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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing
Thread started 27 Jan 2015 (Tuesday) 20:34
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Saving me from noise !

 
Galix
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Joined May 2013
Jan 27, 2015 20:34 |  #1

Good evening to all,

I am trying to post-process this photo.

It was taken at a very high ISO (6400) on a Canon 7D. Now I hear you all saying "noise-noise-noise !". Yes, it is noisy, but I can live with that, I would rather take a high ISO and grainy picture than no picture at all.

I have tried my best to eliminate the said noise but not sure if there is something else I could do.

Any hints ?

Thanks !

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Grizz
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Jan 28, 2015 04:32 |  #2

Not sure what you used to process the noise but I ran it through Topaz Denoise 5.

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tzalman
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Post has been last edited over 2 years ago by tzalman. 2 edits done in total.
Jan 28, 2015 04:40 |  #3

Three comments:
1. Are these photos reduced to 0.7 MP versions of the original 18 MP image or are they unreduced crops from the original? Because if they are reduced (resampled) versions, it is just about impossible to say anything about the noise in the original.
2. If you could describe what you did, others might be better able to say what they would do differently.
3. This image isn't the best example for this sort of question. The thing about successful noise reduction is blurring out the noise without blurring out meaningful image detail (or at least minimizing its loss), but most of this image is out of focus areas where detail has already been lost so losing some more isn't so terrible. Moreover, the polished metal of the horn is certainly not a textured surface that you would need to try to protect. The hand is, of course, textured, but OOF. That leaves the paper, which is finely textured but that texture may have been beyond the resolving power of your lens and sensor (and certainly was if these are only crops). Most normal paper texture is also beyond the resolving ability of our eyes unless we get very close, so we tend to think of it as smooth and the detail that needs to be protected in such a photo is if there is very detailed printing - which is not the case here.


Elie / אלי

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shootis
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Joined Jan 2011
Dedham, Maine USA
Jan 28, 2015 07:56 |  #4

This may help you:

http://photography-on-the.net .../showthread.php?t=1​079217




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BigAl007
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Joined Dec 2010
Repps cum Bastwick, Gt Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK.
Jan 28, 2015 08:53 |  #5

I would also suggest that going by the image as posted, that you have underexposed by at least a stop. In these circumstances, where you are shooting an image where there are going to be lots of areas that are very dark tones using Expose to The Right and reducing the brightness of the dark areas in post will produce much better images, with lower initial Signal to Noise Ratio. The much lower SNR reduces the need to use NR to a minimum. If I were in a situation where I was already at the widest aperture available, and I could not reduce my shutter speed because of subject movement, I would actually increase my ISO even more. I would not worry about increasing the ISO up to the maximum non-expanded value that the camera has. I would not use the expanded values, as the camera does that using software methods, so is no better than pushing exposure in POST if you are using a good quality RAW processor.

Alan


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nathancarter
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Joined Dec 2010
Jan 28, 2015 15:20 |  #6

tzalman wrote in post #17403777external link
Three comments:
1. Are these photos reduced to 0.7 MP versions of the original 18 MP image or are they unreduced crops from the original? Because if they are reduced (resampled) versions, it is just about impossible to say anything about the noise in the original.
2. If you could describe what you did, others might be better able to say what they would do differently.
3. This image isn't the best example for this sort of question. The thing about successful noise reduction is blurring out the noise without blurring out meaningful image detail (or at least minimizing its loss), but most of this image is out of focus areas where detail has already been lost so losing some more isn't so terrible. Moreover, the polished metal of the horn is certainly not a textured surface that you would need to try to protect. The hand is, of course, textured, but OOF. That leaves the paper, which is finely textured but that texture may have been beyond the resolving power of your lens and sensor (and certainly was if these are only crops). Most normal paper texture is also beyond the resolving ability of our eyes unless we get very close, so we tend to think of it as smooth and the detail that needs to be protected in such a photo is if there is very detailed printing - which is not the case here.


One more note:
What's the expected final usage/size of the image? If the final destination is a relatively small image for the web or Facebook, you can be much more aggressive in your noise reduction. What looks terrible at full resolution and zoomed in to 100%, might look just fine when scaled down and posted online, or printed at 4x6.


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Galix
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Joined May 2013
Jan 28, 2015 20:30 as a reply to nathancarter's post |  #7

Thanks for all your generous comments.

The image was originally taken in RAW then post-process using the below settings. I exported it to comply to the posting sizes I read somewhere in the stickies. I am only using Lightroom, nothing else.

As for the image usage, I don't really have anything in mind since it's just some image I took and wanted to see how the camera performed under low light and high ISO. I also wanted to see how I would perform in post-processing the image, mostly for learning and for fun. I think it's a nice image, including the grain from the high ISO setting, so it made sens for me to work on it a bit.

All of your comments are truly appreciated and I will continue reading the provided thread. From all my reading, it is the first one I see that provides some sort of help for high ISO, high noise images with the 7D. I find it quite encouraging as I am loving every aspect of the camera and learning to work around its limitations.

