Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

Reducing noise on photos

I recently needed to take shots at a really high ISO while taking shots at a gig at the Annexe, KL. Of course my superbly steady hand <not> ensured terribly grainy pictures. Lucky me, DPS decided to publish a short post that shares tips on reducing noise on an image using photoshop. I still don’t understand it too well, but I thought it’d be a great ongoing experiment to log the results.

I didn’t follow the instructions directly, but it did get me experimenting a little…

So here’s the BEFORE shot:

What I did was take this photo, create a duplicate layer of it and change the blending options to ‘Multiply’. And voila! Huge difference.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand…

wait for it!

Here’s the post-processed image:

KL Sing Song 2009

Not only is this photo clearer, but it’s also gives it a much healthier look. I would recommend you view both photos in full size to feel the difference. I’ll need to do something about my blog’s real-estate soon, it’s too narrow to display images in full detail.

On another note, I’ve also joined Project 365 on Flickr. I’m hoping it’ll get me shooting my one photo a day. Tomorrow’s Day 1! Many opportunities await on the trip to Bentong, Pahang.

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Getting up-close

Spices from Moms kitchen

Spices from Mom's kitchen

For those of you interested in taking macro shots, here are a few things I try to do.

– Make sure your camera is on macro settings 😉

Your camera might have two types of settings. One that runs on portrait mode, and another called digital macro – this depends very much on the model of course.

– I prefer to take my close-ups without the flash, because it gives the subject a washed out look. Also, the flash removes important shadows that define a subject, specially those that convey depth and character.

Now because your flash is off, the camera will adjust the exposure time to allow for the image to be captured as well as to allow enough light to flow in. This usually results in slightly blurry pictures caused by minor shakes.

– So, it’s all about stability. You want to make sure that there’s minimal movement while the image is being captured. Your options are to use a tripod or to make sure there’s minimal shaking.

– If you’re standing, use your legs to give you good balance.

– For the arms and hands, make sure your hands don’t shake – you can do so by resting them on something solid. Also tuck your arms in so that they are aligned with your body – again its all about balance.

Colored coconut shavings aka Sara-vita

Colored coconut shavings aka Sara-vita

– Your breathing could also contribute to blurred pics. Try holding your breath while your camera captures the image.

– One of the early mistakes I made was to release the capture button before the picture was taken. Removing your finger from the button mid-shot would shake the camera a little and effect your near-perfect shot. Try keeping the button depressed until the shot is done.

That’s all for now!

Colored coconut shavings aka sara-vita

An unconventional filter

Several weekends ago a few friends and I patroned The Apartment over at the Curve. I had a Rossini (read fresh strawberry juice, strawberry liquer & champaigne) and a slice of moist strawberry cake.

The pics weren’t turning out too well because of the lighting and I was getting quite frustrated with the results, when Javad used a filter that produced some very well balanced photos. Check out the before and after shots.

Moist cake: flash / filtered

Moist cake - psychadellic mode

Moist-cake filtered

Rossini: flash / filtered

Rossini - full flash

rossini filtered

Any guesses on what the filter is?

Well, it’s a plain ol’ bank slip placed over the flash to soften the burst of light. The boy’s a genius! =)