"Advanced" image processing

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Alfred Molon, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. Alfred Molon

    Alfred Molon Guest

    Just curious if anybody knows techniques to substantially enhance images
    taken under bad lighting or weather conditions. For instance if you shot
    photos on an overcast, dark day, if there is a way to make these photos
    shine. Would it be possible to transform an overcast sky into a nice
    blue sky?

    Or if you shot images under hazy conditions, with poor visibility, would
    it be possible to give these images "vibrance", good contrast and
    colours and if so how?
    --

    Alfred Molon
    ------------------------------
    Olympus 50X0, 7070, 8080, E300, E330, E400 and E500 forum at
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyOlympus/
    Olympus E330 resource - http://myolympus.org/E330/
     
    Alfred Molon, Oct 31, 2006
    #1
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  2. "Alfred Molon" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Just curious if anybody knows techniques to substantially enhance images
    > taken under bad lighting or weather conditions. For instance if you shot
    > photos on an overcast, dark day, if there is a way to make these photos
    > shine. Would it be possible to transform an overcast sky into a nice
    > blue sky?
    >
    > Or if you shot images under hazy conditions, with poor visibility, would
    > it be possible to give these images "vibrance", good contrast and
    > colours and if so how?


    Wow, what a question. You can replace the whole sky with Photoshop! You
    can adjust the heck out of everything!

    Post-processing is as big as photography, if not bigger.
     
    Charles Schuler, Nov 1, 2006
    #2
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  3. Alfred Molon

    Greg \_\ Guest

    In article <>,
    Alfred Molon <> wrote:

    > Just curious if anybody knows techniques to substantially enhance images
    > taken under bad lighting or weather conditions. For instance if you shot
    > photos on an overcast, dark day, if there is a way to make these photos
    > shine. Would it be possible to transform an overcast sky into a nice
    > blue sky?
    >
    > Or if you shot images under hazy conditions, with poor visibility, would
    > it be possible to give these images "vibrance", good contrast and
    > colours and if so how?


    There's a subtle line between truthful photography, artistic rendering.
    Both take skill.
    --
    "As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely,
    the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great
    and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire
    at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
    - H. L. Mencken, in the Baltimore Sun, July 26, 1920.


    Reality-Is finding that perfect picture
    and never looking back.

    www.gregblankphoto.com
     
    Greg \_\, Nov 1, 2006
    #3
  4. Alfred Molon

    sally Guest

    In article <>,
    Alfred Molon <> wrote:
    >Just curious if anybody knows techniques to substantially enhance images
    >taken under bad lighting or weather conditions.


    There is no magic here. It is possible to improve the color and balance
    on images like this, but only at the expense of reduced sharpness and
    increased noise. Look at the image adjustments menu in PhotoShop.
    Start by playing with the curves and levels controls.
     
    sally, Nov 1, 2006
    #4
  5. Alfred Molon

    Greg \_\ Guest

    In article <>,
    "Charles Schuler" <> wrote:

    > "Alfred Molon" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > Just curious if anybody knows techniques to substantially enhance images
    > > taken under bad lighting or weather conditions. For instance if you shot
    > > photos on an overcast, dark day, if there is a way to make these photos
    > > shine. Would it be possible to transform an overcast sky into a nice
    > > blue sky?
    > >
    > > Or if you shot images under hazy conditions, with poor visibility, would
    > > it be possible to give these images "vibrance", good contrast and
    > > colours and if so how?

    >
    > Wow, what a question. You can replace the whole sky with Photoshop! You
    > can adjust the heck out of everything!
    >
    > Post-processing is as big as photography, if not bigger.


    Not really photography at that point, more like image
    molestation-bordering on rendering.

    What you choose is your business, not right answers except what seems
    right for the self.
    --
    "As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely,
    the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great
    and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire
    at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
    - H. L. Mencken, in the Baltimore Sun, July 26, 1920.


    Reality-Is finding that perfect picture
    and never looking back.

    www.gregblankphoto.com
     
    Greg \_\, Nov 1, 2006
    #5
  6. Alfred Molon wrote:

    > Just curious if anybody knows techniques to substantially enhance images
    > taken under bad lighting or weather conditions. For instance if you shot
    > photos on an overcast, dark day, if there is a way to make these photos
    > shine. Would it be possible to transform an overcast sky into a nice
    > blue sky?
    >
    > Or if you shot images under hazy conditions, with poor visibility, would
    > it be possible to give these images "vibrance", good contrast and
    > colours and if so how?


