Editing high dynamic range images in PhotoLab 5

Hi Peter – check …

  • Horizon + Crop
  • TonCurve (White Point + Gamma) + SmartLighting Spot Weigthed + Contrast
  • ClearView + HSL (multiple)
  • Local Adjustments (multiple)
  • :slight_smile:
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Good afternoon ya’ll :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the extra information; seems I have some homework later this evening…
Again, each their own flavors, tastes, and interpretations. However, I’ll try replicating what you’ve done for me to make some further assessments and steeping up my learning curves.

Thanks again for putting effort into arranging all the different solutions based on my earlier, quite basic and mediocre, RAW file. I’ll go sit and rethink how to establish the same, or close results. Those being a mix of yours. You see, I quite like the somewhat dramatic look in photos, but should better not overdo it. :slight_smile:

PS: @Peter; I’m on PL5.2.0-4732 Elite with Filmpack v6


Practicing at the moment. Some results. Don’t mind the composition, its a bit off (Canopy and fuselage had to be covering the building (slightly higher) in my opinion).

IMG_5307.CR2 (27,5 MB)
IMG_5307.CR2.dop (10,1 KB)


Back to initial subject and composition.
Done renewed approach. Too much? or more in line with what is should be (focus on the plane, shining more and more attracting the eyes?) Agreed, the earlier one was too dark (Thanks Mike :-))


Hi Jeroen,
when you use a high amount of ClearView like I did to quickly enhance structure on the plane and for the sky, what I normally don’t do at all (you wanted some ‘drama’), you get a darker pic and stronger colours.

To see the effect, check with my version and disable / enable the HSL tool and adjust the settings to taste. Strong colours look catching for the moment … Do the same with Local Adjustments. Disable them all and enable them step by step. With your mouse over the pic, press [ M ] to see the mask.

It all depends, what you want to convey – a military jet, a big toy … whatever.

have fun, Wolfgang


@Wolfgang 's version “my take…” is just a bit more natural.
HSL, by dragging the pins around you can select more carefully a group of colors
1 use colorpicker for the initial colorselection.
2 shift saturation to -100 (selection gets grey) (if not visible enough shift lumination to 100.
3 use pins to get all you want “grey”.
selection HSL
selection HSL 2
4 check by choose a daft color the selection (first set sat and lum back to 0)

5 adjust accordenly in what you see.

6 double click on colorpin (outer wheel) to reset colorchange choice and use the three sliders saturation, lumination and uniformity to finalize desired color.

7 pick one of the other channels and proceed for say “red” repeat step 1 to 6.

Clearviewplus has some “intelligents” in choosing where to place microcontrast to enhance sharpening and saturation.
see this post to see which slider and contrast type does what.

Have Fun!

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I guess my problem is me, not the editing. All the. edits make the plane look better, but if I was going to hang one of them on my wall, it would be the original version, with the lovely sky.

I guess I’m either ignorant, or spoiled.

nothing to do with both.

compare it with the old VOC- warschip paintings.
those are all dramatic in colors and waves and sky.
paste this in google “voc war paintings” hit show images and you know what i mean.
(Do you think that they never had a battle in plain blue sky and low windstrenght?)
everyone is free how to interpret a taken rawfile.
1 by memory for the reality you witnessed (not the actual reality because that’s mostly the oocjpeg (edit if you have “natural” profile active.)
2 what you intended to capture, sunset? awb does a trick with you.so you need to go by memory.
3 what you like to show.
4 goofing around to create something new.

Your head is wired for “true images” wile now a day’s “true” means natural looking.image atered in covering flaws.

In this case the take away was sky or plain? which is the lead subject to catch the eye?
how far can you go in contrasting, edging out, lines in the image before it brakes?
You can only find the center if you know where the edges are. :slight_smile:

the lovely sky is the result of @GIBF4’s first edit ( easily to see when opening his files ! ),
as the original photo shows a bright sky.

A simple correction
I’ve been a bit sloopy and ‘supressed’ the green painting on the jet’s mouth, tail and wing …

the new Auto mask – covering mouth, tail and wing

Screen Shot 05-01-22 at 12.05 PM
plus increased Vibrancy and Tint – 60 ‘restored’ the green paint

and also refined the → “Auto mask - backgr. less prominent”

VC3 → IMG_5377.CR2.dop (485,9 KB)


  • while I didn’t care about the lacking green paint → just showing how to with a simple correction …
  • always download when to judge colour rendition – not the Forum
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I did as you suggested, and am now looking at a large collection of paintings of ships. To me, none of them are “real”, as paintings are interpretations of the scene, as seen by the artist. So, I enjoy the colors, and the action, and how much detail there may be, which I’m interested in as I’ve never seen “the real thing” and I suspect there may not be any photographs - maybe I’m wrong on that point.

