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underexposed and noisey.....Help!

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  • underexposed and noisey.....Help!

    Hello all,
    A little help if you please. I've been given a picture to fix and am having really bad results. I'm to take an under-exposed digital picture and make it look "great". I know this process involves adding noise and then removing it in a kind and loving manner but, god as my witness, all I'm coming up with is a bigger granier mess. To make matters worse, this isn't exactly the sharpest picture in the world. when I apply any type of sharpness, it really goes down hill . Could someone please point me in the right direction??
    Attached is a portion of the picture in question.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    This is really a pretty good photo. It looks like their shirts threw off the exposure meter, though.

    I just selected the pure white areas, inverted the selection, and adjusted exposure a bit with a Levels Adjustment layer (this masked out the shirts, because I like the way they are). Then a Hue/Sat layer to turn down the saturation and tweak the color balance just a little. One of the noise filters like Neatimage would probably be the best next step here, but I don't have it, so I used Despeckle on a flattened version, and it seemed OK. Then I sharpend a bit using a duplicated layer, High Pass filter, and setting blend mode to overlay.

    If it helps, most of the noise is on the blue channel.
    Attached Files
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    • #3
      (repeating an earlier post)
      Contrast masking works very well on this image.

      Contrast masking in PSP.
      Contrast masking in PS.

      Bad blue channel is usually caused by a digicam of not too good quality. As Doug mentioned you can try Neat Image, but I don't think it's going to help here. Katrin Eismann's book may help you, and I'm sure you can find some more tips from Stephen M's link pages.

      The pic I've attached was only run thru a contrast mask.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        Here's one where I blurred the green and blue channels. (Gaussian blur, radius 0.75 in PSP7.) Blurring the blue channel alone was not sufficient. Using a radius of more than one makes the image get soft very quickly.
        Attached Files


        • #5
          I just ran this through Neat Image, with no other adjustments so you can see the possibilities. You can vary the amount of noise reduction you apply to the image.
          It's definitely worth downloading.
          Attached Files


          • #6
            These people look like West Islanders to me. I'm guessing Kirkland.

            Anyway, fury, what you don't want to do is apply some big washout grain removal filter to the whole thing all at once. You'll end up with people's skin melting off their faces. There's several grain removal filters out there. You can use the ones that comes with photoshop if you don't have one ie. blur filter, dust&scratches, etc.
            Basically you want to work mainly on the skin. A simple way to select their faces is to go to Select>Color Range and sample a person's face with the eye dropper, then move the slider back and forth until you're happy and click OK. Their faces will be selected.
            Then, gently apply some filter to the skin to remove some of the grain, but not all. Go slow here. After this, an option is also to use the blur tool at a very low strength, running it over their faces where unattractive splotches remain.
            Lastly, try airbrushing at a very low opacity over their faces. You have to continuously sample different areas of skin to make the colors right. Blur this layer a touch if you have to.
            Work fairly slowly so that you don't go overboard. The sample I've done here is a little soft but with some more effort it could've looked sharper. You'll need to go in with the airbrush at the end and fix the details, especially around their eyes.

            Vive le Quebec Libre!

            Just kidding,

            Attached Files


            • #7
              Try here:

              Digitial Deluxe

              For noise reduction. And it also has in the action "underexposed".
              Pretty good for a free action.



              • #8
                I mainly concentrated on the shirts and the curtain for this one


                • #9
                  Fury I agree with Doug you have a good Phot, except for the noise.
                  I found a video tutorial for adjusting colrs in Photoshop 7. It has a auto colr but if you go into Levels and options and check dark&light color and then snap neutral midtones it does a much better job and if you are doing alot of adjusting of pic shot the same way you can sae the setting and repeat it for the rest. It does not work for all pictures with alot of neutral tones.

                  Anyway after you do that adjust the right slider to the left and it will adjust ligting & contrast making it appear sharper,

                  When I have skin imperfections I find the blur tool works to ssmooth it out, but you have to be carefull around the eyes, you want then sharp.

                  After you remove the noise I ran an unsharp mask and adjusted the saturation.

                  Just another approch to your problem.
                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    I just did some color correction via normal means and then I used Pen Palette to selectively soften their faces. I did also use the burn tool to reduce the man's t-shirt that was blown out somewhat.

                    Attached Files


                    • #11
                      color balance
                      jpeg repair
                      burn tool on t-shirts(extra white area)
                      Attached Files


                      • #12
                        Thought I'd have a go at this one.

                        I duplicated the picture to a second layer,
                        then adjusted the channels, set the layer to screen, reduced the opacity and merged.
                        Then I did an edge preserving smooth, unsharp mask and balanced the colors.
                        Softened here and there especially faces, adjusted the highlights on the shirts to tone them down and darkened the background a bit.
                        Attached Files


                        • #13
                          I've been away for awile,but thought I needed to get involved again.I did a quick almost fix by 3 simple adjustment layers;
                          hue and saturation,levels,and brightness & contrast.Also a little median blur.Needs more work,but I'm a little rusty right now.
                          Attached Files


                          • #14
                            I think I remember the steps I took:

                            - adjust curves to lighten without blowing out the highlights on the shirts
                            - convert to LAB mode, gaussian blur both color channels
                            - use blur tool to remove grain on skin -- avoiding features like eyes and mouth
                            - color variations to get the skin tones more realistic

                            Attached Files


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