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Thread: A NEF challenge.

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    ajohnw's Avatar
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    A NEF challenge.

    I would be curious to see what people can do with this file along with what they used to do it. The file is available here

    http://filebin.net/udjf88ues4

    Not sure how long this will be available. Free service and no registration.

    My best so far is this one. Selecting or locally retouching the halo around the building left I believe from CA removal would be cheating. A width of about 1650 pixels should be big enough to see how it went. I had to tone mapped this one to gain something in the walls as the noise removal left them unnaturally flat. Still not happy with it. Shadows a bit dark for one.



    John
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    Re: A NEF challenge.

    How about this?
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: A NEF challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by yauman View Post
    How about this?
    It's a bit small to tell. Best use the "Click here to upload ........) in the post and make it 1650 pixels wide.

    John
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    rdc
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    Re: A NEF challenge.

    It's a bit large (11MB) - I kept it full format so that the details could be observed. EDIT: file not accepted, I uploaded it on Flickr, click here for full format version (the below file is 1600 across).



    I broke the processing in steps and treated each area to address specific problems on different layers. I came to the end where I had to decide between more detail and more noise, or a smoother look and less noise - I chose the latter. I haven't straightened so that it can be opened in an image processing software and be superimposed to the original for comparison.

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    Re: A NEF challenge.

    Try again.


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    Re: A NEF challenge.

    It's interesting. One thing I notice is the perforated brickwork on the balcony. I'd guess that has been enhanced separately as no light comes through particularly on Raul's - best thing to do.

    I had another go but based on the jpg. I darkened it a little apart from some of the roof areas and then brightened up the deep shadows - only to find that I had set a black point and it would probably be better to leave it alone.

    The smooth walls seem to be a must given the noise.



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    Re: A NEF challenge.

    interesting study of gutter downspouts and picnic tables.

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    Re: A NEF challenge.

    I tried, only made it worse.

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    rdc
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    Re: A NEF challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    I tried, only made it worse.
    Well... to be honest I don't think any of us made it better, the image was - probably intentionally - shot in a way that makes it impossible to make something good out of it without significantly altering it.

    The most useful thing I concluded from this exercise is that as Yauman lives in sunny California he sees it more bright and sunny, whereas I see it more gloomy and cold because I live in London. The bottom line is, processing or not processing, that lead can't be turned into gold... though when nuclear fusion will become mainstream this may change :-)

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    Re: A NEF challenge.

    Seemed like a fairly normal file to process if you asked me ...

    Black Pearl found this helpful.

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    Re: A NEF challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Seemed like a fairly normal file to process if you asked me ...
    Ah, but there's no gap now between the tree branches and roof ridge lines

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    Re: A NEF challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stagecoach View Post
    Ah, but there's no gap now between the tree branches and roof ridge lines
    Damn, perhaps I could get it back by grossly over-sharpening at a high radius

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    Re: A NEF challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Seemed like a fairly normal file to process if you asked me ...

    I never made it to the sharpening stage, after ACR textures started to meld or shadows went totally black, plus the highlights/whites were already blazingly hot. Nice edit, care to share your method?

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    Re: A NEF challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    I never made it to the sharpening stage, after ACR textures started to meld or shadows went totally black, plus the highlights/whites were already blazingly hot. Nice edit, care to share your method?
    Hi John,

    Thanks.

    Honestly, just stock-standard stuff. I'm really quite "surprised" that folks are having so much trouble with it. Off memory, the top-left corner was a little hot so I dropped a Digital GND over it to stop it blowing - revealed shadow detail using fill light slider. Careful levels adjustment (as always) then some sharpening. The high-frequency grass obviously needs different treatment to the low-frequency building, so I just duplicated the layer and erased the undesired effects on the grass from the building sharpen. Ended up with a wee bit of noise on the building so ran a quick & dirty surface blur to kill that. Whole thing only took a few minutes.

    Edit: Just remembered - I also tapped a few areas of the building with burn brush set to shadows to improve the contrast in those areas a little.

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    Re: A NEF challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Seemed like a fairly normal file to process if you asked me ...

    I would be interested in a run down of what you did to it Colin too - step by step.

    I've managed similar but have been left with pasty whites on the building. I selectively processed using gimps select - channel which means the selections can be called back any time. The last step was the building minus the roof which I left as is. I titivated that but found no way of getting rid of the pasty white left by the noise removal. I then tried selecting the whole image and subtracting the building to play around with the rest. Not sure what went wrong but none of the edits would do anything too it. Could be that it didn't like me trying to run 2 edit functions at the same time. So saved the gimp file to get it all back but didn't check where it has put it. This is what I managed, still less work around the building.



    Bit roughly done in places. I thought I had got rid of the CA problem but as soon as the reduced picture has the usual done to it back it comes. I did tone map a touch to improve the whites. It seems CA has to be corrected on raw data before anything is done to it. All I have to do that is Rawtherapee. It re debayers it after every adjustment.

    The building is a "pavilion" built along with a park by Cadburys and fortunately set up in a trust before the Cadbury family more or less went out of the business. I often use it to test lenses plus the cafe does excellent BLT's on granary.

    John
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  16. #16
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    Re: A NEF challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi John,

    Thanks.

