I am very new to RAW editing. I clicked few pic and they have overexposure problem in selected area using darktable. I can't find out a way to edit/remove the overexposed part only. I have tried highlight reconstruction but that did not work.

Is there anyway to darken some selected portion?

I am using darktable 2.2.3

This is a picture I have taken... so I want his bald spot to look bit nicer, as an example. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B02WblgE6NEvQlgwQnBYaHp4RkE/view?usp=sharing


Firstly, the "highlight reconstruction" module doesn't actually adjust the exposure of hilight areas itself, it only determines how to handle areas that are clipped in the RAW file when they're pulled down to a level that doesn't result in clipping in the output. You can use the very useful RAW overexposure and output overexposure warnings available in the bottom panel of darkroom mode to check both conditions.

For doing the actual selective exposure adjustment, you can use the "shadows and highlights" module to do this based on the existing values, possibly combining with a drawn mask for greater selection control. For complete manual control of the process, you could use a drawn mask with the basic "exposure" module, which resembles traditional dodging/burning. If the overexposure is primarily in the sky or otherwise varies across the image, you might find the "graduated density" module useful. Sometimes a combination of these methods can work well.

UPDATE: That's the general answer; after looking at the image that you added to the question, I see that a light source next to a shiny object has completely blown out a large area. Since there isn't much information there to work with, you'll probably need to use the "color reconstruction" module, which can actually synthesize color information based on the area surrounding the blown highlights. Try starting with these values:

  • threshold: 100
  • spatial extent: 160
  • range extent: 5

and adjust from there.


I've looked at your image and its very blown out in those highlights. Darktable alone didn't do a great job in an acceptable amount of time for me using my goto lowpass, color reconstruction, and selective denoising with hand-drawn masks. From there, I brought it into Krita and it was quick work to use the smart patch tool followed by a blending brush.

My results here:

enter image description here

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