Shoot RAW and create stunning pictures – part II

Hello again,
As promised, more about using Rawtherapee.
Below are the three methods you can use to work with RawTherapee:

Method one:
The fastest way to develop a RAW picture is the “Auto Levels” button.
Find this button on the top right – exposure tab – auto levels.
Press the button, save as JPEG or TIF, done!
Have you only taken RAW pictures with your camera, and not RAW + Jpeg as most devices can,
then this is the quickest way to get an acceptable and usable result from your RAW pictures,
without having to spend hours at the computer.
The best pictures or a select number can then be edited manually afterwards.

Method two:
Set Rawtherapee completely manually, picture by picture.
Best result, but it takes a while to get the hang of it.
For a very good manual and useful advice I want to refer you to the website
from someone who is very seasoned in this: Paul Matthijsse

Method three:
Rawtherapee also has another way to edit pictures,
and that is via scripts and HaldCluts.
The script is a text file that Rawtherapee also creates as desired:
“save processing parameters with image”
This text file – called pp3 or profile – contains all the settings that you or the auto button of Rawtherapee has used to edit the chosen picture and then to save it.
Conversely, you can use and/or adjust all settings in a pp3 file and apply them to the same or any picture.
Better yet, for example, you can create an empty pp3 file yourself
(save a plain text file – or notepad – as .pp3)
and only write a setting here to sharpen pictures to a certain value.
This looks like this:


(Just as written above save a blank “notepad or text file” as .pp3 (test.pp3 for example)
copy the settings above, paste them in your file and apply it to one of your own RAW pictures)

Or just reduce noise, or apply “tone mapping”, or a combination of many options….
In other words, you can prepare complete photo edits “custom written” in so-called “pre-sets”.
I made “pre-sets” that I called PictureFX myself, you can download and use them completely free of charge, see the PictureFX tab above.
The idea was created after discovering the many wonderful effects that you have in Nik software and Adobe Photoshop, why didn’t Rawtherapee have this?
Well, Rawtherapee did have this, a few years ago you had many effects that you could use in RawTherapee
under the “Bundled Profiles” tab on the top right.
Unfortunately, not much is left today, but you can still develop your own “Profiles” yourself,
download here on, or search the internet for many others who do use it.

And then there are HaldCLUT’s

What are HaldClut’s ? Its hard to explain, but I’m going to try, certainly also read “How it works” in the Rawpedia link further down the article.
A HaldClut contains a color pattern or color identity of an edited image file – conversely, a random picture to which a HaldClut is applied will have the same color pattern, or better said, will contain the same mood and color harmony as the edited photo file.

Suppose you take a picture of a sunset, take 10 minutes before it is completely gone. But you know that when the sun is completely gone, you always get a more dramatic sky.
Upload your sunset in RawTherapee and try to create that atmosphere in your photo as if it were 10 minutes later – so more red and pink, darker … it can’t hurt if the photo starts to show artifacts or errors, as long as the general color atmosphere matches what you want.
Then generate your HaldClut (see workshop)
Now open your photo of the sunset again with neutral settings – apply the HaldClut – the effect is always surprising and unpredictable, but in principle you get a photo with the same atmosphere, but without artifacts or other deformities.

I give one more example of what is possible with scripts (profiles) and HaldCluts, so that you can see that you can apply nice effects with one click:


above the original picture in RAW

below the edited version – “one click” script/haldclut combination

More information about HaldCLUT’s :

Film Simulation – RawPedia

World’s largest collection of LUT’s

GREYC’s Magic for Image Computing – G’MIC

Extra :

Download HaldClut’s from Pat David, who has an awesome set to apply famous film emulations such as Fuji Velvia, Provia, etc …
Thank you Pat for your wonderful work!

More about creating profiles in my workshop:

You can find more about HaldCluts and how to make it here:

Download PictureFX:

Have Fun !



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