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Dry herbs

By xwang
The photo was taken in Eyam hall. It was quite dark, and the angle was not easy, I wanted to have a sharp picture, so set S:100 with high ISO. The problem is obvious: NOISE.
I reduced the noise during RAW processing, as expected the clarity has suffered, see MoD's zoomed in image. I wonder if it is my RAW processing's skill is not very good..anything can be done better please? I'll upload the default image on MOD section. Thanks.

Tags: General Derbyshire Low light Dry Kitchen Herb Eyam

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Comments


Hermanus 9 4 South Africa
16 Sep 2014 6:06PM
Interesting image Smile
banehawi Plus
18 2.7k 4311 Canada
16 Sep 2014 6:14PM
What do you mean by "default image". Has this already had noise reduction in RAW applied? Or not?


W
banehawi Plus
18 2.7k 4311 Canada
16 Sep 2014 6:38PM
Hi Jasmine.

Can you also let us know how you have cropped to get the image you call 100% crop?

I cant really say a lot about how you are using RAW processing, because I dont know what you are doing.

If I assume that the default is close to the original, this is the the problem, if it is a problem, starts. Its very underexposed, almost a full stop under. Using spot metering is the likely culprit.

Any underexposed image, even at lower ISO, when the exposure is increased in post processing, will amplify noise, making it more visible. The key to minimizing this is to get a good exposure to start with; then the post processing will not amplify noise as much.

The crop of the herbs show that the resolution is low in places; the herbs closer to the lens are not as sharp as those further away, - normal to find this depending on how close you were, - which was quite close according to the exif data. I dont see excessive noise there.

Is this crop to show noise, or softness? Im not sure. Are you asking if your use of noise reduction in RAW is a problem? Again its impossible to say as I dont know what youve done. Are you following the workflow in RAW, which has Sharpening ahead of Noise Reduction? Are you applying both noise and colour noise reduction? re you paying close attention to the 100% crops that W shows you so you can see the effects of your adjustments?

I will wait for more information, and in the interim, a mod.


Regards


Willie
xwang 13 56 8
16 Sep 2014 8:48PM
Thank you very much Willie.

Quote:Can you also let us know how you have cropped to get the image you call 100% crop?

Changed the resolution to 72, height to 768, whatever the width... as camera club required.

Quote: I assume that the default is close to the original, this is the the problem, if it is a problem, starts. Its very underexposed, almost a full stop under.

Ah,.. sorry,it called defaults. After I opened RAW,I clicked the drop list at the right corner, there is one called Camera Raw Defaults. I presumed that it was original.
Yes, it is underexposed. I wasn't sure that I could get a clear picture at S:60, because of the angle and the space, so I thought that I had to sacrifice the exposure, I thought that I might be able to brighten it up on PS.

Quote: Are you asking if your use of noise reduction in RAW is a problem?

Yes and no. I did reduce noise on ACR. I sense that it's better to reduce noise on camera raw than on photoshop. I wonder if I didn't get the proportion right. I perhaps reduced luminance noise 58%. Colour noise reduced about 50 something.. It seemed that the massive reducing luminance noise causes something undesirable as well.. I'll show you.... Do you think that I did wrong? See the screen shot on MOD, please.
I like Your MOD's contrast. How did you get that? Thanks again, Willie.
dudler Plus
18 1.9k 1936 England
16 Sep 2014 10:13PM
Everything in life, and photography is a compromise.

The perfectionist answer is to use a tripod, longer exposure, and far lower ISO - and not underexpose to keep the shutter speed up!

In the real world, where tripods may not be allowed, you may be able to rest the camera against a doorframe, or something like that.

Or you can make a positive feature of the noise.

Or - and this seems to be the way you're heading - you can finesse the processing - and Willie is definitely your man for this.

My definite suggestion is to include all of the shadow of the herbs in the final image. It seems incomplete without that.
banehawi Plus
18 2.7k 4311 Canada
16 Sep 2014 10:38PM
Hi Jasmine.

Step 1 is to get the exposure right, in camera; look at the LCD with the histogram, and you will know right away its well under; then you need to increase ISO to get it sorted out, using the same settings for aperture and shutter. What you will find is that even at the higher ISO, you will see less noise, not more, using the same viewing condition, as you have not amplified noise in post processing to recover exposure. And, since the shows are brighter, less visible noise.

