Extreme noise reduction

Peadingle

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This is a picture that I took this week. No surprise given the extreme lighting conditions that I have landed up with a ton of noise, that even noise reduction could not do much with. I could have left the foreground near black, but the background would have looked out of proportion (and out of context).
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I only had the single image but wanted to try further noise reduction using the stacking method. So I loaded the image into Photoshop, and made 8 duplicate layers. I nudged the first duplicate layer 1 pixel up, the next one pixel to the right, and so on for the first four duplicate layers. I then repeated the process suing two pixel nudges. I then grouped the duplicated layers, created them into a Smart Object, and used the Mean stacking method to reduce the noise. I then masked out the background to reveal it un-blurred.

In this case, it wasn't too important to have the foreground sharp as it wasn't sharp in the first place due to the proximity of the camera. And I think that the noise-reduced version is much more acceptable.

View attachment 710275
The stacking technique is widely known, but I haven't seen it done with a single image before.
 

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For me there is far too much loss of detail. Even though it’s not critical in these areas it’s enough to be a distraction.

Not sure if the example was deliberately shot this way for the purpose of testing this method but it looks seriously underexposed from the get go. Have you reduced the exposure locally for the background?

If not, you could probably have handheld that two stops slower on the shutter speed (1/25) with the rest of the settings the same and not have blown the highlights. That would give a much more malleable file to begin your post processing on.

I do really like the image in general and the composition though.
 

pellicle

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This is a picture that I took this week.
Nix - Define in irfanview with about 30 seconds work

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then chucked a little curves to push down the darkness in the tunnel ... to make it less eye catching (as well as reduce noise)

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pellicle

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A bit of snapseed with selective application of layers to punch up the sky

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This is a picture that I took this week. No surprise given the extreme lighting conditions that I have landed up with a ton of noise, that even noise reduction could not do much with. I could have left the foreground near black, but the background would have looked out of proportion (and out of context).View attachment 710274
I only had the single image but wanted to try further noise reduction using the stacking method. So I loaded the image into Photoshop, and made 8 duplicate layers. I nudged the first duplicate layer 1 pixel up, the next one pixel to the right, and so on for the first four duplicate layers. I then repeated the process suing two pixel nudges. I then grouped the duplicated layers, created them into a Smart Object, and used the Mean stacking method to reduce the noise. I then masked out the background to reveal it un-blurred.

In this case, it wasn't too important to have the foreground sharp as it wasn't sharp in the first place due to the proximity of the camera. And I think that the noise-reduced version is much more acceptable.

View attachment 710275
The stacking technique is widely known, but I haven't seen it done with a single image before.
Always good to see alternatives to the stuff built in to Photoshop etc.
 

Peadingle

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For me there is far too much loss of detail. Even though it’s not critical in these areas it’s enough to be a distraction.

Not sure if the example was deliberately shot this way for the purpose of testing this method but it looks seriously underexposed from the get go. Have you reduced the exposure locally for the background?

If not, you could probably have handheld that two stops slower on the shutter speed (1/25) with the rest of the settings the same and not have blown the highlights. That would give a much more malleable file to begin your post processing on.

I do really like the image in general and the composition though.
Yes, I agree, I did unintentionally under-expose the shot. Being so close to the wall on the shadow side made it a difficult job for the camera.
 

pellicle

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Hi

The first imaged that I posted had been through Nix Diffine2..
without knowing, I suspect that when you ran it through Nix that it didn't process anything. When I first put Nix onto that image I noted that the before / after showed no changes. So I selected areas manually and that helped

a quick tutorial if you haven't already seen it (starting at the relevant point)

Yes, going darker for the foreground works. The background looks a bit too grungy for my taste though.
agreed, but then this was done in a rough manner saving to JPG each step, not a nice 16bit workflow ... before writing out to JPG as a final step.

Anyway, you have some alternatives now :)
 

Peadingle

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The first imaged that I posted had been through Nix Diffine2. I didn't think to try putting it through again. Again, darkening the foreground does look better.
Thanks for that video. I find that there is a lot in Nik Collection that escapes the casual user.
 

wjiang

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The problem with doing the shift and stack from a single source image is that it adds no additional information and therefore is no better than a crude averaging noise reduction algorithm... did you try just using one of the noise reduction filters in PS?
 

Giiba

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@wjiang is completely right. No amount of trickery can extract more data from a single frame. If at the time of exposure you had captured a few frames handheld, aligning them and stacking will do what you were hoping.

Looking at your result, I prefer the original image. In close the stacked version is quite ugly (@1:1).
 

Peadingle

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The problem with doing the shift and stack from a single source image is that it adds no additional information and therefore is no better than a crude averaging noise reduction algorithm... did you try just using one of the noise reduction filters in PS?
I used Nik Collection's Diffine2.
 

Stanga

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Don't discount ACDSEE when it comes to noise reduction. It has a very good NR section, plus the option to create presets. I use it quite often in preference to Photolab when it comes to noise reduction.

This is a quick play about with the original pic in ACDSEE
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Peadingle

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Is that global or can it be applied locally? I guess you could just apply it globally on a layer (repeatedly if necessary) then mask it in to a specific area.
You get a choice with Diffine2, either to apply globally or use a brush to apply NR where you want. If you check out the video suggested above, you can see that there are other controls to allow the user to control exactly where the NR should be applied to.
 

Peadingle

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Don't discount ACDSEE when it comes to noise reduction. It has a very good NR section, plus the option to create presets. I use it quite often in preference to Photolab when it comes to noise reduction.

This is a quick play about with the original pic in ACDSEE
View attachment 710528
Interesting. A friend of mine has ACDSee, and desperately wants PS. LOL That's a good recommendation if you prefer it to Photolabs.
 
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