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The Tamron 50-400mm F4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD boasts an impressive zoom range in a relatively compact package. How does it perform? We took a look.
Researchers with the University of California Berkeley and Google Research have published a new paper detailing an AI that can remove unwanted shadows from images. The algorithm focuses on two different types of shadows -- ones from external objects and ones naturally resulting from facial features -- and works to either remove or soften them in order to maintain a natural appearance.
Whereas professional images are often taken in a studio with proper lighting, the average snapshot of a person is taken 'in the wild' where lighting conditions may be harsh, causing dark shadows that obscure parts of the subject's face while other parts are covered with excessive highlights.
The newly developed AI is designed to address this problem by targeting those unwanted shadows and highlights, removing and softening them until a clearer subject remains. The researchers say their tool works in a 'realistic and controllable way,' and it could prove useful for more than just images captured in casual settings.
Professionals could, for example, use a tool like this to salvage images taken in outdoor environments where it was impossible to control the lighting, such as wedding images taken outdoors under a bright noon sun. In their paper, the researchers explain:
In this work, we attempt to provide some of the control over lighting that professional photographers have in studio environments to casual photographers in unconstrained environments ... Given just a single image of a human subject taken in an unknown and unconstrained environment, our complete system is able to remove unwanted foreign shadows, soften harsh facial shadows, and balance the image's lighting ratio to produce a flattering and realistic portrait image.
This project is designed to target three specific elements in these photographs: foreign shadows from external objects, facial shadows caused by one's natural facial features and lighting ratios between the lightest and darkest parts of the subject's face. Two different machine learning models are used to target these elements, one to remove foreign shadows and the other to soften facial shadows alongside lighting ratio adjustments.
The team evaluated their two machine learning models using both 'in the wild' and synthetic image datasets. The results are compared to existing state-of-the-art technologies that perform the same functions. 'Our complete model clearly outperforms the others,' the researchers note in the study, highlighting their system's ability in a selection of processed sample images.
In addition to using the technology to adjust images, the study explains that this method can be tapped as a way to 'preprocess' images for other image-modifying algorithms, such as portrait relighting tools. The researchers explain:
Though often effective, these portrait relighting techniques sometimes produce suboptimal renderings when presented with input images that contain foreign shadows or harsh facial shadows. Our technique can improve a portrait relighting solution: our model can be used to remove these unwanted shadowing effects, producing a rendering that can then be used as input to a portrait relighting solution, resulting in an improved final rendering.
The system isn't without limitations, however, particularly if the foreign shadows are presented with 'many finely-detailed structures,' some residue of which may remain even after the images are processed. As well, and due to the way the system works, some bilaterally symmetric shadows may not be removed from subjects,
In addition, softening the facial shadows using this technique may, at times, result in a soft, diffused appearance due to excessive smoothing of some fine details that should remain, such as in the subject's hair, as well as causing a 'flat' appearance by softening some facial shadows.
As well, the researchers note that their complete system looks for two types of shadows -- facial and foreign -- and that it may confuse the two at times. If facial shadows on the subject are 'sufficiently harsh,' the system may detect them as foreign shadows and remove (rather than soften) them.
Talking about this issue, the researchers explain:
This suggests that our model may benefit from a unified approach for both kinds of shadows, though this approach is somewhat at odds with the constraints provided by image formation and our datasets: a unified learning approach would require a unified source of training data, and it is not clear how existing light stage scans or in-the-wild photographs could be used to construct a large, diverse, and photorealistic dataset in which both foreign and facial shadows are present and available as ground-truth.
Regardless, the study highlights yet another potential use for artificial intelligence technologies in the photography industry, paving the way for more capable and realistic editing that takes less time to perform than manual editing. A number of studies over the past few years have highlighted potential uses for AI, including transforming still images into moving animations and, in the most extreme cases, generating entire photo-realistic images.
As for this latest project, the researchers have made their code, evaluation data, test data, supplemental materials and paper available to download through the UC Berkeley website.
Sep 15, 2022
OpenAI adds 'Outpainting' feature to its AI system, DALL-E, allowing users to make AI images of any size
Sep 2, 2022
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What’s the best camera for around $2000? These capable cameras should be solid and well-built, have both speed and focus for capturing fast action and offer professional-level image quality. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing around $2000 and recommended the best.
What's the best camera for shooting landscapes? High resolution, weather-sealed bodies and wide dynamic range are all important. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting landscapes, and recommended the best.
If you're looking for the perfect drone for yourself, or to gift someone special, we've gone through all of the options and selected our favorites.
Most modern cameras will shoot video to one degree or another, but these are the ones we’d look at if you plan to shoot some video alongside your photos. We’ve chosen cameras that can take great photos and make it easy to get great looking video, rather than being the ones you’d choose as a committed videographer.
