TrekEarth is all about learning abut the world through photography – and also learning something about photography as we go along. So here’s a good example of something I have learnt today – at least about the post processing of my images.
When I posted the original of this image two days ago, I mentioned in my note that I had attempted to sharpen it unsuccessfully, because it introduced too much noise, and I just assumed that it was because the image was already very soft being shot through light rain. (I tried to sharpen using USM in Photoshop Elements but it introduced a lot of noise that I was unable to satisfactorily remove with NeatImage). But then along came another TEer – in the form of Christian Cooper (gary91) – and proved me wrong.
Christian did a workshop that showed it could be sharpened nicely without introducing a lot of noise. So what did I do wrong? I thought maybe it was the noise removal software we had used. He had used Noise Ninja, whereas I had used NeatImage. So I logged onto the Noise Ninja website to find out more about that particular software and noted the following response to a question in their FAQs:
“Q: Where should Noise Ninja be used in the workflow?
A: It is usually best to apply noise reduction as early as is practical in the workflow. Post-processing adjustments like sharpening, contrast stretching, and colour balancing can alter pixel values and noise levels in unpredictable ways. Depending on the amount of adjustment, this can make it more difficult for Noise Ninja to estimate noise levels. Sharpening, for instance, is a nonlinear operation that can significantly distort the distribution of noise values.”
Ah ha! That’s what I did wrong. I tried to remove the noise AFTER sharpening. Whereas Christian, according to his note, and as recommended in the Nose Ninja FAQs, removed the noise BEFORE sharpening.
So back to my computer and I tried the PP again, this time altering the order of the workflow. And it worked. The image I have reposted is very close to what Christian produced in his workshop. There is a difference though. I had to use USM at 500% and a radius of 2.0 pixels to achieve the same level of sharpness that Christian had achieved at 110% with a value of 0.3. Perhaps that was because of the different noise reduction software that we had used at the first stage in the workflow, or maybe it was something to do with the fact he was working with a 200kb jpeg file whereas I was working with a 9MB tiff file.
The learning continues . . .
Critiques | Translate
dospordostres (1170) 2006-10-26 10:34
Thank you for the discussion on pp, I found it very useful (I'm just migrating to digital). Beautiful rainbow and reflection there.
cessy (13647) 2006-10-26 11:15
what a peaceful and tranquile place
very nicely captured
nice catch of the rainbow as well
and very good note on the post processing as well
gary91 (15348) 2006-10-26 18:23
I am so happy that you found the solution to your problem !
Not only this discussion has been useful for you but you made it available to all TEers which is great. You convinced me that going on making some ws is very important.
Hope to see a lot of your wonderful shots in the future...
Best regards. Christian
bakes888 (18499) 2006-10-27 0:48
Hi David. Great photo. I love the atmosphere of this photo. A hint I picked up the other day is to use a polarizing filter when you shoot rainbows as this accentuates the colours, haven’t had a chance to try it myself yet. Thanks for sharing.
vinicio (23423) 2006-10-27 3:32
Beautiful image Daniel, beautiful landscape and composition, fine quality, and really interesting note about the noise reduction, very useful indeed, thanks a lot.
Compliments to the image and to the note.
Nottinghill (1089) 2006-10-27 3:44
It seems a nice place to sail or swim. Pity it's so far. Godd you've been there and shared this view.
Sharpening with USM in Photoshop can produce too visible white edges (in fact that's how it works) and on this photo I can nearly feel it. I mean I cannot exactly see it, but ... well even without your note something tells me it was sharpened. Did you try sharpening which is built into NeatImage ? In some cases it produces better results. Another option is to slightly relax automatic noise reduction settings. Try 80% for high and medium level noise and decide weather you like these results better.
pboehringer (770) 2006-10-27 22:19
I guess that everyone already gave enough ovation for the picture itself in all details. It remains me to thank for the lecture regarding the PS. Thank you!
siolaw (38292) 2006-10-30 1:28
A nice view of this remote and rarely visited areas, The light is excellent with the rainbow and its reflection adding colors... excellent point of view too.. and... fine sharpening process
oochappan (16171) 2006-10-30 23:21
Indeed what a satisfying improvement you learned David, a fine shot with a special colormood by the slight cast, maybe that could be your next chapter, color and light/contrast management, that you can do at the end.
AiresSantos (56155) 2006-10-31 4:33
Very nice and paceful place. Excellent perspective, lovely rainbow, gorgeous reflections.
I also like the note and how you framed the picture.
Thanks and have a nice week,
anesugur (18789) 2006-11-01 8:23
Wonderful light you captured here, really fantastic.
Excellent colors too.
Very well composed.
Thanks for sharing.Have a nice day. Uğur
hoorge (1434) 2006-11-01 23:25
You did good. I learnt quite a bit from your note and Thank you. Lovely rainbow and it's reflection in the water. Nice job with the composition and pov.
plimrn (21344) 2006-11-02 2:02
Amazing work!! I can't believe the difference between the WS photo and this lovely version. The boats literally glow against the refelected rainbow in the water. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever seen a reflected rainbow before either!! The photo is pure magic!!
Your note is one of those instances when the note is as good as the photo. It was very generous of you to share the details of your work and the comparison with the WS. I first tried Neat Image, then DxO and had basically discarded both for selective noise reduction because I was disatified with the loss of detail that occurred with both. Your excellent work and your note will lead me to revisit noise reduction - especially since we do a lot of shooting musicians in clubs with ambient light at high ISOs.
Thank you so much, regards, Pat
shirgold (2485) 2006-11-19 6:13
This looks like a magical place.
Wonderful picture that really gives a great mood of the place.
Lovely composition and I just love the yachts parked there... seems like they are there as part of a long trip..
TFS - Shir
ruisc_pt (11090) 2007-03-05 17:26
Tks for your lessons.
I apreciated them very much.
Superb images post and pre
pedrocarmo (1295) 2007-03-13 20:45
Very beutifull photo.
And very usefull note
Floydian (30970) 2007-05-20 6:51
Just a hint. Sharpen only the parts in the picture you want to be sharpen. Why do people always sharpen the whole image? Even blue sky's are sharpen...for what reason? There is none, but the USM filter in PS just sharpen all of it...wrong..!!!
Sharpening is a complex world and not something you should see as your final step in the pp and then it's done.
I sharpen only edges in my pictures in a seperate channel on new layers. Only edges, the rest is not important. The more you sharpen on sky's without information (just a blue sky, or what you have here) the more sharpening atifacts you are going to get, and after that you must use a noise filter to remove those artifacts again....the world on his head so to speak.
Sharpen just the things you want to be sharpen, leave the rest of the image alone. You will find out that only removing the noise and not sharpen that part it gives a much more natural balanced look.
Kind regards, Henk
- Copyright: David Astley (banyanman) (7789)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2005-01-24
- Categories: Nature
- Camera: Nikon D100, Nikkor AF-S 24-120/3.5-5.6G ED, UV
- Exposure: f/7.1, 1/180 seconds
- Photo Version: Final Version, Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2006-10-26 10:30