    Honestly, just stock-standard stuff. I'm really quite "surprised" that folks are having so much trouble with it. Off memory, the top-left corner was a little hot so I dropped a Digital GND over it to stop it blowing - revealed shadow detail using fill light slider. Careful levels adjustment (as always) then some sharpening. The high-frequency grass obviously needs different treatment to the low-frequency building, so I just duplicated the layer and erased the undesired effects on the grass from the building sharpen. Ended up with a wee bit of noise on the building so ran a quick & dirty surface blur to kill that. Whole thing only took a few minutes.

    Edit: Just remembered - I also tapped a few areas of the building with burn brush set to shadows to improve the contrast in those areas a little.
    Colin,

    Thanks for the method used. i'll give it another go, if for nothing else a chance to practice my editing.

  17. #17
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    Re: A NEF challenge.

    I thought Colin's would come out top but they are all good. Yau-Man probably came closest to getting the tone of the building walls right.

    Welcome to the uk weather



    I had left the grass etc a bit dark from raw so tried to match that up now and smooth out the clouds with curves. Then played with the 2 door brightnesses. No tone map this time so the CA line isn't so obvious.

    Having never tried anything like this before I'm reasonably pleased with it. Thanks for the clues. One thing I don't like is the building colour. It shouldn't be so cream. The noise reduction filter I used has a number of adjustments. Maybe one will prevent the pasty whites particularly in the windows. I used G'Mic's bilateral smooth. When used on the whole image it only messed up the shadowy grass.

    I've had some problems with D7000 profiles. I tried nicking one ViewNX2's on the fly ones as I can sort of run it under linux but Nikon clearly scale it some way. This one is better and a little like Nikon's landscape effect but I would be happier with one that sent the building whiter. Be interested if anyone knows a source of Nikon profiles. There are a couple provided with Photivo. This is the unenhanced one.

    C&C and advice welcome - but I wont be using Adobe products.

    Glad some have used it for practice. That's one of the reason I posted it.


    John
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  18. #18
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    Re: A NEF challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by ajohnw View Post
    I thought Colin's would come out top but they are all good. Yau-Man probably came closest to getting the tone of the building walls right.

    Welcome to the uk weather



    I had left the grass etc a bit dark from raw so tried to match that up now and smooth out the clouds with curves. Then played with the 2 door brightnesses. No tone map this time so the CA line isn't so obvious.

    Having never tried anything like this before I'm reasonably pleased with it. Thanks for the clues. One thing I don't like is the building colour. It shouldn't be so cream. The noise reduction filter I used has a number of adjustments. Maybe one will prevent the pasty whites particularly in the windows. I used G'Mic's bilateral smooth. When used on the whole image it only messed up the shadowy grass.

    I've had some problems with D7000 profiles. I tried nicking one ViewNX2's on the fly ones as I can sort of run it under linux but Nikon clearly scale it some way. This one is better and a little like Nikon's landscape effect but I would be happier with one that sent the building whiter. Be interested if anyone knows a source of Nikon profiles. There are a couple provided with Photivo. This is the unenhanced one.

    C&C and advice welcome - but I wont be using Adobe products.

    Glad some have used it for practice. That's one of the reason I posted it.


    John
    -
    John,

    When I was trying my edit, I noticed that the sign was registering as the whitest poiint in the image, perhaps the clouds as well but that white sign was the beginning of my errs. I should have probably ignored the sign as I had already adjusted my white point in ACR, but like you I felt there were parts of the building that should have been closer in value to white. The other trouble spots were the brick wall leading from the house and the shadow patch in the immediate foreground.

  19. #19

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    Re: A NEF challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by ajohnw View Post
    I would be interested in a run down of what you did to it Colin too - step by step.

    I've managed similar but have been left with pasty whites on the building. I selectively processed using gimps select - channel which means the selections can be called back any time. The last step was the building minus the roof which I left as is. I titivated that but found no way of getting rid of the pasty white left by the noise removal. I then tried selecting the whole image and subtracting the building to play around with the rest. Not sure what went wrong but none of the edits would do anything too it. Could be that it didn't like me trying to run 2 edit functions at the same time. So saved the gimp file to get it all back but didn't check where it has put it. This is what I managed, still less work around the building.



    Bit roughly done in places. I thought I had got rid of the CA problem but as soon as the reduced picture has the usual done to it back it comes. I did tone map a touch to improve the whites. It seems CA has to be corrected on raw data before anything is done to it. All I have to do that is Rawtherapee. It re debayers it after every adjustment.

    The building is a "pavilion" built along with a park by Cadburys and fortunately set up in a trust before the Cadbury family more or less went out of the business. I often use it to test lenses plus the cafe does excellent BLT's on granary.

    John
    -
    I'll do it again tonight if I get time (and take some notes), but the biggest issue I'm seeing with your edits John is that you're forcing the contrast of the building too much; the darker bits are too contrasty and lacking detail. I suspect you're either over-sharpening with a high radius and/or have a levels issue (I suspect the former). You shouldn't need any selections for this (not withstanding that I kinda separated the upper 1/2 of the scene from the lower 1/2 for different sharpening treatment of high-frequency grass -v- low-frequency building)

  20. #20

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    Re: A NEF challenge.

    PS: I still had the XMP file on my desktop, so anyone who wants to open the original in ACR using this sidecar file can see what I've used (only used basic panel - 2010 process - and one small GND)

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2g...it?usp=sharing

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