Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs

   
 

Digital Outback Photo Contest #014

Contest September 2004: Noise Removal Contest #2

   
 
   
 
Limited to 8 entries (8 entries + 1 extra, terminated)
   
 

See also our other contests

   
  A Note on Copyright: This image can only(!) used in the context of this contest and the only site that has the right to publish images is Digital Outback Photo. If you want to use this image for any other purposes (e.g. marketing) you can acquire a license from us.
   
   
  There are no prizes for this contest as the evaluation of the results can be too subjective.
   
 

To share experience it is not enough just to show the results. We need precise step-by-step descriptions of all image editing operations that had been performed. That is why we need to limit the used tools to the ones that are available at Digital Outback Photo (and they have to be available for PC or Mac):

  • Photoshop (this is the standard image editor we use)
  • Commercial and non commercial noise and sharpening tools

Photo was taken with the Canon 1D Mark II at ISO 1250.


Alviso Grocery ruin


500 pixel wide crop (no sharpening and noise removal)

This photo was created using:

  • ACR 2.2 (sharpening and noise removal to off)

 

Rules:

  • It is your task to remove the noise and sharpen the crop shown above. Don't be to aggressive to avoid an artificial look
  • You load the cropped image (JPG, copyright Bettina & Uwe Steinmueller) from here (about 150KB JPG at low compression 12)
  • Use any noise removal and sharpening technique you like
  • Describe the process step by step
  • Send only the instructions and the final sharpened image crop (JPG 8 in Photoshop) and your full name to: contest@outbackphoto.com
  • Do not change any colors or global contrast/brightness
  • No selective sharpening (like painting or color selection). Edge masks are of course ok. We would like to see techniques that work also automated.
  • The final image has to be in Adobe RGB and RGB color mode (without any layers)
   
 
   
   
  Note: As all photos should be in the Adobe RGB color space it is recommended to download interesting samples and view them in Photoshop on a profiled monitor and at larger magnification.
   
   
  Sample Entry (by Uwe Steinmueller)
   
 

  • Sharpened with EasyS at normal level, amount 250, 3D 50% and used with EasyS actions
  • Opacity of EasyS layer 60%

Note: We try only to remove part of the noise to avoid some sort of plasticy look.

   
  Note: The links point to our reviews or to the vendor sites of various products.
   
 
   
  #1 John Connell
   
 

  • Fred Miranda's Action 10D ISOR at 1600 ISO
  • Select Black and Grey with magic wand
  • Filter/Noise/Median/ Radius 2
  • Smarter Sharpen X V 2.0 Settings from top to bottom
    37/50/1/0/25/10/100
  • QIMAGE Filter Unsharp Mask Radius 3, Strength 100%, Equalizer 50%
   
 
   
  #2 Henk Backer
   
 

  • To remove noise from your image I used NoiseNinja 2.0.2. I first applied "Full auto profile" and then the filter settings according to screen shot below:

  • Finally I applied Photokit Creative Sharpener->Sharpening Brushes->Sharpen Brush Narrow Edges 3 and reduced the layer opacity to 20%.
   
 
   
  #3 Thomas Doll
   
 

   
 
   
  #4 Mitch Weintraub
   
 

  • convert to 16 bits & lab color
    • select lightness channel
    • using levels, set mid slider to 1.4
    • convert back to rbg color
  • run neat image as plugin filter
    • select black area and auto profile
    • set noise reduction amounts to 80% for the
      high,mid,low freq sliders and 90% for Y,Cr,Cb
      sliders
  • convert to lab color
    • elect lightness channel
    • using levels, set mid slider to 0.8
    • select all channels,and duplicate layer
    • select lightness channel on top layer,
      and run unsharpen mask with 40%, 40 radius,
      0 threshold
    • select all channels and blend with
      50% opacity
    • select all channels,and duplicate layer
    • select lightness channel on top layer,
      and run unsharpen mask with 400%, 0.3 radius,
      0 threshold
    • select all channels and blend with
      50% opacity
    • select lightness channel, run curves,
      and darken very low intensity regions
  • convert to rgb color & 8bits
   
 
   
  #5 Frank Liskaser
   
 

  • Change to 16 bit
  • Apply NeatImage via Photoshop plug-in
    • Sample noise characteristics from Black area in window
    • Apply Noise reduction
    • Repeat for Grey area of window
    • Apply Noise reduction
  • Sharpen with Focalblade, Expert Mode - medium sharp, medium details
  • Revert back to 8 bit.
   
 
   
  #6 Doug Wickens
   
 

  • Apply local contrast via USM - Amount = 20% Radius = 50 pixels Threshold = 0
  • Apply high pass filter
    • duplicate layer
    • apply high pass filter to duplicate layer = 10 pixels radius
    • set mode on layer to soft light
    • set opacity to 45%
  • Apply Photokit Edge Sharpen 1
  • Apply Photokit Luminance sharpen 1
  • Apply Neat Image noise removal
    • Canon 1Ds profile
    • selected open window and glass pane
    • applied "chrominance noirse filter" & set very low frequencey check box
  • Apply Photokit Luminance Sharpen 2
  • Apply Neat Image noise removal
    • Canon 1Ds profile
    • selected open window and glass pane
    • applied "remove half of weaker noise" & set very low requencey check box
   
 
   
  #7 Brian Lee
   
 

 

  • Local Contrast Enhancement (USM 20, 50,0)
  • Convert to LAB
  • NeatImage 2.0 on “L” channel
    • AutoProfile on dark window area
    • Noise Level Luminance 10%
    • Noise Reduction Amount Luminance 40%
    • Sharpening 140%
  • NeatImage 2.0 on “a” channel
    • Autoprofile on dark window area
    • Noise Level Luminance 10%
    • Noise Reduction Amount Luminance 55%
    • Sharpening 0%
  • NeatImage 2.0 on “b” channel
    • Autoprofile on dark window area
    • Noise Level Luminance 10%
    • Noise Reduction Amount Luminance 35%
    • Sharpening 0%
  • Convert to RGB
  • Photokit Creative Sharpener, Luminance 2
    • Light Contour = 63
    • Dark Contour = 49
   
 
   
  #8 Ettore Leiduan
   
 

  • Fred Miranda isoX pro at level 9
  • Fred Miranda Mk II CS pro al Level 4
   
 
   
  #9 Glenn Mitchell (Extra entry as an early email got lost)
   
 

  • Capture Sharpening using my TLR Sharpening Toolkit.
    -- Highpass Filter Sharpening 15 pixels using a Luminosity Edge Mask
  • Neat Image on a Merge All Visible layer. (alt-ctl-shift-n-e)
    -- Use black window for fine tuning.
    -- Use gray window for fine tuning.
    -- Low noise 25%, Cr 60, Cb 60
    -- Created Conceal All layer mask for Neat Image layer.
    -- White paint for window
    -- 50% gray paint for gray siding
  • Output Sharpening using my TLR Sharpening Toolkit on a Merge All Visible layer. (alt-ctl-shift-n-e)
    -- Single contour USM (260, .7, 2)
   
 
   
  Thanks to all participants (including all submissions that may not get published).
   
   
 
   
   
 
   
   
 
   
   
   

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