterfall XMP 4
Waterfall XMP 5
Waterfall XMP 6
Waterfall XMP 7
Waterfall XMP 8

Kilauea Crater

The second, a night shot of our island's active volcano, is presented as a static panorama, but the story is one of ash travelling through the sky to create an orange moonrise. This story helps in directing my image processing choices. In this case, I am stitching a bracketed panorama because of the brilliance of the lava and the moon.

Kilauea RAW 1
Kilauea RAW 2
Kilauea RAW 3
Kilauea RAW 4
Kilauea RAW 5
Kilauea RAW 6
Kilauea RAW 7
Kilauea RAW 8
Kilauea RAW 9
Kilauea RAW 10
Kilauea RAW 11
Kilauea RAW 12

Kilauea XMP 1
Kilauea XMP 2
Kilauea XMP 3
Kilauea XMP 4
Kilauea XMP 5
Kilauea XMP 6
Kilauea XMP 7
Kilauea XMP 8
Kilauea XMP 9
Kilauea XMP 10
Kilauea XMP 11
Kilauea XMP 12

In both instances, I discuss considerations of preparing each frame in Darktable prior to stitching in Hugin. Then, after stitching, we come back to Darktable to make some final touches.

Complete Show Text

Download complete text here

Kilauea Crater from Jagger Overlook
Lokowaka Pond, Hilo Town
Pahoa shores

(Mouse's voice) Aloha and welcome to Weekly Edit for Wednesday, December 28, 2016.

This has been an exciting week for us here in Hawaii.

Winter storms gave us snow on both of our mountains.

The clouds parted to reveal this incredible winter wonderland up above.

It lasted all week long as we prepared for Christmas.

And the whales are back.

We love our whales in Hawaii.

They come every winter.

Christmas in Hawaii is like every other holiday here: way too much food, celebrated outside in joyous abundance with lots and lots of people, fun, laughter, and music.

It's beautiful.

This week we had some friends on the island, so Harry and I went to Akaka Falls State Park.

The main attraction is a free-falling waterfall 135 meters high.

For us in the States, that's 442 feet.

Water falls from the Kolekole Stream down this freefall, all the way down into a pool below, and eventually makes its way to the ocean.

The challenge in this image is to capture something new and fresh when there is only one place that you can stand and capture the image.

Hundreds of other photographers have stood in that very same spot, probably within the last hour, and attempted to put a fresh face on it.

In this week's Weekly Edit, Harry will show you how he did this: his attempt to convey the feeling he gets, standing there overlooking a waterfall of this magnitude falling with this force into its pool below.

I love that place.

If you want to read about our adventures, just go to, where we wrote it up.

We do a regular blog post about our adventures.

You can read the whole story of our day there.

It's a fun read that ends with a sunset picture from Akaka Falls.

The second picture Harry will be showing you how to edit is a different creative challenge.

We went up to Kilauea Crater, our active volcano's highest crater, and witnessed the Supermoon.

It was a gorgeous night.

There was lightning off in one direction.

The Supermoon was rising in another direction, and the volcano has been putting on quite a show, bubbling up high in the crater lately.

In this image, he captured not only the volcano crater, but the sweep of drama across the sky.

The pollution from the volcano contributes to the orange moonrise.

He'll show you how to stitch together that panorama.

(Harry's voice) When I took a picture of this waterfall, I didn't want the waterfall to look tiny by doing a normal wide or even portrait form-factor.

I just took pictures of it right in the center with 100mm lens.

The sky was extremely bright.

I did two exposures for the sky, hoping that Hugin would just take care of that for me.

I'll use Hugin for the stitching on this.

First I'll do a quick pass on each of the different frames, then export them to TIFFs, then have Hugin stitch them together.

Then I'll process the complete image at the end.

I'll start here and see where I can set my exposure, seeing if I can increase it to get more detail in these shadows.

I'll take a sample and add it down here to a Live Sample.

I'll change it to Max and RGB and watch each channel to be sure I don't clip any channels.

If I clip any of these channels, I'll get color shifting.

I'm using my normal Base Curve for my Sony A7 camera.

I'll check White Balance as soon as I get started on the exposure.

I'm getting up around 246 here on my red.

That's close to as far as I want to go.

Now I'll look at the White Balance and make some adjustments there.

Then, maybe I can get my exposure up a little more, or maybe I'll have to pull it back some.

Let's look at these greens.

They seem like they should be pretty yellow.

And these greens look like they should be pretty yellow too.

These ones may be a little more normal, maybe a little yellow.