From your screen shots, you have skipped the sharpen step in ACR which should be done before noise reduction; then, that noise reduction is way, way too aggressive, - it has completely blurred the herb details.

When you look at the ACR screen, - right at the top is the issue thats the problem, - underexposure. And this would need to be sorted out before noise, or sharpening. The ACR steps are arranged in a specific order which is best to follow.

The mod has exposure corrected, and I used Noise Ninja on the result. Also used the lens correction tool to remove that wicked barrel distortion you can see on the left.



Regards


Willie
paulbroad Plus
14 131 1294 United Kingdom
17 Sep 2014 9:16AM
Lots of stuff above, Jas. The simple bottom line is that your subject needs to be very sharp and dominant, and it is quite a way off. You can do whatever else you like, if you loose the sharoness where it needs to be, game over.

I think the beams may also detract, being rather strong and dominant in themselves.

Not sure if it's processing or the original situation. As you know, RAW is best, but only if used correctly. Shoot RAW + best JPG and try and process the RAW file to be better than the JPG. The JPG, contrary to what some might say, is usually quite close to a decent image.

Paul
xwang 13 56 8
17 Sep 2014 5:41PM
OK, thank you very much Willie.
I'll push ISO further next time. The reason I didn't was that I thought there wouldn't be much improved shutter speed, only added on more noise. When I tested the camera last year, the "acceptable" ISO was 2000. I thought that I had already pushed it up a lot. I did another test under very low light, under-exposure condition after I read your critique, ISO 12800 had higher but narrower histogram close to the left side, ISO 25600 had lower, about 1/5 wider but lower histogram, both close to the left side, with strong noise, shutter speed didn't improve though. I can only try my luck on PS, since it had more middle tone. I don't know if I understand it correctly.

Quote:The ACR steps are arranged in a specific order which is best to follow.

I didn't know the order before.. so I should follow the ACR order as book reading order, sharpen, reduce luminance noise and then colour noise, is that correct?

Quote: The simple bottom line is that your subject needs to be very sharp and dominant, and it is quite a way off. You can do whatever else you like, if you loose the sharoness where it needs to be, game over.
Thank you very much Paul.Yeah, I do remember you said this to me.. that's why the shutter speed was 100, but for whatever the reason, the detail is not very good, perhaps if the light is too low, I would be struggling to get it back easily on PS.


Quote:The perfectionist answer is to use a tripod, longer exposure, and far lower ISO - and not underexpose to keep the shutter speed up!

In the real world, where tripods may not be allowed,

Thank you, Dudler. True. The tripod issue had been in critique several times in the past few years...The fact is that I can't use it. And I have never used them, I did take the advices bought a few but never used them in reality..one is I can't carry them when I visit places; second is most of the places tripods are not allowed; the third.. erm.. I'm used to handhold and feel free without locking at one position and one place. I agree, it's easier to get a clear and perfect picture, but I perhaps can't go very far....Grin
banehawi Plus
18 2.7k 4311 Canada
17 Sep 2014 5:51PM
The shutter speed required by ISO 25600 is twice the shutter speed needed by ISO 12800, its just a math equation. If you are finding that its not, for exactly the same scene in the same light, thats a problem likely down to what mode you are using. If its manual, simply double the speed for the same aperture.

yes, do the steps in the workflow order.


regards


Willie
xwang 13 56 8
17 Sep 2014 7:05PM
Thanks again, Willie.
I just uploaded the test shots for you to have a look, in case you are interested in.
They are 100% zoom and cropped, one is ISO:12800, the lighter one is ISO:25600, same shutter speed and aperture, very underexposed, but you may see the ISO25600 one is slightly lighter... I think that even that little bit lighter could be cruel for me sometimes... So it's glad to know, and thank you for your helpful comments.
The screen shots showed the original picture and its histogram and info.
banehawi Plus
18 2.7k 4311 Canada
17 Sep 2014 8:16PM
Thanks Jasmine, Thats twice the brightness you see there. Doesnt look like it, but thats what it is. Look at the height of the histogram.

W
cbrundage 9 4 United States
21 Sep 2014 9:03PM
I know you are looking for technical comments and as you know, I don't know cameras. I look at your work as pictures only. From the thumbnail I couldn't imagine what it was! Now that I see it, I can see what it is - and I wonder what those herbs are. It would have gone well with the aroma of the herbs - maybe sometime in the future the cameras will be able to capture those too!

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