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Extreme noise reduction

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Peadingle, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. Peadingle

    Peadingle Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Dec 3, 2018
    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).
    brean-down-sunset-1100631-090119.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    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.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
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  2. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 14, 2010
    Finland
    Teemu
    Well that sounds interesting! I will try to remember this next time it happens to me. Thanks for the idea.
     
  3. Just selectively apply aggressive noise reduction on the foreground using an adjustment brush...
     
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  4. comment23

    comment23 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    671
    Aug 26, 2016
    Hampshire, UK
    Simon
    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.
     
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  5. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Nix - Define in irfanview with about 30 seconds work

    brean-down-sunset-1100631-090119.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


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

    brean-down-sunset-1100631-090119.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
     
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  6. Or bracket and blend the two exposures.
     
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  7. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    A bit of snapseed with selective application of layers to punch up the sky

    brean-down-sunset-1100631-090119-1-01.jpeg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
     
  8. Always good to see alternatives to the stuff built in to Photoshop etc.
     
  9. Peadingle

    Peadingle Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Dec 3, 2018
    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.
     
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  10. Peadingle

    Peadingle Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Dec 3, 2018
    Yes, going darker for the foreground works. The background looks a bit too grungy for my taste though.
     
  11. Peadingle

    Peadingle Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Dec 3, 2018
    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.
     
  12. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Hi

    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)


    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 :) 
     
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  13. Peadingle

    Peadingle Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Dec 3, 2018
    Thanks for that video. I find that there is a lot in Nik Collection that escapes the casual user.
     
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  14. 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?
     
  15. Giiba

    Giiba Something to someone somewhere Subscribing Member

    Aug 19, 2016
    New Westminster, BC
    @wjiang@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).
     
  16. Peadingle

    Peadingle Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Dec 3, 2018
    I used Nik Collection's Diffine2.
     
  17. 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.
     
  18. Stanga

    Stanga Mu-43 Top Veteran

    769
    Oct 16, 2016
    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
    U2sJ0rs.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
     
  19. Peadingle

    Peadingle Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Dec 3, 2018
    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.
     
  20. Peadingle

    Peadingle Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Dec 3, 2018
    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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