We want to look at Lab and Mean.

We've got a little more than twice the green here.

This one and this one are a lot more yellow than green, so we do have to bring the yellow down some.

I'll lower the temperature and bring the green up just a little.

What values do we have now? They're getting closer: this one's about 50/50.

Let's look at our Color Chart to see where we're supposed to be at.

Foliage: here we are.

Yellowish should be...

...if our L Channel is around 60...

...what's our L Channel at? Well, this one's a little more than 60, and these are a little darker.

Then, our B should be up around 50 -- 40 to 60 -- and our A should be somewhere around -20 to -30.

40 to 60 and -30.

I guess we're close.

That looks pretty good to me.

Now, how about the water? How does that look? Oh,that's really red! What can I do about that? There's not that much distance in the L Channel between the water and the lighter foliage.

This one's at 68; this one's at 82.

I'll have to use a Drawn & Parameteric Mask and adjust the color of the water with the Tone Curve.

So, Drawn & Parametric.

We'll do a really simple Drawn Mask; we just need to separate it from the foliage, that's all.

Then we'll turn on a Mask Indicator and bring up our Inputs.

There we go.

Feather our edges and Mask Blur that.

That looks good.

Now B Channel.

Get rid of this mid-point.

and bring down the amount of yellow.

I'm looking at this number right here.

This value here, when we started, was eight.

I want to bring it closer to zero.

There we go.

Before, and after.


While we're at it, let's bring out more detail in the water.

Yes, just like that.

I'll have to slightly modify this drawn area from frame to frame, but I feel like we're on the right track.

What else would we want to do here? A little noise reduction would be good.

Even though I shot this at 100 ISO, I can see a need for noise reduction in the fine mist.

If I just use Non-local Means Denoise (profiled), it comes on too strong.

I'm losing some detail.

I'll turn the Strength all the way down and slowly bring it up.

That's close.

That's good enough there, although it looks like we now have a moire pattern here.

If I increase the Strength one more notch to 0.2, it goes away.

Okay, so 0.2 with the Non-local Means.

I want to bring out some detail in these deep shadows here.

The Tone Mapping Module might be the ticket for that, but let's try the Shadows and Highlights.

We'll adjust our Soften With to Bilateral Filter.

Yes, we've got some detail in there.

That looks pretty good.

I'll turn my Shadows all the way up so I can see where it's affecting, then turn my Compress up to exclude these brighter areas.

Now it's only affecting these areas.


Increasing my Radius a little helps.

I've got it up to 130.

Now I can turn my Shadows back down.

You know, I do like that, but I don't want it to happen here.

I'll apply this with a Parametric Mask so it really only happens in the very darkest parts.

Like that.

It did a nice job in here.

That worked.

Did that affect our highlights at all? I want to turn that off for Highlights.

I'm afraid that having it on makes the brightest ones get knocked down a little, and that decreases contrast and definition in the waterfall.

So, I don't want it on.

What else? Chromatic Aberrations should be corrected for, and that should do it before I try these same settings on each frame as we go up the scene.

I'll Copy All and apply it to the next one.

I need to go in to my Tone Curve and change the shape of this Drawn Mask to suit the water in this frame.

I'll have to do this for each frame.

It looks like I could increase my Exposure a little, doesn't it? We'll keep going up the scene and see if that's the case.

If it is, we can make a global adjustment to all of them.

Yes, we're clipping here.

Okay, I'll have to bring it back down from where it is on the bottom, even, then.

That looks good enough.

I've got a couple of spots in here, but it's not so bad.

And I don't care about this because I've got a second shot of the sky that I hope Hugin will sort out for me.

I'm down to 0.69, so I'll apply that to all of them.

I'll go to Copy, select None, and then only the Exposure, and paste that to these two.

Hopefully that didn't change our Parametric Mask for Shadows and Highlights.

Let's see.

It still looks good.

Now I can Copy the History Stack and apply it to this one and re-draw my Mask for the Tone Curve.

You'll see your History gets really long because it keeps adding them, but if you have the history compressed, it goes down to just the few items that were selected, so that's deceptive.

In this one, I don't need that Tone Curve at all.

Now I want to apply all these settings from this one to this one, but I want to make a slight change.

I want to increase the brightness of the foliage as much as possible so that the boundary between the sky and the foliage here, and the sky and the foliage here, matches better, as long as I don't clip the sky at all.

Let's do that.

We'll Copy All; Paste All to this one.

I already have a little bit of clipping here and here.

That makes it really tricky.