    Sure. Just buy the CSI photo9shop plugin. ;-)

    Roger
     
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Nov 1, 2006
    #6
  7. On Tue, 31 Oct 2006 19:51:20 -0500, "Greg \"_\""
    <grey_egg@greg_photo.com> wrote:


    >Not really photography at that point, more like image
    >molestation-bordering on rendering.



    I'd have to agree. One can always tug at the curves
    in Photoshop to make the situation something it wasn't.


    rafe b
    www.terrapinphoto.com
     
    Raphael Bustin, Nov 1, 2006
    #7
  8. Alfred Molon

    Greg \_\ Guest

    In article <>,
    Raphael Bustin <> wrote:

    > On Tue, 31 Oct 2006 19:51:20 -0500, "Greg \"_\""
    > <grey_egg@greg_photo.com> wrote:
    >
    >
    > >Not really photography at that point, more like image
    > >molestation-bordering on rendering.

    >
    >
    > I'd have to agree. One can always tug at the curves
    > in Photoshop to make the situation something it wasn't.
    >
    >
    > rafe b
    > www.terrapinphoto.com


    He he :)

    As someone that has painted since a young age,...and considered being a
    professional "artist" I laugh out loud at those feeling contrite at
    bastardizing two media. My thoughts then say if your going to do
    something that totaly crass & disreputable why stop at photo go for some
    you could make a lot more money doing....like politics or professional
    hit man :)
    --
    "As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely,
    the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great
    and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire
    at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
    - H. L. Mencken, in the Baltimore Sun, July 26, 1920.


    Reality-Is finding that perfect picture
    and never looking back.

    www.gregblankphoto.com
     
    Greg \_\, Nov 1, 2006
    #8
  9. Alfred Molon

    Ken Tough Guest

    Alfred Molon <> wrote:

    >Just curious if anybody knows techniques to substantially enhance images
    >taken under bad lighting or weather conditions. For instance if you shot
    >photos on an overcast, dark day, if there is a way to make these photos
    >shine. Would it be possible to transform an overcast sky into a nice
    >blue sky?
    >
    >Or if you shot images under hazy conditions, with poor visibility, would
    >it be possible to give these images "vibrance", good contrast and
    >colours and if so how?


    As others said, you could fake things by replacing parts of the image,
    but another option is to try changing it to monochrome. You can
    take what is otherwise a muddy shot and by applying appropriate
    colour-to-grey-scale mapping (in Photoshop) you can get the effect
    of shooting B&W with filters, sometimes getting quite a powerful
    effect.

    Why don't you put an example shot on a webpage somewhere, and
    challenge readers to do their best at improving the shot. It's
    a fun exercise.

    Here's one I thought was better in monochrome:
    http://www.pbase.com/k_j_tough/image/65481936/large

    --
    Ken Tough
     
    Ken Tough, Nov 1, 2006
    #9
  10. On Tue, 31 Oct 2006 22:12:32 -0500, "Greg \"_\""
    <grey_egg@greg_photo.com> wrote:


    >As someone that has painted since a young age,...and considered being a
    >professional "artist" I laugh out loud at those feeling contrite at
    >bastardizing two media. My thoughts then say if your going to do
    >something that totaly crass & disreputable why stop at photo go for some
    >you could make a lot more money doing....like politics or professional
    >hit man :)



    Truth be known, I haven't sufficient imagination
    to be a great artist, let alone a middling one.
    That's why I settled on being an engineer.

    I'm also not quite smart enough and/or too lazy to lie.
    Lying takes too much mental effort. Lies are like
    economies, and need constant compounding.

    Hence most of my photo work really is pretty
    straight, simply because I don't know better
    and can't imagine a suitable embellishment
    for the reality.

    I'm not above doing a few helpful touch-ups
    here and there, though.


    rafe b
    www.terrapinphoto.com
     
    Raphael Bustin, Nov 1, 2006
    #10
  11. Alfred Molon

    Alan Meyer Guest

    My own feeling about editing images is that it's as much an
    art form as photography or painting - just different. Or maybe
    not so much different as combining the two. The only problem
    comes in when someone pretends an edited image is not
    edited.

    But this topic has been argued to death in this newsgroup.

    Here's some practical advice:

    1. If you haven't got $600 to burn on Photoshop, there are
    cheaper ones that will do what you want. The one I use
    is the GIMP - a totally free, open source image editor
    that does a great job.

    See http://www.gimp.org

    2. Simple image editing is often very easy. Sometimes
    there's just one button to push to "auto-enhance" the color
    of an image, or very simple controls in "curves" or "levels"
    to correct contrast, haze, and other problems.

    3. Sophisticated image editing is very hard. There is a
    huge amount to learn and a lot of it requires hours upon
    hours of trial and error learning to see what the effects
    of the controls are. Experts may think nothing of putting
    many hours into a single image.

