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Thread: Noisy chameleon - any suggestions?

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    davidedric's Avatar
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    Noisy chameleon - any suggestions?

    Hi,

    I shot this in poor light. Should have gone for a lower shutter speed (these chaps don't move very fast!), but didn't.

    Result was very high ISO and lots of noise. I can't figure out a way of preserving skin/scale details whilst denoising the reptile (not too worried about the background noise). Any ideas, or indeed any other comments.

    Thanks,

    Dave


    Noisy chameleon - any suggestions?

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    Re: Noisy chameleon - any suggestions?

    Dave what about making a copy of the layer,selecting the chameleon then copy to a new separate layer, denoise and maybe soften the copied layer, that way you would not be working on the chameleon at all, and if needed you could sharpen only the
    the subject.
    Just a thought.

    Cheers:

    Allan

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    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Re: Noisy chameleon - any suggestions?

    Hi Dave,

    Looking at your chameleon, I don't see noise on the subject being too much of an issue as it is quite detailed. The background noise is more of a problem. Here I would duplicate the layer, mask out the background and reduce the noise. I'd then concentrate on the chameleon and the perch he is standing on and try to add detail by increasing contrast and sharpening. If there are any smooth areas that are attracting noise at this stage then you can easily mask those areas off as well.

    Nice shot by the way :-)

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    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Noisy chameleon - any suggestions?

    It's a beautiful image David... So much so that I don't think the noise on the critter is a problem... Not at this size.

    If for a full size print...

    I've been experimenting with DeNoise programs, and right now I have the Topaz Trial which seems to be the best of the bunch with respect to preserving detail, and you can control the amount, ie; make the denoise very light... Also in Lightroom you can selectively decrease the noise with the adjustment brush, and also in Elements 9 selecting just the beautiful critter or portions of him/her... and moving the sliders to see which works best.

    Gorgeous shot... beautiful colour and setting.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Noisy chameleon - any suggestions?

    Hi Dave,

    I ran it through Neat Image

    Noisy chameleon - any suggestions?

    Better?

    You could also try selective sharpening - avoiding doing ANY on the background (and foreground) bits that are out of focus (for such high iso shots).

    Cheers,

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    davidedric's Avatar
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    Re: Noisy chameleon - any suggestions?

    Thanks everyone, and specially to Dave (it is better!). I'll have another go myself and see what I can do.

    Dave

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    Re: Noisy chameleon - any suggestions?

    Looks good to me. Sharpest area is near the eyes, so if you do any noise reduction just look for changes in that area.

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    davidedric's Avatar
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    Re: Noisy chameleon - any suggestions?

    A second attempt - any views, please.

    Process was to use Nik Dfine to remove noise, but used control points to protect the Chameleon so that I didn't lose detail.

    Then used the Nik output sharpener. Reduced the global sharpening to zero to avoid bringing noise back in generally. Then used control points again to sharpen just the animal. I think it looks better - but maybe a bit overcooked. I was quite aggressive with the control points in increasing sharpening, structure and local contrast.


    Noisy chameleon - any suggestions?

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    Re: Noisy chameleon - any suggestions?

    A simple technique that I use on noisy backgrounds is to run over the problem areas with a light Blur Brush.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Noisy chameleon - any suggestions?

    Hi Dave,

    I don't think it looks over sharpened and it is clearly better than the first post.

    A good overall process has been adopted, but I would suggest (next time) that brushed masking, rather than control points (which are usually quite soft edged), might have been a better way to apply selective sharpening. As this stands, I see a noisy 'halo' around the creature, with noise diminishing the further we get away from the subject.

    Hope that helps,

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    Re: Noisy chameleon - any suggestions?

    Hi Dave,

    Your second posting of the chameleon was much better. I took some photos the other day of an Eastern Newt in the Juvenile (eft) stage and had the same problem. My ISO was cranked up - partly because of low light, but also because I forgot to change it from a previous session. Worked on them in LR4, am pretty satisfied, but not entirely. I have Elements 11, which does layers, but have trouble figuring out how to use it. Soon I will try again - bought Scott Kelby's book on it, read it cover-to-cover, and am now going through it once more.