One of the things I can do is find out where these spots are and pin that.

Maybe even pin it down here.

Then bring up these, like that.

So, we haven't clipped our sky, but we've brightened up our trees so that this transition will hopefully match up better.

I'll export all of these and then we'll put them together with Hugin.

Okay, our exporting is all done.

Let's load our images into Hugin.

Shot with 100mm.

Focal Length Multiplier is one.

If it was a crop factor, it would be at 1.6.

And Link Position because I did multiple shots of that top part for an HDR type of blend.

Now I click Align.

That happened really quickly.

Very good fit: I like that.

And, just with the default settings, I'm pretty happy.

So, I'll say Create Panorama.

I don't need both because it's giving me an option for a low dynamic range AND a fused; I only want the fused one.

It says my height is 12000 px and my width is 3800 px; that sounds great.

This is going to take a little while, so I'll come back when it's done.

Since this is going to take a while, let's get started on our second panorama.

This one also tells a story.

The wind was out of the southwest.

It was blowing the volcanic ash from Kilauea Crater to the northeast towards the moonrise.

It made the moon colorful.

I want to show the association between the lava lake and the rising moon.

And I definitely want to bring out the stars.

This one I shot bracketed because the moon and the lava are both so much brighter than the stars.

I have a 1-second exposure, an eighth of a second exposure, and an eight-second exposure.

Eight seconds will be a little light for bringing out the stars.

I think I shot this at F1.8, if I recall.

It's a manual lens, so it didn't store the data, but I think this one was at F1.8.

At F1.4, the stars come out a little large, and they come out a lot sharper at F1.8.

So, I lose a little light, but I think it's worth it.

Even with the bracketing, the lava is pretty bright.

I'll have a hard time getting any definition in there: probably the same thing for the moon, too.

These are our brightest spots, so let's look at them to see what we can do.

Can we bring our Exposure down just a little on these brightest points and gain anything? It seems like we lose so much on the stars...

That's tough.

Maybe the best way to do this is to select large areas and have it adjust those with the Lowpass Filter and an Overlay Blend Mode.

I'll change that back to Normal so I can see it.

If I make it nice and big, maybe, like that, it won't darken the stars at all.

So, Blend Mode down to Overlay and Contrast to negative.

Well, that knocks down the moon a little and actually gives us more stars instead of less.

I didn't do much, just -0.2; I don't want it to look exaggerated.

Let's see what else is going on here.

We've got a lot of noise, so I want to look at Demosaic first.

Can we do better with Color Smoothing? That doesn't look much different.

How about with VNG4? That looks smoother.

If I turn off Color Smoothing? The grain gets a little larger then.

Yeah, okay, that looks like the best: just VNG4 and Four Times.

I've got my Base Curve on so that my colors are right.

I want to correct for Chromatic Aberrations, but I'm going to just use the Chromatic Aberration Correction and then see what it looks like in the output and determine if anything additional is needed.

I'd like to give the stars a little more shape and I want to get rid of all this noise.

On night sky images, I find that I usually use the Wavelets.

This is with the Non-local Means.

And you get these big blotches.

With the Wavelets it comes out so much smoother, doesn't it? You can even turn down the Strength some.

Like that.

Now I've got this really fine grain, I can probably bring that out with the Equalizer.

I'll bring up two of these, like that, get rid of the grain, and then bring the size of this area under the curve over to the right as far as I can before I start getting that noise back.

Right about there.

I'll try to get a little more of the stars.

Not too much.

With the Highpass, I can look for small things, like that, and bring my Contrast down.

There we go.

Apply that with the Softlight Blend Mode.

What does that do to our stars? It gives us a little larger and brighter stars, a little more definition.

See around the edges, though, I've got some dark halo-ing? I think if I change it to a Parametric Mask and tell it to exclude places, not where it starts off darker, but where it ends up darker, I can get rid of some of that halo-ing.

Like that.

That looks better.

Now I'll apply this to each of the frames and see if I have any problems.

History Stack, Copy All.


Invert Selection.

History Stack, Paste All.

Then let's take a quick look through these to see what they look like.

What do these stars look like? They look pretty good.

The noise level? And in the clouds? How about on these brighter stars? I think we're doing well.

Now, I had a specular highlight there, and I wanted to Now, I had a specular highlight there, and I wanted to try and key on that.

Hugin probably won't have a problem with it, but if I was going to have a problem with this right there, I could probably just get rid of this.

It looks like a specular highlight from light bouncing around inside my lens.

Spot Removal.