Some I like more than others. Some I don’t enjoy, and some are done in a manner that I can almost think of them as photographs.

For me, I guess I agree with the first thing you wrote, but not with the second. Once the “flaws” are “corrected”, it is no longer a “real” interpretation of reality. While an altered version may look much prettier, it is no longer “true” to me.

Fast forward to today. Given my 'druthers, I’d rather see images that look like a PL5 image on my screen, showing the “reality” but correcting for flaws from the camera (distortion, brightness, and so on). Personal choice, but to me, that is a good starting point.

I agree with your conclusion, along with what I wrote. To me, the sky is far more interesting than the airplane. Maybe if I was an expert on planes, I’d feel differently, and I might be intrigued with all the detail of the plane shown in the photo, but I’m not, and to me it’s just an annoying photo of a plane which is cropped too much at the right, so now “breathing room”. Meanwhile I see lots of interesting things in the sky.

What I think or feel is unimportant. I keep “seeing” this beautiful sky, and the plane doesn’t quite fit. If it was taken from a few feet back, maybe the image would have been more “balanced” to me.

So true - and for me, the “edges” are outside of what was captured, but maybe there is a very good reason why no more space could have been provided at the right. Again, to me, if I was able to see all that, I’d have concentrated on the sky, and positioned the plane in my photo to be more “balanced”. I certainly agree that the edits that people have done to the plane improve the plane, as we can see it better, but for me, I would prefer all that work, along with keeping the beautiful and dynamic sky. With the capability of PhotoLab, it doesn’t have to be one or the other - it can be both.

I love what @Wolfgang did to get such a good image of the plane. What I would really like to see is “the plane” as edited by Wolfgang, and “the background” as shown in the image I like so much.

@mikemyers – download the files and start yourself.

Just don’t mind should things come out different than imagined. We always learn something.

The artists where never on site and never seen that battle them selfs and painted them in Amsterdam as told to them how it “was” . “Dutch sky’s” where a very famous technique and Monet was travelt specially to Holland to learn to paint “dutch Sky’s”.
The high waves and dark sky’s are emphases the heroism of the sailors in there battle.
battling in a smooth sea and sunny weather looks to “holiday-isch”. It’s the era of dutch sky’s with streaks of sunbeams and drama.
When you living here you see those cloudy windy sunbeamed sky’s often. But they are very hard to capture correct in there full glory.

if the plain was covering less of the frame you could say it was more balanced but i think there where distracting objects around the plain which he tried to eliminate out the frame.

anyway it’s about controlling the tools to get what your brain likes to make of the file. Different views means different approaches of the same data. that’s the beauty of rawfiles and a good rawdeveloper.

I’m sure I would, but my first priority is to work on the photos I took in Colorado over the past few weeks.

Looking forward to seeing one or two of them…

I’ll start with this one. Along with Susie VanSickle, we went to one end of their property about half an hour before sundown. We both were going to take photos of the sunset. I didn’t like what I saw, and got bored, as the sunset looked nothing like what I’m used to - hardly any color. I glanced to the left, and saw this beautiful scene.

This was with the 300mm lens on my D750. It was taken from their tree house, hand-held. I zoomed it in and out until I got a nice composition, then started taking a series of bracketed photos, 7 images for each “shot”. Later, looking over the images, I didn’t like what I saw, but picked the best set of images and edited it in Photomatix Pro 6. The resulting image amazed me!! I never expected anything so nice. It isn’t razor sharp fully zoomed in - I’ve got lots more series of images to review, and maybe one of them will be sharper. I wish I had my own (newer) 300mm lens with me - I guess next visit I’ll bring it.

It’s no longer a ‘raw’ image, as Photomatix combined all my raw images and I let it create an HDR ‘jpg’ image for the final result. I intended to feed that image into PhotoLab, to fine tune it a little, but I liked it so much, I left it alone. I might still edit it a little, but to be honest, I don’t know where to start. Here’s the result.

The long lens compressed it in a way that makes it look “un-real”. All that depth is compressed to what looks like a “flat” image. I think that is part of why I like it so much. I guess I ought to add my watermark, but haven’t even done that yet. PhotoLab has sharpening tools, that may help. People tell me how amazing this image is, and it might be my favorite image from the whole trip… until I view it at 100% size.

Mike, how about posting one of the RAWs, preferably one at about -1EV, so we can see what we can do with it.


MM2_1089 | 2022-04-23.nef (26.9 MB)

Got it. Thanks. :smiley:

I will try to find a sharper image - they can’t all be this blurry…

MM2_1082 | 2022-04-23.nef (26.7 MB)

Similar, but zoomed out a bit, and perhaps a tad sharper - except for the weeds at the bottom which are out of focus.