Although a lot of people only upload images to Instagram from their smartphones, the app is much more than just a mobile photography platform. In this guide we've chosen a selection of cameras that make it easy to shoot compelling lifestyle images, ideal for sharing on social media.
|Winter Days by DaveN01|
|IMG_750-16662-2 Dusty drive by Jill Hancock|
from Daylight Pictures of Modern Trucks in Action
|2019_0720_163302AA by old shutter bugger|
from In The Style Of EDWARD WESTON's Sitll Lifes
|Annas Hummingbird over Mexican Sunflower by Fishchris|
from A Big Year - Birds 2022
|Please. Don't Shoot! by Stevie Boy Blue|
from People Photography - Any Year
Sony's new 320GB and 640GB 'Tough' CFexpress Type A cards are due out next month and while the 640GB card will offer the most storage of any Type A card to date, it doesn't come cheap.
Adobe's Photoshop and Premiere Elements apps make editing photos and videos easy for users of all skill levels. The latest versions add more editing tools, more AI features and improved performance.
The Sony FX30 is an explicitly video-focused camera, but could its technology herald a refresh of the company's APS-C stills line-up? We have a look at what that might mean.
The lens offers a constant F2.8 aperture through a rather unique focal length range for full-frame camera systems. It’s expected to be available starting October 27, 2022 for $699.
Can AI overcome the physical limitations of smartphone sensors and lenses? A Qualcomm executive thinks so, thanks in large part to improvements in processing power, hardware and artificial intelligence.
We're starting to see cameras offering 'open gate' video recording, so what is this tool and when is it useful?
The Sony FX30 is a 4K/120p-capable Super35 / APS-C cinema camera that wants to take the battle to the likes of Panasonic's GH series.
Sony's new FX30 Super35/APS-C Cinema Line camera is effectively a crop-sensor version of the company's full-frame FX3 camera with sensor-based image stabilization, oversampled 4K/60p capture and '16-bit' Raw output and more.
If you've ever wanted to become an action figure, Hasbro is providing you the opportunity with its new 3D-printed Selfie Series action figures.
When you store photos on the cloud, you expect them to remain safe for a long time. However, some Google Photos users were scared over the weekend when they realized that their photo libraries had become corrupted.
DALL-E's Outpainting feature uses AI to expand existing images and artwork. Ad agency Ogilvy Paris has used Outpainting to expand Johannes Vermeer's famous painting, 'The Milkmaid.'
iOS 16.0.2 addresses, amongst other bug fixes, a problem wherein the second-generation sensor-shift image stabilization tech was causing camera shake issues in some third-party apps.
For the past eight years, the Library of Congress has been working on figuring out the subjects in a large collection of film, TV and music photos. Many of the mysteries have been solved. However, 17 photos have eluded the LC's best efforts, and the public's help is needed to help put names to the final unknown faces.
After having to pull the initial firmware update last month due to an issue that caused some units to stop working, Sony has re-released firmware version 1.1 for its a7 IV full-frame mirrorless camera.
Sigma's latest wide Art-badged prime for full frame is capable of some stunning landscapes. Check out a new batch of sample photos in the gallery.
Winners for this year's annual Comedy Pet Photo Awards have been announced.
While visiting the team in Seattle, Chris and Jordan attempt to eat some chowder. It's difficult. Also, this week they are puppets.
Meike has released its first adapter for Nikon Z cameras. The new MK-EFTZ-B adapter allows Nikon Z users to attach Canon EF and EF-S lenses to their cameras, complete with autofocus and automatic exposure functionality.
The Canon 5D Mark II was released in November 2008. Since then, a photographer used theirs to capture nearly 2.3 million images, which is an average of about 450 photos per day if they shot every single day. The camera is still going strong for its new owner.
Capture One for iPad users cvan now connect their camera, wired or wirelessly, to their iPad for quick image transfers without the need for memory cards and readers.
Digital film scanners can be pricey, so Lomo's latest scanners let shooters do it themselves. Whether you have a digital camera, or simply a smartphone, there's a DigitaLIZA that'll work with your kit. But are the results any good? Let's find out.
The Leica Q2 'Dawn' is the same camera on the inside, but features an all-black paint job and a special Japanese-woven fabric wrap produced by Japanese brand, Hosoo.
It's been a while since we've a lens with a normal to super-telephoto range, how do the photos from the Tamron 50-400mm F4.5-6.3 look? Take a gander.
Also new is a built-in screen for checking the battery and shooting mode, as well as a Quick Launch feature for iPhone devices.
Venus Optics' Laowa 58mm F2.8 2x Ultra-Macro APO is available for Canon R, Leica L, Nikon Z and Sony E mount camera systems.
Kubrick had three of the ten Zeiss Planar 50mm F0.7 lenses Zeiss produced re-engineered to work as cinema lenses. Kubrick is most known for using these lenses in a candlelit scene in his Oscar-winning film, Barry Lyndon.
As part of our review of the Canon EOS R10, we've shot our standard studio scene to let you see how the new camera compares to its peers and predecessors.
The ultra-telephoto zoom offers a 225-750mm full-frame equivalent focal length.
In addition to a forthcoming 70-180mm F2.8 lens (which looks like it could be another reworked Tamron lens), Nikon revealed it's working on a 12-28mm PZ lens for APS-C Z-mount cameras as well as a pair of fast primes: a 35mm and a 135mm.