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Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

banding... more complex the longer i work on the t

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  #11  
Old 12-08-2008, 02:49 AM
HuBBa HuBBa is offline
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Re: banding... more complex the longer i work on t

And just to clarify for those readers not familiar with the terms, banding is when you see distinct "bands" in tonal transitions showing a lower tonal resolution in areas.

Moire is a interference pattern created by very small repetetive patterns (such as fabric texture, prints, etc) which creates a wave pattern when digitized. This is a HUGE simplification of the actual process going on but for ease of explanation i think it suffices.

And you can ofcourse experience both at once

As for clients demanding you push the RAW a lot, hit them hard with a mallet As a photographer who has to do his own retouching, if i have to push the RAW to its limits, it means i haven't personally done my job. And whenever i have to start pushing things in the RAW developer or in photoshop to save an image, thats when things will not be as good as they should have been.

My personal preference as a photographer is to think like i was shooting film (with the added knowledge of how digital sensors differ from film emulsion =) in the sense that the image should be 99% done in camera. This means makeup should be spot on, clothes & styling & model should be spot on and the exposure and lighting should be spot on.

This means that the stuff i then do in Photoshop, is enhancing the image instead of fixing mistakes i should have taken care of before i pressed the shutterbutton. And when you have to fix mistake, you pretty much always have to degrade the image in some way (tonal ranges, dynamic range, textures, resolution, etc) which means you end up with a lesser quality image than you started with even if it may look more like you wanted. But it will most likely print worse.

The old "don't worry, he'll fix that in photoshop" earns an earlashing in my studio
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  #12  
Old 12-08-2008, 04:23 AM
tomasz.k tomasz.k is offline
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Re: banding... more complex the longer i work on t

Quote:
Originally Posted by stopa View Post
Those images was finally printed or what?
to be printed anywhere they want to we usually retouch not knowing where the image will end up, as it is rarely one media or publication
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  #13  
Old 12-08-2008, 04:24 AM
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stopa stopa is offline
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Re: banding... more complex the longer i work on t

I can't agree with Hubba! Well done post production can tease out the other dimensions from images. And as more you know about it, you will shoot building in to your workshop a postproduction step.

Eye of camera is totally impartial. But you - as a photographer, as human, as artist you are not!
I can agree that PRIMAL thing it is to make a good photo - and retouch is only add-on.
But proretouchers never degrade the image.

------------------
Quote:
My general question was though do you have any other methods of dealing with the banding?
- I was using very heavy motion blur (more than 200) last time on a gray background (the model was path-out from the background), and than add a image grain for it. looks fine.
- I hate vignetting, I build gradients in destination mode. In print looks fine.

And remember: Proof is a Proof - if you notice something on display but nothing in proof print, do not bother. How it will look on a paper it is always a Russian Roulette, and until you are not a printer (pressman), you are not responded for it. I charge for every size, format, and print process. (image is still the same)
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:29 AM
tomasz.k tomasz.k is offline
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Re: banding... more complex the longer i work on t

Quote:
Originally Posted by HuBBa View Post

As for clients demanding you push the RAW a lot, hit them hard with a mallet
...
My personal preference as a photographer is to think like i was shooting film
...
The old "don't worry, he'll fix that in photoshop" earns an earlashing in my studio
i totally agree. How many times have I thought that if they tried a touch harder I could spend those hours making them even better instead of cleaning up the mistakes.

Still there are real photographers out there. Some people we work with really shoot amazingly good stuff which is good from the moment of development.

Still banding is an issue they can't plan during shooting, often cutting off channels to create an interesting look creates it... and that's where the topic of my post comes back.
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  #15  
Old 12-08-2008, 04:33 AM
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stopa stopa is offline
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Re: banding... more complex the longer i work on t

i totally agree / I can't agree with Hubba!
funny!!!
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  #16  
Old 12-08-2008, 05:11 AM
HuBBa HuBBa is offline
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Re: banding... more complex the longer i work on t

Stopa, what i meant was a bit different though. If you exposure correctly for the intended post production, thats a whole different ballgame than if you have to push up exposure 2 stops becuase the photographer didn't set his lights correctly to get detail in the shadows.

Again... Fixing ERRORS in post is a bad idea. Shooting to enhance your images in post is a good idea. =)
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  #17  
Old 12-08-2008, 08:13 AM
SilvaFox SilvaFox is offline
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Re: banding... more complex the longer i work on t

Some very good suggestions. And obviously you're not alone in this. We ALL have had this problem one time or another.

I can tell you this. The more you mess with it, the worse it gets. If you get to the Curves and Brushes stage, you're chasing your tail.

I find that slightly blurred noise, blended over the breaks with layer masks, then set to multiply is the best way to deal with it. We apply it in the colors of the background only, so it doesn't dirty everything up too much. (C,M noise only in a sky for example.) As you know, the key is to not yank everything all over the place from the beginning, creating it, then doing the same thing trying to fix it.

I empathize. It's difficult to sell the "It's there but it won't print" theory.

Good luck.
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  #18  
Old 12-08-2008, 10:34 AM
neumanns neumanns is offline
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Re: banding... more complex the longer i work on t

As an novice I am following this thread. I should just keep my head down and let you pro's have at it, but I'm gonna open my mouth and insert my foot anyways.

As for the solution I don't know. Seem's like you have quite a few workarounds in your toolbox.

But it appears to me the problem is quite simply rounding. When you push and pull the pixal's the value is not infinite so when the computer renders the image it has to round the value to a finite number (specified range).

This explains why it appears on diffrent locations on diffrent machines. Many programs and hardware handle the math slightly diffrently.

You may just have to accept that you are at the limits of what is capable with the data you have. And continue with the "fix it" approach.
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  #19  
Old 12-08-2008, 11:52 AM
tomasz.k tomasz.k is offline
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Re: banding... more complex the longer i work on t

SilvaFox- very nice idea, I'll definitely give it a try

Neumanns- yes we eventually always have to fix it)
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  #20  
Old 12-08-2008, 05:09 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: banding... more complex the longer i work on t

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomasz.k View Post
Hi all,
...the photographer saw it in different places then we did.

...even if the banding is not physically there a retoucher has to remove the appearance of it to make the photographer happy.
Tomask,
I am thinking that the problem is a combination of the larger working color space (AdobeRGB), damage to the histogram due to various edits, low final image bit depth (8-bit), and somewhat low monitor bit depth (12 bit internal LUT). So, it may simply be unavoidable unless you change one of the above mentioned elements.

Since you mentioned it is seen in different areas at different times, I cannot agree with your second point, having to retouch it out. You're just chasing a moving target, accomplishing nothing if the posterization is going to move again.

The histogram is the only tool you have at your disposal to really judge if posterization is present in the image. If the histogram is smooth (as is each channel of the histogram), then it's not in the image and your edits are not the issue.

It also sounds like some testing is in order. Create an image with subtle gradations in AdobeRGB. (Just download a standard output profile.) Save output files with graduated editing problems and check on your hardware. If the posterization varies in location and is not reproducible, then it is your hardware.

One workaround is to convert to a smaller color space for final soft proofing. Reduced gamuts in low bit environments can result in less posterization in the output, whether on the monitor or printer.

Oh, and be sure your calibration workflow is working correctly, calibrating the internal LUT of the monitor and creating a linear (nothing) profile for the graphic card LUT. Just in case.
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