I'm editing a back-lighted portrait. Sky backwards it's mostly overexposed, but some information was preserved on the upper left corner of the frame. I shooted on both JPG and RAW (canon's CR2)

This is the unedited jpg version (detail)

jpg image

This is the CR2 I'm working on (detail)

raw image

I'm changing the upper section of base tonal curve, not being able to achieve the smoothness of unedited jpg.

My goal is to get a blue to white smooth gradient.

I'm working on Darktable 2.0.6, Linux Ubuntu Studio 19.04, and the frame was shot on Canon 80D - Sigma ART 18-35mm 1.8f

  • 1
    Not really an answer, but I'd start by opening the .CR2 in Canon's Digital Photo Professional 4. It's a free download if you have a valid Canon serial number from your 80D. You'll need a Windows (virtual) machine to use it. When you open a .CR2 in DPP the default behaviour is to apply the in-camera settings at the time it was shot. You can then "go to school" by viewing what settings were applied by the camera to produce the in-camera generated JPEG. Although some things may have different labels/names between the two apps, you should be able to figure out what corresponds.
    – Michael C
    Jun 25 '19 at 6:33
  • Thanks, Canon DPP it's not supported by wine, and I don't want to try a Windows emulator. But I will give it a try on a Windows computer and see if it helps.
    – Lisan
    Jun 25 '19 at 23:07
  • 1
    What does the exported final result look like? The preview in raw processors are sometimes of lower quality to improve performance when making adjustments.
    – xiota
    Aug 11 '19 at 21:29
  • Can you upload the raw file somewhere?
    – xiota
    Aug 11 '19 at 21:31

Try adding some noise to the sky. This will ease the transitions between the bands of color. Here's a good reference for doing so: https://www.dpmag.com/how-to/tip-of-the-week/identifying-repairing-banding/


It's already clipping in the original and clipping more as you adjust it. The only way to smooth it out is to brush over it. Use photoshop, corel or similar. Set your opacity to about 50% and brush your new color on. If you want an even sky without adding artifacts, brushing/painting is the best option.

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