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Marpee



Joined: 09 Nov 2010
Posts: 23
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 12:19 am    Post subject: Masquerade Reply with quote

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.

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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17417
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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
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Marpee



Joined: 09 Nov 2010
Posts: 23
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17417
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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
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Marpee



Joined: 09 Nov 2010
Posts: 23
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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! Cool Yes, I have a pair of Led lamps. Each lamp have four leds alongside placed. This is the lamp.


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. Very Happy Your advice is very helpful. Thank you very much. See you soon.

--Marco
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Mitch640



Joined: 15 Aug 2010
Posts: 2137

PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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



Joined: 16 Feb 2011
Posts: 293

PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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



Joined: 09 Nov 2010
Posts: 23
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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. Smile

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rjlittlefield
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17417
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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
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Marpee



Joined: 09 Nov 2010
Posts: 23
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik,
thanks again for the further analysis. Smile

--Marco
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