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Come Blow your Horn

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  • Come Blow your Horn

    Any pointers on tidying up or improving this snap. It was taken on an Agfa CL18 digital camera at 640 by 480 setting (The only setting ! ) The main area is the fringing round the siren and stair rails. The main hope is to get rid of the blockiness if possible. Any thoughts ?
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  • #2
    Is that a halo from trying to sharpen? I guess I would just try cloning carefully around the edges that stand out. I personally had to scrutinize the photo a great deal and reread you post several times to pick up on what you were bothered about.
    What is that? A fog horn of some kind? I've got to admit, you come up with some of the most interesting and unique photos. Real eye catchers Chris.
    DJ

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    • #3
      Boy o Boy...

      I remeber the days when the digital cameras first came out...my very first one was an Apple Quicktake...no number, just a name...that old.

      In any case, I used the thing for more than it was supposed to acomplish, and since I have a tendency to push the limits on things like that, I had to come up with a formula for just what you're dealing with.

      Now, first up, I'd definitely reccoment checking out the tip that's posted in the tutorials section...complete with pictures of yours truly...

      Another thing that I found to work in the days before I knew about the high pass filter is to try going to the channels palette in Photoshop. Command (or ctrl)-click on the RGB channel, a selection that you won't be able to decipher will load...save it as an alpha channel.

      Now the next step explains what I discovered to be true of the lower resolution cameras pretty much 100%...they all over expose around the edges...like your red siren. You don't need to sharpen, you need to blur! That alpha channel? Use the "Find Edges" filter on that. then blur the result about 1 - 1.5 pixels. You now have a stored selection of just your high contrast areas. load that into the main channel, then use the gaussian blur to a degree of about 1-2 pixels...your image will get blurry, don't fret...

      Afterwards, use the Edit>Fade Gaussian Blur option, and blend using color mode. 100% shouldn't damage the image, but I usually went down to about 85% just for good measure. Deselect and sharpen at will...the damge done by the camera is gone. Or at least it should be.

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      • #4
        Thanks both. The halo is a partial result of sharpening but the fringing is on the original. The CL18 is a little Agfa digital camera which has a fixed memory and takes 30+ indifferent or 18 slightly better snaps. It belongs to my mother who uses it for odd snaps which I download and print for her. However I took it to Scotland on a trip and took a few images at this lighthouse. The siren/horn is from the days when radar was a rarity and mariners relied on lights and sounds to determine their position. Each siren had its own sound pattern to identify it. Local women took turns to blow it during times of poor visibility.

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        • #5
          Don't misunderstand my ignorance here, but just how did they "blow" this horn? Using lung power? Ok so I don't have a clue and this was probably a very dumb question.
          DJ

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          • #6
            Never be afraid to ask dumb questions ! When the lighthouse was built there was no means or source of electricity to power any sort of device. In order that the fishermen of the area could find their way back safely to land the women of the peninsula became adept in sounding a Swiss Alpenhorn which was bought for them by Prince Albert who visited the area in 1858. This huge horn over 70' long was mounted on the cliffs of Ardnamurchan and was sounded in relays by the wives of the fishermen. Many were the lost fisherfolk who were guided to shore by the tunes played on that enormous instrument.
            Alas in the great storm of 1871 the huge horn was struck by a freak wave and washed from its perch into the sea below. However salvation came in the form of Andrew Carnegie who paid for a new horn powered by the largest bellows ever erected in Scotland which the fisherwomen pumped night and day in foul weather its tones being heard as far away as Iceland with a following wind. Electricity reached Ardnamurchan in 1931 and a new horn was installed which is shown in the picture.

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            • #7
              Ok so that one shown was mechanical not manual. That would be a lot of lung power to get that one running. Interesting story which makes me glad I asked the "dumb" question.
              DJ

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              • #8
                Just a tiny comment...

                "The only dumb question is the one you don't ask. ASK! SOMEBODY KNOWS!"
                -George Bernard Shaw

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