    I think I did lose a bit of detail when reducing the noise. Here are two of my images:

    Noisy chameleon - any suggestions?

    Noisy chameleon - any suggestions?

    This little guy is only two and a half to three inches long! It was actually a bit redder when I first saw it, perhaps my following him around to take photos changed his color a bit! Amazing what stress can do...

    It still didn't move too fast. Just kept trying to go the other way when I was trying to get a picture from in front of it! That is the reason for the full U-Turn position in the first image...

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    davidedric's Avatar
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    Re: Noisy chameleon - any suggestions?

    I don't think it looks over sharpened and it is clearly better than the first post.

    A good overall process has been adopted, but I would suggest (next time) that brushed masking, rather than control points (which are usually quite soft edged), might have been a better way to apply selective sharpening. As this stands, I see a noisy 'halo' around the creature, with noise diminishing the further we get away from the subject.
    Thanks, Dave. Only just picked up your post - not sure how I missed it. I see your point about the noisy halo etc. Truth is that I am not very adept with layers, and I feared that using LR's Adjustment Brush would be difficult to get right with the fine scales around the animal, and lead to a halo of a different kind. More to think about.

    Dave

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    Re: Noisy chameleon - any suggestions?

    I think I did lose a bit of detail when reducing the noise. Here are two of my images:
    Hi GMG (I have been to the Green Mountains in the fall - so lovely).

    Yes, that's why I went through the complications with the Nik products, though maybe not entirely successfully as you can see from Dave's observations. I very much like that you have the noise reduction and sharpening in the same panel in LR so that it's much easier to see the trade off.

    I think the second image is much stronger, though personally I would crop it a bit. If you'd like a bit more colour, the LR HSL panel should fix it up nicely

    Dave

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    Re: Noisy chameleon - any suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    Hi GMG (I have been to the Green Mountains in the fall - so lovely).

    Yes, that's why I went through the complications with the Nik products, though maybe not entirely successfully as you can see from Dave's observations. I very much like that you have the noise reduction and sharpening in the same panel in LR so that it's much easier to see the trade off.
    Hi Dave, I don't know anything about the Nik products. Started with Elements 9, didn't like it much, and switched last year to LR4. But wanted to learn layers, so upgraded to Elements 11 which was compatible with my new camera. LR4 is so much easier to learn how to use, more intuitive for me. I also like having everything in the same panel - after going down pretty much in order, it is easy to go back to a previous alteration and tweak it a bit.

    Elements is more complex, requiring the switching of screens and layers, but it appears to allow a different type of editing. The idea of being able to select part of a photograph to edit and being able to leave the rest alone is amazing. Once I finish going through the book, will start in earnest to put the techniques into practice. Lots of experimenting to do!

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    I think the second image is much stronger, though personally I would crop it a bit. If you'd like a bit more colour, the LR HSL panel should fix it up nicely
    I agree, the second image is stronger. I cropped to 8x10 dimensions, which left a bit of extra background. You are probably right, it might look even more striking if brought in a bit tighter. I did use the HSL panel, and am pretty happy with the color. The first image started looking a bit funny when I cranked it up too much, perhaps I will play with it again and see if I can improve the color. And looking forward to seeing what happens when I use Elements and layers!

    My hope is that with separating out the newt from the background I can make local adjustments without having to consider what it does to the rest of the image.

    In the fall, the Green Mountains are not so green anymore. I love the autumn colors. But in summer I love the green, especially after a rain when the color intensifies. Of course, I love winter as well! Spring is a bit different - it is not a true spring like when I lived in Maryland, with the grass coming up and flowers, all at a leisurely pace. Here spring is short, and is also known as "Mud Season". Once everything gets started growing, the pace is faster because the growing season is not overly long (a nice way of saying it is short!). That is one reason I live here - I am an all-seasons kind of person. For me, Vermont is great almost any time of year...

    Thanks for your observations!

    Susan

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