I can see it there, so that's a bad spot to have chosen.

That's a tough one.

Maybe I don't want it to replace it where it's the background is the same color.

So, I can use a Parametric Mask with that and eliminate the darker parts.

Oh, that looks better.

They all look good now.

I'll export them all, and we'll import them with Hugin.

Let's see how our stitch is going on the waterfall.

It's still plodding along.

Alright, I'll be back soon.

Now we're done exporting, and our first stitch is done.

Let's start our second stitch.

24mm on this one.

'Four unconnected image groups' Does that mean we'll have to align these by hand? Hmmm.

Let's try using the Multirow/stacked version of Cpfind and see if that does better.

Alright, let's see how that looks.

That came out wonderfully.

This is 7000px by 2300px.

Fused from stacks sounds good to me.

I'd like a little more resolution actually, so I'll set the height to 4000px.

There we go.

Okay, that's 12000 by 4000; that's better.

And there we go.

While we're waiting for that to run, let's see how our waterfall turned out.

That looks pretty good.

How did the border turn out? Not too bad.

It looks like there was some wind blowing the tops of the trees here.

Too bad.

This looks too colored.

I don't know if it's supposed to have that much color in it.

The waterfall looks perfect; I like that.

Let's see what color is going on up in the sky.

Very yellow.

I'll combine that with a Drawn Mask.

There, now we're only affecting the sky.

We probably want to give it some Mask Blur too.


And it's the yellow that's the problem right there.

I'm looking down here.

It looks like we're pretty neutral right now.

I want to give it some color separation though.

I'll steepen both of these quite a bit.

There we go.

Now we're getting areas of yellow and blue.

The sky has a little bit of magenta in it, and we don't have any here.

But not much, because this is cloudy, so just a tiny bit.

There we go: 0.1; ...and -0.3.

That looks good.

I want a little color contrast in the foliage.

I'll sample the foliage, figure out what colors it has, and steepen that range.

Once again, a Tone Curve.

Eyedropper Tool.

Change it to Area.

Let's pick from there to there.

I don't really want these stems though: just the leaves.

So, maybe from there to there.

And THIS looks better.

That looks like a good range.

I don't have a lot of dark stems: good.

Here's our A and our B.

I want to increase the contrast across this range, here, and this one seems to go right to the center point.

I'll bring that up a little.

Then, on this one, I'll lock this point in so it doesn't go up, and bring this one up.

There, that gives us a little more color and gives us more color contrast in our foliage.

How does it look down here? It looks good there too.

And over here? I think we're okay.

I think this foliage here is too bright though.

I'll have to do something about that.

How can I separate that? I don't want to get the waterfall.

Maybe if I look at the chromaticity.

Yes, that works.

I always like to give a little bit of a Mask Blur when I'm working with the L Channel.

Then I'll bring this down a little so it's got a little less contrast and doesn't stand out so much.

That's what I had in mind.

It looks like it worked out quite well.

I'd like to bring out some larger details like the individual trees.

We can use the Equalizer to do that.

I can look at what size is being affected by the Equalizer by giving myself a little bit of a gamma adjustment.

Then go to the Equalizer and change the Blend Mode to Difference.

As I bring these up, I can see what's going on.

Wow, even the largest setting gets pretty fine detail.

Yes, I want to get individual trees.

Those are too small.

Okay, I'm not going to use the Equalizer.

I'll use Lowpass Filter.

Turn my Saturation all the way down.

Bring my Radius up.

I think that's the size objects I want.

Use the Softlight Blend Mode.

There's our before and there's our after.

It gives us more contours in the trees.

I want to do that again.

Take my Saturation down and bring my Radius up.

There we go.

These size details are the ones I want to bring out.

Once again: Softlight.

Okay, I like this now.

This was before I applied the Softlight Blend Modes.

And this is after.

We've got more depth.


How is our water looking? It looks like I could get more definition in there.

I'll try the Highpass Filter.

I'll apply that with a Parametric Mask to just do it in the water and the Softlight Blend Mode.

How does that look? It brings out a lot in the water, maybe even too much.

I'll bring it down a little.

Now, I said I'm going to use a Parametric Mask to just do the waterfall.

Parametric & Drawn.

Turn on our Mask Indicator.

Then I'll just draw this in like that and use the L Channel to isolate it to just the waterfall.

There we go.

And a little bit of a Mask Blur on this.

I know it's just a soft blend mode, but it looked like some of the edges on the water were sharp.

There's our before and there's our after.

That brings out some detail there; that's nice.

