Masquerade

Images taken in a controlled environment or with a posed subject. All subject types.

Moderators: Pau, rjlittlefield, ChrisR, Chris S.

Marpee
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:09 am
Location: Italy
Contact:

Masquerade

Post by Marpee »

Hello,
this is my first work with Canon 5D mkII + Nikon Plan 10x/0.25 on Canon 70-200 f/2.8 + 2 led lamps without diffuser. I have stacked 85 photos. I spent many hours to retouch reflections probably due to direct light. I have tried with paper handmade diffuser but the image appeared very soft, without contrast. Any comments and advice are appreciated.
Thank you.
Regards.

Marco

P.s. sorry for my bad English.

Image

rjlittlefield
Site Admin
Posts: 21395
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:34 am
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA
Contact:

Post by rjlittlefield »

This looks good!

I cannot find where the retouching was done.

But a subject of this size and simple geometry should not have required much retouching. Something about your setup caused you a lot of extra work.

Can you show us an actual-pixels crop of the stack output before retouching and one original frame at the same place, so that we can see what sort of problems you had to fix?

--Rik

Marpee
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:09 am
Location: Italy
Contact:

Post by Marpee »

rjlittlefield wrote: Can you show us an actual-pixels crop of the stack output before retouching and one original frame at the same place, so that we can see what sort of problems you had to fix?
Hi Rik,
unfortunately I have not the stack before retouching. I spend much hours to stack manually the photos because automated stacking with software (Zerene, Helicon, Photoshop) don't gave me the result I hope. There were too many reflections in out of focus zone that software intercepted as sharp. The result was really unpleasant, especially in areas with hairs. Probably I made too many mistakes illuminating the subject with direct light from the lamps.

rjlittlefield
Site Admin
Posts: 21395
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:34 am
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA
Contact:

Post by rjlittlefield »

Hhmm...

In retouching an automated result, I've always considered the worst imaginable case to be "The automation did nothing useful here -- I'm having to do all the work by hand!"

But I emphasize "imaginable". With deep stacks, I've never encountered an actual case that was even close to that bad. Always the automation has produced a result that made a good starting point -- certainly a better starting point than just a collection of individual frames.

So now I'm very curious about what's different with your situation. Can you show us an original frame, including some in-focus and out-of-focus hairs?

About the lighting, if your LED lamps have multiple LED's in each head then this can cause some problems because then you really have an array of tiny light sources, each of which can produce its own tiny reflection.

In that case I suggest trying with a paper diffuser placed very close to the lamp. Something like Kleenex facial tissue, taped directly to the front of the LED block. This should give you the same overall appearance as no diffuser at all, because the overall size of the light source is the same in both cases. But the diffuser will fill in the gaps between individual LEDs, which will greatly reduce the problem of multiple tiny reflections.

--Rik

Marpee
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:09 am
Location: Italy
Contact:

Post by Marpee »

rjlittlefield wrote: Always the automation has produced a result that made a good starting point -- certainly a better starting point than just a collection of individual frames.
Dear Rik,
I obteined an automated image from all 85 frames. That was my starting point. Then I process a partial number of frames for the eye area. The eye appeared good and I added it to starting result. Then I added manually each single frame for the remaining areas.
rjlittlefield wrote:
So now I'm very curious about what's different with your situation. Can you show us an original frame, including some in-focus and out-of-focus hairs?
I'm not with my pc now, so I'll add original frames as soon as possible.
rjlittlefield wrote:
About the lighting, if your LED lamps have multiple LED's in each head then this can cause some problems because then you really have an array of tiny light sources, each of which can produce its own tiny reflection.
You are a magician! 8) Yes, I have a pair of Led lamps. Each lamp have four leds alongside placed. This is the lamp.
Image
rjlittlefield wrote: In that case I suggest trying with a paper diffuser placed very close to the lamp. Something like Kleenex facial tissue, taped directly to the front of the LED block. This should give you the same overall appearance as no diffuser at all, because the overall size of the light source is the same in both cases. But the diffuser will fill in the gaps between individual LEDs, which will greatly reduce the problem of multiple tiny reflections.

--Rik
In the afternoon I'll try and I'll have fun with it. :D Your advice is very helpful. Thank you very much. See you soon.

--Marco

Mitch640
Posts: 2137
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:43 pm

Post by Mitch640 »

Now I'm curious to see how it comes out. The first one looks great.

DrLazer
Posts: 293
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:45 am

Post by DrLazer »

I can't wait to see it either. That image is insane.

Marpee
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:09 am
Location: Italy
Contact:

Post by Marpee »

Sorry for delay. I uploaded two frames and you can see some reflections in out of focus area that cause my problem. Now, I'm stacking a new subject. I've covered led lamps with some layers cutted from a shopping bag and it works; I've not intrusive reflections. I will post it as soon as I completed. :)
Image
Image

rjlittlefield
Site Admin
Posts: 21395
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:34 am
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA
Contact:

Post by rjlittlefield »

Thanks for the followup. Yes, I see the problem. In the first image of this last pair, those fine streaks in the OOF mandibles almost certainly come from individual LEDs in the light head, reflected from a somewhat cylindrical surface. What happens is that the reflection lies above or below the surface, and it's astigmatic so that it's sharp on some axis and blurred perpendicular to that. Stacking algorithms will latch onto "detail" along the sharp axis of the reflection and choose those pixels instead of the real surface details that you want. Switching to an extended light source with softer edges eliminates the bogus detail in the reflections, and gives a clean stack.

This is a great sample -- perhaps the best illustration of this effect that I've seen.

--Rik

Marpee
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:09 am
Location: Italy
Contact:

Post by Marpee »

Rik,
thanks again for the further analysis. :)

--Marco

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic