Poor mans guide to post processing...

Started Jul 3, 2004 | Discussions thread
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*isteve Veteran Member • Posts: 9,509
Poor mans guide to post processing...

For those who are new to post processing....I assume quite a few of you know these tips already, but this is for the rest of you.

Much as I appreciate having and using Neat Image, Focal Blade and so on, I still frequently resort to old and well tried post processing tricks that you can do with any version of PS or any other editor that supports layers and channels (PSP 8 and Gimp for instance). They have one major advantage of being very adjustable and very fast by comparison...
The most effective by far, and ones I use all the time, include:

1: De-haze action: A lot of long-distance tele shots on hot days have a low contrast appearance because of atmospheric haze. In this case just create a new duplicate layer, set the blend mode to "soft light" and adjust the opacity to match.
Heres the hazy original:

Heres after the dehaze...

2: Sympathetic but effective sharpening: After the dehaze above, I flattened the image, created a new duplicate layer, and applied a low radius (2.2) high pass filter. I then applied USM to the filtered layer radius 0.6, amount 100. Finally set the blend mode to "hard light" and adjusted the opacity to 56%. Keeping the radius small reduces sharpening haloes but adds a lot of zing to the result, as here: (this was slightly resharpened after resize to recreate the original effect, but you get the idea - try it anyway).

3: De-noise action:

Use smart blur on one channel only to remove the worst noise. In this case the red channel. You need to mess around to get the right balance of noise vs detail, but only using the red channel preserves edges in the green channel (most of the luminosity).
Heres the full sized original.

Heres a crop showing the noise..

and after removing about 70% of the red channel noise using radius 5 and threshold 15:

Have fun!

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