Green Heron PP Question

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Dave, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Since I'm still a little "green" when it comes to post processing, I am wondering which looks better. This first shot is how I used to PP, just added a little sharpening and changed the levels to brighten it up a bit, but it has just a hint of noise to it (this isn't the greatest shot, but just one I took this morning).

    [​IMG]

    Next, I decided to see what it looked like with a little bit of noise reduction. So my question to you all is, which one looks better?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Did you have any in-camera sharpening enabled? None is best.

    When did you do the noise reduction? First PP step is best.

    Then add a skosh of sharpening, just enough to sharpen up the image (as if you had -n-camera turned on)

    Then do all your level, curves, color balance, etc

    Then resize/resample for output medium (printer, screen)

    Then sharpen for output medium, it will take more than you think.

    This book will guide you regarding when and how much

    http://www.amazon.com/World-Image-S...0721442?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1184263832&sr=8-1

    Now to answer your question - the bottom looks better because the noise in the bokeh'ed region behind the bird is gone/not noticible. I don't know if it was your intent, but the color saturation in the lower photograph looks a little paler that the top one, but that just may be my crappy work monitor - unless you did noise reduction at some step after first....

    Hope this helps
     
  3. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Thanks Nick for the pointers. I actually did have sharpening set to +1 in the camera and didn't even realize it.
     
  4. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Nick's comments are spot on. I actually like both versions, but would like one that combines the best of each. I think that if you follow Nick's suggestions that you will get the best results. :smile:
     
  5. yamo

    yamo

    Jun 28, 2007
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Greetings. All you did was noise reduction? In some respects the second looks better (uh, the noise part) but there is a balance between the noise reduction and loss of detail, which to my eye has gone too far... most of the feather detail on the head at back is gone, the branches too suffer from lack of detail. The green leaf in front of the tail doesn't show up at all in the first image but is distracting in the second... the leaves in general look pretty different between the two shots (I prefer the leaves in the first shot).

    All in all I prefer the first image for the detail. There is also a better black point in the first image which gives depth to the branches and the bird... The second seems to have averaged out the sharp blacks in the feathers and branches giving an overall flat impression... it looks in need of a levels/curves adjustment.

    Is that a spiderweb in the first image? It's gone in the second.

    FWIW, there are a bunch of different noise reduction options, plugins, utilities, etc. Some are better than others in keeping detail while removing specific noise. It's a bit of a hunt for the right thing though. Nick's workflow above looks about right...

    As always, your mileage may vary...

    Cheers,

    -Yamo-
     
  6. Interesting reading.. I guess I am doing it all wrong! my simple (un-educated) workflow with CS2 is... convert Raw image to uncompressed jpg in Nikon picture Project, open jpg in CS2, crop, clone out twiggs, dust spots, etc... curves/levels, maybe a little shadow highlight, USM at 60-100% and 1.4 Radius, 0 Threshold, and neat image last.. resize for web, add some canvas, sig, and that's it. How bad is all this?

    Sorry if this is not in the right forum section.,,

    here is one from this past weekend..

    2007-07-09_7w.
     
  7. yamo

    yamo

    Jun 28, 2007
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Greetings. You write:

    Different folks have different ideas about the order of things, your workflow isn't wrong, per se, but some might do it a bit differently. Here are a few things that I do:

    - I don't convert to jpeg before going into PS, I don't know if picture project will convert directly to a psd. I currently use lightroom to convert to psd, before I used Adobe Camera Raw (which comes with PS). The reasoning is that your raw file most likely uses 12 bits for color, psd supports 16 bit color and jpeg only 8 bits. So by converting to jpeg you some bits which may make a difference in your post-processing (especially in the shadows). I think it's good to do a reasonable amount of your global adjustments in whatever raw converter before going to PS.
    - I do the noise reduction first (after raw conversion using neat image) because it seems to work better (to my eye) before the character of the noise is changed by further processing. I think that processing makes it more difficult for the noise reduction algorithms to recognize noise as opposed to detail (my guess).
    - I then do a little sharpening to counteract the softening that accompanies noise reduction to help guide my further processing.
    - further processing... curves adjustment layers, masking, blending, filtering, etc.
    - cropping could be early or late depending on how sure I am of the crop (it's a shame to go through all that processing just to then wish you hadn't cropped that little bit on the right).
    - Save "final" psd
    - Sharpen for specific output media (color corrections, too).

    Your mileage may vary...

    Cheers,

    -Yamo-
     
  8. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Thanks for the information Yamo...I think the reason you are seeing some things differently in the 2 images (the leaf, etc) is that they are not the same image, but 2 that were taken back to back (although apparently I did move a bit between images as the leaf shows). Both images had the same processing done on them, just one I did a little noise reduction and one I did not.

    Thanks for looking and commenting.
     
  9. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Ray,

    Certainly nothing wrong with your results. I do agree with Yamo WRT converting to JPG before CS. I save my RAW converted files as uncompressed 16-bit TIFF's (per Ron Reznick). It may not make a big difference for web posting, but I need all of the dynamic range that I can get on my shots. I convert to 8-bit and save for the web as a quality 10 JPG on the last step of my process.
     
  10. thanks guys, i appreciate your input here.. i am always trying to learn a better workflow. I personally do not enjoy spending a lot of time in PP.. I get in into pscs2, and out for the web usually within 3-4 minutes., rapid fire processing!!

    I am sure my results would be much better if I studied more, and spent the time necessary, but I am just not into it... I find it tedious .. and boring., of course others would not agree, and many great photogs would consider PP part of the art of digital imaging, and I would very much agree with that., I just don't enjoy it very much.


    Thanks for the tips anyhow!
     
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