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JOAOCS
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:43 am

Sharpening Too Soft and Grainy - What To Do?

Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:57 pm

Today I´ve got 3 photos rejected, al of them simoultaneasly "soft" and "grainy". Ok, the weather was overcast and there was plenty of humidity in the atmosphere; I´d call that day a dull day, a grey day.

My problem is not that day, unfortunately; my problem I keep getting those rejections all the time. There are 7 photos of mine in the database, all of them taken with a D80/70-300 combination. I changed to D90/70-300 and got some rejections; then went to D300/70-300 or 70-200 (for some photos) and the problem persisted. Now I started shooting D800/70-200 (14 bit RAW) and got the last 3 rejections.

As everyone can conclude, I am lost. What am I doing wrong?

Maybe it´s my sharpening technique; I use the low pass filter and apply a little bit of sharpening before downsampling the image. Ok, the image is soft; why is it grainy? Because I sharpen all the image, and in the end I get not enough sharpening on the subject and too much on the background?

Can I downsample from full resolution to 1024*683 directly?

Ty in advance.
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

Sharpening Too Soft and Grainy - What To Do?

Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:48 pm

I'm assuming by the low pass filter you mean gaussian blur (that's what its called now in Photoshop). I guess the clue is in the name. It is effective in removing noise but also will take the edge off your edges. Following this with a sharpening tool (you don't say which one) is not likely to get good results as effectively you have reduced the all important edge detail which the sharpening tool needs.

This is of course a generalisation - gaussian blur CAN be very useful in some cases (eg. portraits) in order to reduce fine skin detail (pores, spots etc.) But not really appropriate to use where crispness is desirable.

Unless you are using a very high ISO setting you should not be getting excessive noise. The most likely cause for this is underexposure, so I think you should look at your technique for the initial cause. Trying to fix a photo in post processing is generally a losing battle. The initial image should be sound, and post processing used to touch up the results.

Try bracketing your exposures next time you are out shooting - try a stop over your normal exposure and see if that helps with your noise problem.

I think you've already proven that equipment is not the issue!

Cheers,

Colin
 
JOAOCS
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:43 am

Sharpening Too Soft and Grainy - What To Do?

Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:17 pm

Thank you ! In my previous post, I should have written "high-pass filter", for sharpening.

Maybe I´m underexposing; I´ll try compensate exposure next time, to see if that helps.



Cheers
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

Sharpening Too Soft and Grainy - What To Do?

Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:28 pm

Ah that makes more sense. The high pass filter can be an effective sharpening tool but to work well you need to use layer masks or overlay blends - high pass on its own is not normally selective enough, and may be making the noise more obvious.

Cheers,

Colin

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