I still have to get my head around exposing to the right: this is not something I learned or practice. I will probably accept it once I see the post-processed results of some experiments. Maybe it's some "bad" habit I carried over from the time I was shooting film. Don't know.

Thanks again for all your great help!

Here are my Lightroom settings:

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nathancarter
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Joined Dec 2010
Jan 28, 2015 21:54 |  #8

You may find these threads interesting:

Mini-Review: Trying To Get the Most out of the 7D High ISO Images
http://photography-on-the.net .../showthread.php?t=1​079217

Try your hand at this ISO 12800 DNG
http://photography-on-the.net .../showthread.php?t=1​360713
(this one's from the 5D3 but the concepts are very much the same)


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tzalman
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Jan 29, 2015 02:42 as a reply to nathancarter's post |  #9

using Expose to The Right and reducing the brightness of the dark areas in post will produce much better images, with lower initial Signal to Noise Ratio.

I think Alan meant to say higher S/N. The point of ETTR is simple - getting as much light (signal) as is possible because it overrides the noise. Digital isn't 35 mm. film and needs a different way of thinking about exposure. With film we exposed to get the middle greys right and let the latitude of the film plus some dodging and burning handle the highlights and shadows. In digital, if there is empty space to the right of the histogram we are not maximizing the light reaching the sensor and getting the best S/N.
Here is a good explanation: http://www.luminous-landscape.com ...optimizing_exposure​.shtmlexternal link


Elie / אלי

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Savethemoment
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Joined Jun 2012
Sydney, Australia
Post has been edited over 2 years ago by Savethemoment.
Jan 29, 2015 05:02 as a reply to tzalman's post |  #10

Thank you so much for this link Elie, I've been trying to properly understand ETTR for awhile now and this article helps a lot, although I think I'll need to read it a couple more times before it really sinks in. Nothing else I have real on the subject goes into this much detail or makes things this clear. Thanks again.


Always learning
Always looking for the good light

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BigAl007
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Jan 29, 2015 05:41 as a reply to tzalman's post |  #11

Thanks for picking up my Typo Elie, I did indeed mean HIGHER SNR. Looking at the LR settings used for processing the image it is clear that the image was underexposed, even for a shot that was being exposed "normally". Given Exposure +0.3 (a third of a stop right there, but applied mainly to the midtones). Add the +25 on the shadows which is going to give them even more of a boost than the midtones and without from the look of the image, without loading it into an editor to get the histogram, I would suggest that you needed at least 2/3 stop more exposure just to get it to normal. Here is one useful artical on exposure from RAWDiggerexternal link. It's not the article I was thinking of dealing with exposure, that one had images of a Greek hotel/beach scene, maybe one of the usual regulars will remember it? One important point that these articles seems to show is that Canon are really conservative in protecting highlights when doing exposure metering.

Alan


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tzalman
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Gesher Haziv, Israel
Jan 29, 2015 06:46 as a reply to BigAl007's post |  #12

It's not the article I was thinking of dealing with exposure, that one had images of a Greek hotel/beach scene, maybe one of the usual regulars will remember it?

Maybe this?
http://s3.amazonaws.co​m ..._culling_RAW_vs_JPE​G.docxexternal link


Elie / אלי

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darkamble
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Post has been last edited over 2 years ago by darkamble. 3 edits done in total.
Jan 29, 2015 07:06 |  #13

" I still have to get my head around exposing to the right: this is not something I learned or practice. I will probably accept it once I see the post-processed results of some experiments. Maybe it's some "bad" habit I carried over from the time I was shooting film. Don't know."

yes its hard to get your head round if you have a film background and also for those that chimp , you set the correct exposure and it looks spot on via the LCD but the histrogram is showing the JPG levels so the point where you blow the highlights is actually off the scale when shooting RAW so you have a little more leeway you can take advantage of
exposing to the right fills the histogram with more data but the LCD is showing the review as well over exposed and completely washed out and that is hard to ignore
BUT when you start processing and bring back the shadows they are so much cleaner and just a tweak of NR is needed to get rid of what little noise there is , and you have also increased the dynamic range with all that extra data you captured in the raw file .....happy days :-)




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BigAl007
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Joined Dec 2010
Repps cum Bastwick, Gt Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK.
Jan 29, 2015 10:30 as a reply to tzalman's post |  #14

Yes Elie that would be the one.

Alan


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Galix
THREAD ­ STARTER
Junior Member
Joined May 2013
Jan 29, 2015 12:02 as a reply to BigAl007's post |  #15

Am I ever glad I asked my question: this thread has been quite illuminating for me (it is the understatement of the year...).

Elie and Alan, that document you shared explains well why I was constantly having to push the exposure levels in LR. All that time I was thinking I was doing something wrong and every thing seemed right but was wrong anyway. I guess now this is a simple fix for me.

Will certainly make good use of these pointers very soon.




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