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Thread: Removing pattern from shooting through a cage (e.g. in a zoo)

  1. #1
    herbert's Avatar
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    Removing pattern from shooting through a cage (e.g. in a zoo)

    Hi,

    I have a few shots taken at a zoo through a cage or wire mesh. I know that to get around this you can open up the aperture as much as possible and stand close to the mesh. However it still affects the final image. Here's an example of a colorful pheasant where you can see the mesh effect on the background:

    Removing pattern from shooting through a cage (e.g. in a zoo)

    Given that the mesh is a repeating pattern is it possible to remove it? For example I thought some sort of filter in Fourier space might be possible where the specific frequency that the mesh is at could be removed. A quick Google search found that this can be done using a Notch or band-stop filter although I have no experience of how to do it.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Alex

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    Re: Removing pattern from shooting through a cage (e.g. in a zoo)

    But with a background like that I'm not sure the 'pattern' would be recognisable.

    My first thought would be to go over the background with a blur brush. Try varying the brush size and opacity to suit.

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    Re: Removing pattern from shooting through a cage (e.g. in a zoo)

    Hi Alex, the mesh is so slight that it really doesn't distract the eye away from the subject. On the other hand, if the original contains the feet and tail, I would love to see more of this fascinating bird!

    I too have been frustrated at getting clear shots where there is mesh between the camera and the subject so if there is a solution for that problem, I'd love to find out what it is!

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    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: Removing pattern from shooting through a cage (e.g. in a zoo)

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    My first thought would be to go over the background with a blur brush. Try varying the brush size and opacity to suit.
    Hi Geoff,

    Thanks for pointing out a much easier solution. I'll try some brush blurring and see how it looks.

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    Hi Alex, the mesh is so slight that it really doesn't distract the eye away from the subject. On the other hand, if the original contains the feet and tail, I would love to see more of this fascinating bird!
    Hi Frank,

    Unfortunately this is the full size frame. I didn't get many keeper shots of the bird due to the combination of low light and his movement. This is the best one I have.

    Regards,

    Alex

  5. #5
    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: Removing pattern from shooting through a cage (e.g. in a zoo)

    Here is my edit version:

    Removing pattern from shooting through a cage (e.g. in a zoo)

    I applied two background blur steps. The first blur of 10 pixels removed the mesh effect from the foreground. The second blur of 20 pixels removed the mesh from the upper background. To save the bird I have applied a mask selection to prevent the blur working in the bird area.

    I then used the gradient tool on the blur masks to fade in the blur from bottom to top. The fade is very slight on the 10-radius blur just to protect the bird's feet. The second gradient on the 20-radius blur is from top to bottom.

    Here is my layering work:

    Removing pattern from shooting through a cage (e.g. in a zoo)

    Thoughts on the modified version?

    Thanks,

    Alex

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    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Removing pattern from shooting through a cage (e.g. in a zoo)

    Nice work, Alex! Can't see any mesh now and the bird is sharp and clear. Was there any mesh between the bird and the camera at the start? If so, could you post the SOOC so we can see how far you came? Thanks!

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    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: Removing pattern from shooting through a cage (e.g. in a zoo)

    As requested, this is SOOC:

    Removing pattern from shooting through a cage (e.g. in a zoo)

    I had done a fair bit of tweaking to the raw file (mainly brightness and vibrance) to bring out the colours of the bird. You can see in the original that the mesh has imparted a general greyness to the colours. However the mesh is less obvious in the background in the original. Perhaps a case for a bit of double development and then blending. Something for another day...

    Alex

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    Re: Removing pattern from shooting through a cage (e.g. in a zoo)

    It looks like this is more like a window screen than the typical chicken wire mesh that I normally see used around here. You did an excellent job removing the haze while still recovering the detail.

    When I've run into camera crop issues like this, I sometimes experiment with cropping tighter, say to the front third of the bird to emphasize the head and upper body. When it works, (and the detail must be there for that) it looks planned and can be rather pleasing.

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