Hydrangea raindrops III by Duncan Waldron

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This was taken with a 2MP point & shoot (Fuji A203). Images taken with this camera are pretty small and I was feeling a bit frustrated with this and other limitations, so started exploring the possibilities with careful processing techniques.

There are several problems specific to a camera like this: (1) small nominal image size; (2) JPEG-only image introduces compression artifacts; (3) lack of control over exposure parameters; (4) very limited differential focus possibilities.

So, if I want to create an image that will stand enlargement to, say, 20×16 inches, I need to be very careful about it. The first 2 problems are the most serious in this regard, but by using a mixture of digital image noise reduction, median filter, edge preserving smooth, JPEG artifact reduction, sharpening and progressive rescaling, it is possible to produce an acceptable enlarged image. Exactly which tools are best will depend upon the image in question – I don’t have any specific recipe. I will write a Journal entry soon, to describe some of the techniques that I use, along with ‘before’ and ‘after’ images.

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Image Copyright Duncan Waldron © 2007
This image may not be reproduced without permission
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Comments

  • Leah Highland
    Leah Highlandalmost 7 years ago

    Looks like metal. Stunning work!

  • Duncan Waldron
    Duncan Waldronalmost 7 years ago

    Thanks Leah. I used some digital image noise reduction, plus possibly an edge-preserving smoothing function. It needed a bit of work to get a 2megapixel image up to about 16×20 inches!

  • littlejohn
    littlejohnalmost 7 years ago

    The texture and clarity are amazing. Wonderful.

  • mawaho
    mawahoalmost 7 years ago

    Such a clean image, no pun intended. Do you just increase the size of the image after noise reduction etc? It looks very good as a black framed print.

  • Duncan Waldron
    Duncan Waldronalmost 7 years ago

    Hi mawaho, I use a mixture of some or all of: multiple stage resizing*, edge-preserving smooth, median filter, sharpen, gaussian blur, noise addition. All intended to get an image that doesn’t just look like it’s been resized. What works best depends on the image. * I try not to just resize 2x, 3x, etc, as this will tend to preserve some of the original pixel structure. It’s subtle, but resizing in steps of around 50% increase works better. I once saw a recommendation to use steps of 10%, increase, but this seems to introduce other edge-effects. See example

    This is possible something to be experimented with, on an image by image basis. I tend to do a lot of stuff by gut feeling, and often don’t look further to really optimise results. Perhaps I should!

  • Gisele Bedard
    Gisele Bedardalmost 7 years ago

    Gorgeous details and sharness.

  • Duncan Waldron
    Duncan Waldronalmost 7 years ago

    Thanks :) I was very pleased with the effect myself. I’d prefer working with an 8MP camera, but have to make do until I can afford that. It’s a lesson in using what you’ve got and making the most of it – made easier with editing software, of course.

  • Caroline Gorka
    Caroline Gorkaover 6 years ago

    This has a lovely effect … the waxiness of the leaf looks great in mono :)

  • Frederic Charpentier
    Frederic Charp...over 6 years ago

    Very cool effect… It looks great !

  • mawaho
    mawahoover 6 years ago

    Duncan, thanks for your explanation to my question 7 months ago! I’m a bit like you regarding gut feeling. I’ve been playing around with the genuine fractals program and that seems quite good.

  • I did have a trial version of GF some years ago, but didn’t go any further then. Probably something I should have in my toolkit – thanks for the reminder :)

    – Duncan Waldron

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