    Alan
     
    Alan Meyer, Nov 1, 2006
    #11
  12. Alfred Molon

    Scott W Guest

    Alfred Molon wrote:
    > Just curious if anybody knows techniques to substantially enhance images
    > taken under bad lighting or weather conditions. For instance if you shot
    > photos on an overcast, dark day, if there is a way to make these photos
    > shine. Would it be possible to transform an overcast sky into a nice
    > blue sky?
    >
    > Or if you shot images under hazy conditions, with poor visibility, would
    > it be possible to give these images "vibrance", good contrast and
    > colours and if so how?

    There are a lot of things you can do to punch up a photo, but in doing
    so you risk lossing the mood that it captured. The worst part is that
    if you go too far you end up with photos that look like Ken Rockwell's.

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/gallery.htm

    To me a photo is good if it captures at best it can the mood at the
    time, if this is grey and overcast so be it.

    I have seen people paste a blue sky in a photo that was taken when it
    was overcast, not a good look at all.

    When I have done heavy editing of a photo to try really punch it up I
    find that I might like it, for about 5 minutes but the more I look at
    it the more it just seem to look very wrong.

    Scott
     
    Scott W, Nov 1, 2006
    #12
  13. Alfred Molon wrote:
    > Just curious if anybody knows techniques to substantially enhance
    > images taken under bad lighting or weather conditions. For instance
    > if you shot photos on an overcast, dark day, if there is a way to
    > make these photos shine. Would it be possible to transform an
    > overcast sky into a nice blue sky?
    >
    > Or if you shot images under hazy conditions, with poor visibility,
    > would it be possible to give these images "vibrance", good contrast
    > and colours and if so how?


    Paint Shop Pro includes filters which aim to do some of this, by contrast
    and saturation changes. Look at tools like "Clarify" and "One-step photo
    fix".

    But you can't turn clouds into clear blue sky (except by replacement), and
    there's no way to create shadows from the existing image imformation
    (except by guessing where they might be) to increase the dynamic of an
    image.

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Nov 1, 2006
    #13
  14. Alfred Molon

    Alfred Molon Guest

    In article <>, Charles
    Schuler says...
    >
    > Wow, what a question. You can replace the whole sky with Photoshop! You
    > can adjust the heck out of everything!


    It's not that easy. If you simply replace an overcast sky with a blue
    sky, it will be very obvious for everybody because the lighting in the
    rest of the image will not match. Additional steps would be necessary
    and I wonder which ones. I'm not even sure you can do that and get a
    natural looking result. The other option would be to keep the overcast
    sky and process the image to make it look better, but then what would
    you do?
    --

    Alfred Molon
    ------------------------------
    Olympus 50X0, 7070, 8080, E300, E330, E400 and E500 forum at
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyOlympus/
    Olympus E330 resource - http://myolympus.org/E330/
     
    Alfred Molon, Nov 1, 2006
    #14
  15. Alfred Molon

    Alfred Molon Guest

    In article <>, Scott W
    says...

    > There are a lot of things you can do to punch up a photo, but in doing
    > so you risk lossing the mood that it captured. The worst part is that
    > if you go too far you end up with photos that look like Ken Rockwell's.
    >
    > http://www.kenrockwell.com/gallery.htm


    Ok, these are way oversaturated.

    > To me a photo is good if it captures at best it can the mood at the
    > time, if this is grey and overcast so be it.
    >
    > I have seen people paste a blue sky in a photo that was taken when it
    > was overcast, not a good look at all.


    I once saw a before-after image of an image restoration artist who
    successfully managed to replace an overcast sky with a blue sky. The
    photo still looked natural. I wonder how he did it.
    --

    Alfred Molon
    ------------------------------
    Olympus 50X0, 7070, 8080, E300, E330, E400 and E500 forum at
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyOlympus/
    Olympus E330 resource - http://myolympus.org/E330/
     
    Alfred Molon, Nov 1, 2006
    #15
  16. Alfred Molon

    Alfred Molon Guest

    In article <>, Ken Tough says...

    > Why don't you put an example shot on a webpage somewhere, and
    > challenge readers to do their best at improving the shot. It's
    > a fun exercise.


    Ok, here is the page with the samples:
    http://www.ddde.de/enhance/

    Both photos taken in Chongqing (China), one of the most heavily polluted
    places on earth. Image 1 shows the Yangtze river and there is heavy
    smog. To the left is the JPEG of the camera, to the right the best I
    achieved with the RAW converter. You can also download the original RAW
    file (compressed as RAR).

    The second image has actually already been optimised with the RAW
    converter, but you might still be able to improve it.

