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Old May 15, 2011, 11:19 PM   #1
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Default A very happy occasion and terrible photos

This weekend my wife and I traveled to the Boston area for a long-awaited event: our son graduated from college! I could not be more proud of his accomplishments. It truly is a milestone event.

However, it was a very cloudy rainy day, and the ceremony was very wisely held under a large tent. Lighting was terrible. Since I left the FA 50 f/1.4 at home, I had a selection of very slow lenses, forcing me to kick the ISO of my K20 up to 3200. I expected quite a bit of noise, but what I got was far worse than what I anticipated. (Oh, how I would love to get a K5, or a Kr!)

I have PSE 9 (Windows version), which has a noise reduction filter, but I found the end result no better than the original. I don't have any other software, but these photos might be a good excuse to invest in some decent noise reduction software. Can anyone recommend a good program that is not too pricey? I also don't know if it's better to get a plug-in or stand alone program. (Do plug-ins even work with PSE, or do you need the full blown version?)

Here's a small 100% crop of one shot to show you what I'm dealing with. The CA in this shot is very pronounced, but it's not nearly so bad in most of the others. The noise however, is equally bad in all my shots.
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Old May 16, 2011, 12:24 AM   #2
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Wow, I tried fixing it with noiseware professional, which usually does a stellar job on my high ISO shots & it couldn't help this one much at all.
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Old May 16, 2011, 1:48 AM   #3
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mtnman : firstly plug-ins are the full blown programs, it's just that they are integrated into your 'master' program that you use for organising or editing (e.g. Aperture, PS or LR) - they are fully functional and in fact some don't have 'standalone' versions.

Secondly what you have given us is a 100% crop. It is very likely that with the full file the noise & CA can be cleaned up enough to give you very printable shots - as it's unlikely you'll print at more than 8x10 right ?

Programs - there are quite a few out there around or up to $100. However if you are using Windows then I'm sure there must be some free versions worth trying out first (or use the trial versions of the $100 programs to see which works - it'll be worth it to get prints of that once-in-a-lifetime event). I'm sure the Windows users on here can steer you in the right direction for the free programs.
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Old May 16, 2011, 7:57 AM   #4
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Download the trial version of Topaz Lab's DeNoise - it's my favorite noise reduction program. It works as a plug-in and will work with PSE 6 thru 9 and Windows XP thru Windows 7. It's also under $100. They offer a 30 day free trial.
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Old May 16, 2011, 8:09 AM   #5
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Noiseware Pro has a free trial verison as well and can be used as a stand alone or plug in. You get both with your license. The plug in works with photoshop and cost is $69.95. I find that it does an excellent job. Here is the link: http://www.imagenomic.com/nwpg.aspx

The free trial won't let you save a large version of the picture, but it also doesn't expire.

I would download 2 or 3 of the free trial products and use them, then determine the one you like the best for purchase.
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Old May 16, 2011, 8:47 AM   #6
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Hi mtnman,

There are a number of tricks that can be used to save pics like this. The first thing that you have to do is determine how you want to display them, small prints (4x6), larger prints (8x10), or just email or for posting on the web like on this forum at relatively low res on a computer screen. You can then decide what compromises you can afford to make to get a decent image for the desired medium. As long as you have some reasonable exposure of your most important subjects, you should be able to apply enough PP magic to give you some maybe not optimal, but acceptable images to remember the occasion by.

You might have guessed that I've got some experience saving pics in PP. . .

I did a quick job on your sample that would not look as good as the original file would give since one of the tricks is to downsize the image to give reasonable resolution for the desired output. Since this is a 100% crop, there's no real room to downsize and illustrate the improvement that you'd get from this, and it would probably be pretty substantial.

I've attached the PP'd crop. What do you think? . . . and keep in mind that I could do better with the whole original. . .I won't go through the processes unless you feel that it might be worthwhile to pursue.

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Old May 16, 2011, 8:52 AM   #7
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I'll echo - we need to go back to original files and not 100% crops. You can't crop high iso photos that much.
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Old May 16, 2011, 9:58 AM   #8
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Yes, could we see the original uncropped photo?
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Old May 16, 2011, 10:26 AM   #9
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Harriett gave me an idea on how to remove CA see quote below, it worked quite well. Frogfish had a post in Feb about noise reduction, I did download a few free plugins to SPE 9 per his post link below

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...-software.html


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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
That's always been the main complaint with the Tamron, and why I ended up buying the 55-300 instead. If you have a picture with PF that you are willing to spend some time with, try using the clone tool set to "color" instead of "normal" (Scott told me about this trick and it works great!). Then choose the color you want the purple to be and it will paint that color over the area, without changing the light/dark (luminosity). Otherwise it's a nice picture of the Hooded Merganser - that's one of my favorite water birds, I always think they look very elegant with their hoods up.
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Old May 16, 2011, 6:36 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the suggestions folks. Scott, your manipulation of the sample I posted is amazing. It's a huge improvement. If you don't mind I would very much appreciate learning which program you used, and what you did.

Many people said they need to see the full image, not my cropped enlargement. I resized the image for posting here, but this is the uncropped image. I very much appreciate any suggestions for improving the image.

Just so people know, the college hired a professional photographer who set up in a perfect position to photograph each person being handed their diploma by the college president. I'm sure that that photo will be scandalously overpriced, but we certainly plan to purchase a print.

Again, I very much appreciate everyone's help!
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