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Author Topic: 'Damaging' Images - Better Options Than Lr4  (Read 4259 times)
Remo Nonaz
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« on: April 27, 2012, 09:01:57 AM »
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I'm seeing situations using Lr4 where strong modifications in exposure or contrast adjustments cause a grainy pattern in the image. This pattern looks like streaking rain, but is not rain, it is something I am creating when I make my adjustments. In most cases, backing off on my adjustments will remove the problem, but I may also lose the effect I am trying to get. I'll acknowledge that in most cases where this happens, I'm pushing the image pretty hard, often significantly desatuarting a particular color or going to black and white.

Relative to black and white images, where significant color shifts may be wanted to increase or decrease contrast in a particular color range, would NIK Silver EFEX or other specialize software package yeild better results than Lr4 or am I just trying to get something our of an image that isn't there to begin with?
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I really enjoy using old primes on my m4/3 camera. There's something about having to choose your aperture and actually focusing your camera that makes it so much more like... like... PHOTOGRAPHY!
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2012, 10:32:52 AM »
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Hi Remo,

I'm using LR4 and not seeing this kind of effect at all. In fact just a couple of days ago I was making some very radical adjustments to some images - for example one where I wanted to pull-up and illuminate what is deep shadow detail in the original capture. I had to do a lot with shadows, blacks and the tone curve to reveal what I wanted, and it printed beautifully on a 13*19 inch sheet. Noise is inapparent and no processing artifacts I could detect. This is usually the most vulnerable kind of situation. Now the image was shot with a Sony NEX 5n, 16 MP raw. So the basic image quality one starts with is very good, and I suspect this is what makes a huge difference to outcomes. You didn't specify the capture conditions or file type and this may be where the problem is lodged. As for LR4 itself, I find it performing brilliantly under difficult conditions as well as more normal ones.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
leuallen
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2012, 04:50:11 PM »
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Remo, I see this effect when I pull down the luminosity of blue and increase its saturation by quite a bit (Blue skies). If I pull the Color slider (Details) up to over 50 or so and apply a little noise reduction, it usually clears up fairly well. Not perfect but OK. If it is still too much artifacting then I have to back off on the adjustments. Caution! In LR 4.1 RC1 and somewhat in 4.1 RC2, the redraw is often not triggered, at least on my system. The screen image then looks terrible but the actual image may be OK. I often trigger a new 1:1 preview to check.

Note: I am past the uber sharpness stage for much of my work and now prefer a softer look. I am therefore not worried about noise reduction reducing detail. It is only too much when it starts to look plastic. I will often reduce clarity in order to gain softness.

Also be aware that increasing the noise reduction detail slider up to high can give a very nasty look.

Of course this applies to the way I process my my images and the characteristics of my raw file so your results may vary.

Larry
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Remo Nonaz
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2012, 05:23:39 PM »
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Larry:

Thank you for that. I made some deliberately ugly images to test with. Interestingly, the 'rain grain' seems to be caused by dramatically increasing the color saturation of a key color in a color image or decreasing the same key color in a black and white conversion. As you note - messing with the blue is a sky is common culprit.

Your suggestion of using the Details sliders is excellent, but it is the color noise reduction that really helps - in both black and white and color images. The luminance noise reduction does not seem to make much difference to the 'rain grain' but it still smooths out other noise. I didn't see much impact from the details slider.

I guess this would make sense. If I muck up the color in a channel, the color noise reduction would go back and make it right. I'll have to re-visit a couple of images I couldn't get right without invoking the 'rain grain' and see if I can improve them pushing the color channels harder and correcting with the color noise suppression.

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I really enjoy using old primes on my m4/3 camera. There's something about having to choose your aperture and actually focusing your camera that makes it so much more like... like... PHOTOGRAPHY!
leuallen
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2012, 07:05:36 PM »
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Remo, you got it. I usually tweak the Luminace slider because I am at 100% view and I might as well fix the grain while there. You are right, the Color slider is what fixes the 'rain'. If you push the Details slider all the way up, the grain becomes quite ugly. It has sort of a tubular high contrast character which is unattractive.