    This is unfortunately the typical situation in the east of China, where
    the skies are very often hazy and polluted.
    --

    Alfred Molon
    ------------------------------
    Olympus 50X0, 7070, 8080, E300, E330, E400 and E500 forum at
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyOlympus/
    Olympus E330 resource - http://myolympus.org/E330/
     
    Alfred Molon, Nov 1, 2006
    #16
  17. Greg "_" skrev:

    > Not really photography at that point, more like image
    > molestation-bordering on rendering.
    >

    Yes, it is about impossible to draw the line, isn't it?

    How far you can go depends on what you want to do - do you want to show
    the facts as you saw them or just to use the picture as starting point?

    In any case, you start even before you press the shutter - by selecting
    what is and what is not in the picture. The camera or your computer
    adjusts things - the RAW is useless on its own.

    I have no problem with adjusting sharpness and colours, in in most
    cases cropping is fine too (can be dubious if you cut "unwanted"
    persons out).

    At the moment I am preparing a picure for a present. It is of a
    traditional Algarvian house to someone who likes the style of
    architecture - i.e. a representation of a type of house more than a
    specific house. I have no problem in removing power lines and TV
    areals(sp?), for this purpose I think it is ok.

    /Martin
     
    =?iso-8859-1?q?Martin_S=F8rensen?=, Nov 1, 2006
    #17
  18. On Oct 31, 11:26 pm, Alfred Molon <>
    wrote:
    > Just curious if anybody knows techniques to substantially enhance images
    > taken under bad lighting or weather conditions. For instance if you shot
    > photos on an overcast, dark day, if there is a way to make these photos
    > shine. Would it be possible to transform an overcast sky into a nice
    > blue sky?
    >
    > Or if you shot images under hazy conditions, with poor visibility, would
    > it be possible to give these images "vibrance", good contrast and
    > colours and if so how?


    Are you asking for something beyond the sort of LAB processing done by
    Dan Margulis in "Photoshop LAB Color -The Canyon Conumdrum and Other
    Adventures in the Most Powerful Colorspace"? Figure 9.15 shows the use
    of LAB to get through the haze in Hong Kong.

    --
    Barry Pearson
    http://www.barry.pearson.name/photography/
     
    Barry Pearson, Nov 1, 2006
    #18
  19. Alfred Molon

    Alfred Molon Guest

    In article <>,
    Barry Pearson says...

    > Are you asking for something beyond the sort of LAB processing done by
    > Dan Margulis in "Photoshop LAB Color -The Canyon Conumdrum and Other
    > Adventures in the Most Powerful Colorspace"? Figure 9.15 shows the use
    > of LAB to get through the haze in Hong Kong.


    Do you have a link? I've never tried this sort of processing.
    --

    Alfred Molon
    ------------------------------
    Olympus 50X0, 7070, 8080, E300, E330, E400 and E500 forum at
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyOlympus/
    Olympus E330 resource - http://myolympus.org/E330/
     
    Alfred Molon, Nov 1, 2006
    #19
  20. Alfred Molon wrote:
    > In article <>, Ken Tough says...
    >
    >> Why don't you put an example shot on a webpage somewhere, and
    >> challenge readers to do their best at improving the shot. It's
    >> a fun exercise.

    >
    > Ok, here is the page with the samples:
    > http://www.ddde.de/enhance/
    >
    > Both photos taken in Chongqing (China), one of the most heavily
    > polluted places on earth. Image 1 shows the Yangtze river and there
    > is heavy smog. To the left is the JPEG of the camera, to the right
    > the best I achieved with the RAW converter. You can also download the
    > original RAW file (compressed as RAR).
    >
    > The second image has actually already been optimised with the RAW
    > converter, but you might still be able to improve it.


    How about this?
    http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk/misc/PA113877_processed.jpg

    It was a rush job, just a couple of minutes in Photoshop. I could do much
    better if I started with the RAW file and took more time over it, but this
    is just to show what's possible in a couple of minutes. The banding in the
    sky is due to working on the 8 bit jpeg, this wouldn't happen with the 16
    bit RAW file.

    I used;
    Levels - to set the black and white points
    Curves - to brighten the midtones.
    Contrast masking - to even out the image (actually I overdid this)
    Unsharp Mask with a huge radius (80 pixels) - to enhance the local contrast
    Saturation - just a touch to put a bit of colour back (the previous step
    tends to lose colour)

    Nothing I could do about the sky though.

    Much better results are possible though, if you're prepared to spend enough
    time on it, but at least this clears the haze.

    Paul
    --
    http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk
     
    Paul Saunders, Nov 1, 2006
    #20
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