I like it.

The only other thing I'd like to do: this edge of the canyon looks a little light; I think it should darken as it goes away.

I want to darken this up a little to finish.

Then we'll work on making our movie.

There, that looks like what I had in mind.

Can I bring out any more contrast in these clouds? They look a little boring.

I don't know.

Pin this edge, and maybe bring this edge down? Then these back up to where they were.

I like that sky better.

Lastly, it feels like the whole image could use a little positive gamma.

And a little contrast, not much.

There we go.

This top part here is still low in contrast.

I want to change the Black Point up there on that whole top.

That looks more natural.

I'll export this to a JPG with the highest resolution I can, but with the width at 1920.

Then we'll set up a quick script to crop it and make a movie for us.

Here we go.

This is my final output, so I'm converting to sRGB, and my Intent is always Perceptual.

Alright, our image is saved.

We can look at the size with the exiftool.

It says here it is 6195, so: echo 6195 and 1080 minus print.

I'll just subtract it here with dc.

Let's see.

Okay, it's 5115px high, so we need to use a command called typeset and the reason is that we're going to use AV Convert (avconv) to create the movie.

It wants 0-padded frame names.

So, if I do, for instance sequence from 0 to 10 (seq 0 10), it will give me without 0-padding.

But, if I do 'typeset -Z4 c' and then...

then you'll see that they're all 0-padded now.

Anything, any value that c gets will always be 0-padded.

We wanted 5115, so we'll do sequence from 0 to 5114 and type that into a while read c; do, and we're going to use convert.

And our original image is called akaka.jpg and we're going to crop.

We'll crop at 1920 by 1080, and our x-value won't change; it will stay at zero.

Our y-value will just be the c-value; it doesn't matter if it's 0-padded for this.

Then we'll name it.

We'll put it in our frames directory.

We'll name it $c.jpg and we'll have it echo c so we'll know where we're at while it does it.

There it goes.

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(Harry's voice) Yay! Our lava stitch is done.

Let's see how that turned out.

Oh, that turned out sweet.

This area over here needs more contrast, and there are some crazy colors going on in here.

Yes, right in here.

And over here.

Let's see what we can do about that.

First, let's sample this area.

And let's sample an area next to it.

What's different? Well, the B and the L look similar, but the A is vastly different.

It looks like the A Channel needs to be warmed up.

Well, if they've got such different A Channel, it would have a different hue, so I can use a Parametric Mask based on hue to separate that out.

We'll turn on our Mask Indicator.

First, we'll put the Eyedropper Tool right here.

Center our hue there.

Turn on our Mask Indicator, and then tighten this up until we get the areas we want.

There we go.

Then I'll combine that with the Drawn Mask.

That looks like the right area.

And a Mask Blur.

Now, it was a little dark and a little low on the A.

Let's sample that.

Right there.

Alright; this one.

It's the pink, not the green.

Bring that up a little bit.

Bring up the L a little bit.

And a little bit of B, not much.

Well, that certainly looks better.

Let's see if we can do something similar right in here and warm that up a little.

Okay, sample these two: this area right in here, and this area off to the side.

What have we got different? Well, our L is about the same, and our B is about the same, and once again, the A Channel is different.

So, let's go to our A Channel and bring that up a little bit.

That looks better.

Okay: adding some contrast off to the side.

Right about like that.

That looks better.

It looks like the Black Point of the entire sky is a little off.

I'll just take one nice big gradient, like that.

A little bit more of this.


Let's see what our stars look like.

They look pretty good.

We don't have a lot of colors in our stars, and it looks like these colors here could use something.

I think we can add some drama and darken up these brighter areas by using a Subtract Blend Mode and a Parametric Mask, so we'll base it on the L Channel and go for these brighter areas.

Right about there looks good.

I want to brighten up this area again.

I'll hit it one more time.

Let's see: right from there.

I'm trying to match this transition zone here so it doesn't look odd.

Oh, that got a little too bright.

That looks just right.

I'd like for the clouds on this side to have a little less color.

I know there's a lot of glow from the lava, but I want to tell the story of the color going from here to here.

There we go.


And then let's sample these.

It's a lot of yellow, and a little bit of red.

We could probably bring these down a little.

There, that looks more natural.

And this looks a little bright over here.

Let's see if we can bring that down a little.


I want to see if I can get a little more definition in these clouds by using a Lowpass Filter.

I set up a pre-set here; it's just got the Contrast turned down a little and the Brightness turned up a little.

I can adjust my Radius and see if I can get some of these clouds to pop a little more.