I note that you are using m4/3-so am I. That is why my suggestions probably worked. I don't know if this is applicable to other sensors.

Larry
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Remo Nonaz
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2012, 08:19:04 PM »
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I love my GH2. I can't understand why anyone would want a camera with a mirror!  Grin

Well, actually, I can, but I do really like the EVF.
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I really enjoy using old primes on my m4/3 camera. There's something about having to choose your aperture and actually focusing your camera that makes it so much more like... like... PHOTOGRAPHY!
Alan Klein
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2012, 11:00:00 PM »
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I have LR3.5  What did you find that makes LR4 better and worth upgrading?
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2012, 06:17:27 AM »
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I have LR3.5  What did you find that makes LR4 better and worth upgrading?

Superior Develop algorithms and better control over the fine-tuning of highlights and shadows. Availability of soft-proofing and excellent resampling algorithms at the print stage - for the first time in the history of Lightroom I am totally satisfied with the results of ingesting an image from the flash card, taking it right throguh Lightroom's Develop module and producing a completely predictable, high quality large format print. Up-grading this application is a no-brainer, and all the more so that Adobe has reduced the prices from what they were traditionally.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Alan Klein
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2012, 11:49:32 AM »
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Mark  That's good to know.  Have you experimented with LR4 color to B/W conversion?  IF so, how does it compare with LR3?
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2012, 11:51:02 AM »
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Alan, good question. No not yet. But I should and when I do I'll post.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Alan Klein
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2012, 12:02:19 PM »
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The problem I have is with skies.  If you use the blue channel to darken the sky,m you often get a lot of noise and artifacts.  I tried saturating the color blue in color mode first, then saving as a TIFF then opening new  file and using the blue channel again to darken the sky.  That seemed to work better with this shot but not with others.  I'm trying to find the best method of converting to B/W tones with minimum noise and artifacts.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/alanklein2000/6656958781/in/set-72157625796644064/lightbox/
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2012, 12:21:49 PM »
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Alan, I just now processed two shots I made the week before with my Sony NEX 5N, opened in LR4, Process 2012, default settings are <NONE>, converted to B&W and deeply intensified the sky to make the images look dramatic, and they are just absolutely clean. No artifacts - just gorgeous, deep gray tonality. So I can't reproduce your problem within LR4 based on those samples. I think so much of this depends on the what kind of file it is, its characteristics when it starts life and what are the specific processing techniques. Much needs to be worked-through about those questions before suspecting the application. For example, when I did the B&W conversions and looked at them closely, I noticed a mild white fringe down one side of the structures against the sky. So I took them back into colour, magnified them greatly, and sure enough there was a bit of C-A that was hard to detect in the colour version, but was more obvious in the B&W.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Alan Klein
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2012, 10:27:42 PM »
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Mark  Thanks for providing your tests.  I wonder if you're getting better results due to more resolution with the Nex?
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2012, 10:38:40 PM »
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Hi Alan,

More resolution compared to what? But more than resolution could be involved. You didn't describe what kind of images you are processing - ISO, bit depth, resolution, file format. All can make a difference. Mine are 16-bit raw files shot at ISO 200 with my Sony NEX 5N which has a 16.1 MP APS-C sensor. As far as one can see from a web gallery, I find that shot you processed of the Flatiron building looks pretty good.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Alan Klein
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« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2012, 09:29:52 PM »
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All the B/W conversion I did were from P&S jpeg of 5M or 6M except for the Flatiron Bldg image.  Although it was a P&S (Canon S95) the image I converted was from RAW - 10M.  So maybe that's the reason.  I'll have to see how more conversion look when working with RAW with the higher resolution..
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2012, 09:56:31 PM »
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Yes, you don't want to judge the performance of an application like Lightroom for those kind of conversions using mid to low-res 8-bit JPEGs. You'll probably see a dramatic improvement if you try again with raw files.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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