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Getting rid of graininess

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  #1  
Old 02-17-2008, 05:02 AM
fernyway fernyway is offline
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Getting rid of graininess

I worked on the original with Photoshop, and wanted to achieve more texture on the water and a less muted overall effect. But the result seems too grainy. Any suggestions for how I can achieve a better look, while still retaining the natural beauty of the bird and the water?
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2008, 09:30 AM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Getting rid of graininess

Your image has a high amount of color noise. You should use a good noise filter (like Noiseware or Neat Image, Noise Ninja) to reduce the noise before you work on the image. The image is very weak and as you increase the contrast you will amplify the noise if you do not first reduce it.
If you have a high resolution version of the orig image you should be able to do a better job of noise reduction because saving as a low res jpg just makes the color noise worse.
Regards, Murray
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Old 02-17-2008, 11:36 AM
fernyway fernyway is offline
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Re: Getting rid of graininess

Thank you for your help. I can certainly see the difference without the color noise.
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:42 PM
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Sweetlight Sweetlight is offline
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Re: Getting rid of graininess

Funny how we all see things.
If you look at just about every one of my photos you will see some added noise, at least somewhere in the image. I think it must throw me back to those "good ole days" of film.



c
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:12 AM
fernyway fernyway is offline
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Re: Getting rid of graininess

Hello Sweetlight,
in the light of your comment, I'm curious to know, do you prefer the grainy version of this image?
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:28 AM
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Sweetlight Sweetlight is offline
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Re: Getting rid of graininess

Well honestly no, I do like the way you worked it but I wlll say this. In this situation it appears to me that your grain is actually noise most likely caused by the image being underexposed. Could this be the case?
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Old 02-18-2008, 12:10 PM
fernyway fernyway is offline
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Re: Getting rid of graininess

you may well be right..the original was most undistinguished: at best, it could have been described as "subtle", but basically it was too flat and washed out. I'm new to photography, so I don't really know if the problem was that it was underexposed.
By the way, I've just had a look at some of your photos on Flickr and I really enjoyed them, especially the horses since I love them.
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Old 02-18-2008, 03:51 PM
yangez yangez is offline
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Re: Getting rid of graininess

Used Topaz Vivacity for the most part:

Took out JPEG artifacts. Applied Denoise/EQ filter to Red and Blue channels (they were messy) after Levels adjustment. Topaz sharpened the result. Did a tiny bit of D&B to make the birdy look more textured.

Let me know what you guys think!
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:00 PM
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Sweetlight Sweetlight is offline
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Re: Getting rid of graininess

Okay, here I am again.
Fern, I dug way deep into your image, read your algorythims, camera profile, etc. With all of that info I have the following conclusion and I am pretty sure it's "closer to fine". (Sorry bout that song lyric, you are probably to young for that one. I'd like to also say that each step that was taken by member certainly did make the image better and better and now certainly usable.

Here is what I think the overall situation is.
#1) Low light conditions, slow ISO. If you look real close at the bird you will see some ghosting which is actually a bit of movement as I assume he was slowly walking and stalking food. What gets me a little though is that the water is pretty tack sharp but I am pretty sure I see some movement in the bird. The ghosting usually come from dragging the shutter during a strobed exposure but unless your strobe was set way low I see no other evidence of lighting. I have no idea of your experience or abilities so please forgive me if I speak over your head.

#2) The more I looked the more evident it was that your image was underexposed. Your camera tried like hell to preserve some detail in those feathers but it does not have the lattitude to expose a range from the bright highlights of the water and the shadow of the bird. If you look closely at the bird you will see lots of orange speckles which is also a tell tell sign. If I had to guess you were probably having to shoot with a pretty slow lens. It's all good, it's how we learn. I am gonna give you a short tutorial here on how to improve the image and make it more pleasing to the eye. Just know that my CS2 crashed and I am in an ongoing battle with AP trying to get it replaced so I am only blessed with PS7. I am gonna write this in a way that will work for both programs. Thjs is actually a very old trick I learned to emulate one of those lovely old softar 7 filters for my Hasselblad and it works great on portraits as well.

It's an old Indigo Girls song by the same title. I went to grad school at UGA and that's when they were big along with B52's and REM.







#1) Open original image - Duplicate image. Turn the layer mode on the copy to darkness and the numeric amount to 75.

#2) Continuing with the copy layer active Filter/Blur and make the numeric about equal to the file size of your photo.

#3) Link and merge those to copy layers together. The image will be a bit hazy and dreamy looking now. Now reset your color picker to black foreground over white background. Using your paint brush, make it pretty soft, like in the 60's and make it the size that will make it easy for you to paint over the problem subject in this case the bird. You will see as you paint the gaussianed image will be erased as you paint away your subject.
So in this case I worked at erasing every bit of the bird, nice clean edges so nobody can tell. This will leave your subject or subjects sharp as before and the background will be thrown out of focus and you can make it more or less using the opacity slider on the levels pallette. By throwing out the bacground you are basically creating a depth of field effect and it fools the eye into thinking that the bird is sharper than it appears. Now before we flattend. So now your bird is sharper then before and your backround is just slightly soft focus. I am working on an example image for yuo to look at, just give me a bit to finish it.

Hope this helped you,
chris

Last edited by Sweetlight; 02-19-2008 at 11:36 AM.
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  #10  
Old 02-19-2008, 02:54 AM
fernyway fernyway is offline
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Re: Getting rid of graininess

It certainly looks better. The bird and water contrast in textures is more natural.
I'm not familiar with Topaz Vivacity. How does it compare with Photoshop?
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