That was around 10px.

I'll use a Softlight Blend Mode.

Let's see what that looks like.


That gives us a little more definition in our clouds.

I think I'd like these clouds to pop a little more over here, but I'd like for the sky to be a little darker.

I often find that there are regions like this that need hand-holding because when you're doing a panorama, the lighting is slightly different at different points along the panorama.

I wanted to bring that down a little bit.

And I want to bring this up a little.

I'd like for the effect to get stronger as you go up, so I'll combine this with a Gradient Mask.

So, another shape.

And we'll add this Gradient here.

We'll have it go from less down here to more at the top.

Then we'll need to combine these two masks together.

We'll go to the Mask Manager.

And this is on Tone Curve 8, so we'll open up Tone Curve 8, take that first one, change it to Union; take the second one and change it to Intersection.

Let's turn on our Mask Indicator and see what it looks like.

This is what I had in mind.

It's that shape I delineated, but more of the effect occurs at the top and less at the bottom.

I still want some of the effect at the bottom, so I'll make it a little bigger.


Now it fades from some to more.

I'll turn off my Mask Indicator.

There we go.

Before, and after.

It adds a little more contrast and matches our sky colors better over here.

This looks a little bright over here still in the sky.

I think that might be my final adjustment for tones.

A nice, soft edge here.

And, like that.


It's this sky I want to bring down some.

There, that matches better.

Okay, I want the stars to pop better.

And I might be done after that.

I'll use the Highpass Filter for that.

No, actually, I think I could do that with the Equalizer and use the Lighten Blend Mode.

Let's see: I'm on the Luma Channel.

That gives me more brightness in the stars because it's doing it by size.

How about this? Yeah, that one does too.

So, both of those.

Okay, but I don't want these dark halos around the stars, so I'm going to go down here to Uniformly Blend Mode and Lighten only.

So, it lightened the stars, but it didn't create the halos.

I can do the same thing with a little color too.

Give me a little more color in those stars.

Before, and after.

Now, how does that make the rest of the image look, though? That doesn't look bad; okay.

And, these clouds: I think I can make these clouds pop better, especially right here.

I'll use the Lowpass Filter for that.

Let's try that.

That looks like the right size.

Okay, I'll apply this with an Overlay Method, and I'll have to turn down the Opacity, then bring it up a little bit.

Not too much; this one's really powerful.

33% looks pretty good.

Before, it looks a little soft; now we've got a little more definition.

Good, we're done! Alright, we're all done processing frames on our waterfall.

Now, let's put them together.

AV convert, minus f for 'format' and 'image2' is what you want.

Now, minus r for the frame rate; I'll set it at 60 frames per second.

Minus i for your input, and we put these in a directory called frames, and they were four-digit, 0-padded, and they were JPGs.

Now the quality: minus b: video quality 15000k, and then the output: video.avi Now our video is done generating.

Let's see what it looks like.

Wow, that's a long waterfall.

I love the effect this gives.

Well, I hope you guys enjoyed that as much as I did.

Thank you so much! Have a great week.

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You can download the RAW files so you can follow along at home.

And a new thing that we do: you can download the complete text from the show -- the text that I transcribe.

If you want to put it in Google Translate or something, this is a handy way to do it.

Now, if there is a topic or a module that you particularly want to concentrate on, just click on it here on the main page, and we'll make a playlist for you.

That was a really bad one.

I think there's only one instance of Blemish Correction.

Let's take Compositing; that's been a favorite lately.

There's a playlist of all of the Compositing that we've been doing, since the beginning of time.

You can click on any one of those, or start at the top and work your way down.

It takes you directly to whatever video we did it in.

It's a real handy way to concentrate on something.

Going back to the main page.

If you want to find out what topics we talk about when -- if you want to do a little skipping around, maybe you don't have time to watch the whole thing or maybe you're watching it a second time -- go to the individual post, like I did there.

All of the topics discussed will be listed with their time-starting links on the right-hand side.

Same thing for modules.

It makes it super-easy, if you're in the middle of Tone Mapping, say, and you want to know how Harry did Tone Mapping at the beginning of that video: there you are! Tone Mapping.

Just go right back up here and you're where you need to be.

Again, thank you for joining us this week to conquer the challenge of Akaka Falls.

Check out our Patreon page early next week for a sneak preview of what we're going to be doing on our next episode.

We do that every week.

And, please, write to us with questions, with suggestions and comments.

We always reply, and we love to hear from you; it's inspirational to us.

See you next week!