Making pictures look better

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Nesikep
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Making pictures look better

Postby Nesikep » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:02 pm

I'm not enough of a guru to use photoshop, so I do things simpler and more primitively... Here's the only 2 programs I need

IRFanview, opens any type of image, good enough for adding captions, color corrections and such.. it's a tiny and free program that's been around for years

NeatImage, works EXCELLENT to sharpen out of focus images, and get rid of "graininess" in low light shots... It take a bit to be able to use it beyond the basic level, but really makes a difference in the picture quality... In pictures of our bovines, you can "see every hair" in the picture... I think there's a free version and the paid version is about $30 If I remember correctly. If you use Photoshop, it has a plugin for that too.

Thought I'd share :)
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Re: Making pictures look better

Postby alisonb » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:48 pm

Thanks for sharing Nesi :D , just remember that we are not allowed to alter/photoshop pics that are sent in for a contest...the basics like cropping, resizing etc are allowed.
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Re: Making pictures look better

Postby Putangitangi » Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:08 am

I had to remind myself of that when looking at my into-the-sun picture with all its flying insects also catching the light and looking like dust-motes.

I use a combination of Canon Digital Photo Professional which came with my camera and allows me to process the RAW files into jpg. Then I usually resize/crop/alter brightness etc. in Paintshop Pro. I've only recently met someone else who uses that program. I could probably do it all in the first one, but I've been using the latter for years and am used to it. The only "photo-shopping" I ever do is occasionally for my website to remove a stray ear or piece of something distracting from the corner of an otherwise-useful photo.
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Re: Making pictures look better

Postby Nesikep » Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:24 am

NeatImage is just for getting better crispness and getting rid of grainyness.. I'll try to post a few pics to compare, but it probably won't happen til next monday
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Re: Making pictures look better

Postby Putangitangi » Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:59 pm

A decent camera is the first thing; can't do much with a bad photo.
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Re: Making pictures look better

Postby randiliana » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:03 pm

I use the HP program that either came with my computer or camera (not sure which) for most basic touchups. For more dramatic stuff there is Paint.net which is free and offers a lot of freedom to play with your photos. It also has lots of plugins that you can add to it if you wish.
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Re: Making pictures look better

Postby Nesikep » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:15 pm

Putangitangi wrote:A decent camera is the first thing; can't do much with a bad photo.


While I will never dispute the value of a good camera, and especially good lenses, NeatImage could surprise you what it can do with a cell phone picture from one of these new phones. Unless you're going to be spending thousands on a camera, chances are that even an moderate SLR is going to give a grainy picture at high ISO speeds and low light, which also has a good chance of a bit of blur.

here is a night time pic I took with my Canon XTi.. it's old now but that was taken the first week I had it, I give you a link to it so you ought to be able to see it full size
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v153/Rx7man/IMG_0234_filtered.jpg

Here is one taken from the same place at the same time, but I don't think I filtered it with NeatImage (according to the filename at least)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v153/Rx7man/IMG_0237.jpg
I have the original around somewhere I'll see if I can dig up for a comparison, but this picture LOOKS like what I was looking at
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Re: Making pictures look better

Postby Putangitangi » Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:41 pm

As soon as I posted that, I thought about the pictures which were of good enough quality to be published in a magazine, taken on a 1MPx camera I first owned some years ago. The lighting was excellent, so there was the best chance of a good photo, but I was surprised, in retrospect, at how good they were.

I've been playing with long-exposure night-time shots, getting cows sitting around on the grass as if it is daylight, but with stars in the sky. They're fascinating. I am not a professional or trained photographer, just a learn-as-I-go sort. I was wandering around in the dark when I should have been sleeping.
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Re: Making pictures look better

Postby Nesikep » Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:19 pm

my workhorse camera was a Canon S2IS for the longest time.. only 3.1MP, and I got some darned good pictures with it... My favourite feature about it was a super-macro with a 0mm focal length, which means you could take a picture of a bug that landed on the lens. For its time it was a great camera, and durable too... I'd dropped it enough times, it lived in dust, etc and I still use it, though now with a new smartphone, a little less.

Did you look at the 2 pictures I posted? the one of the ship has 0 grainyness to it, and is perfectly crisp... you have to zoom in to get the best view
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Re: Making pictures look better

Postby Putangitangi » Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:34 pm

Nesikep wrote:...Did you look at the 2 pictures I posted? the one of the ship has 0 grainyness to it, and is perfectly crisp... you have to zoom in to get the best view
Yes, but there weren't any cows in them, so I didn't know what to say.

I've been using the (not very robust) Canon Powershot G series for the last five or so years, now onto my third. I've never dropped or wet one, but the lens mechanisms keep failing after a couple of years. I'd love to go DSLR, but I'd never carry that much weight and bulk around with me. The G10/12/16 (had all three in sequence) is a chunky point-and-shoot with extras, which I can fish out of the bag around my hips and use one-handed, which is often best, when the other hand may well be in an unsavory state.
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Re: Making pictures look better

Postby Ouachita » Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:36 pm

A pretty lady or a big barn makes all pictures look better
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Nesikep
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Re: Making pictures look better

Postby Nesikep » Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:15 pm

Putangitangi.. if you want, post up a picture where its a bit grainy or not quite crisp.. Heck, post one up that you think is crisp, and I'll run it through Neatimage
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Re: Making pictures look better

Postby Putangitangi » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:16 pm

What are you suggesting? That I take terrible photos? :lol:

I don't know that I have such a thing. Generally my sharpening is primarily done after resizing photos, which always leaves them a bit fuzzy around the edges. I'll see if I have one from my phone, when I was out without the camera ...
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Re: Making pictures look better

Postby Nesikep » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:50 am

Not at all :)... I just find it makes photos you think are good just stand out that bit more..

You'd think I'm on the promo team for that program.. I'm not.. Honest!
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Re: Making pictures look better

Postby Putangitangi » Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:31 am

I'll pm you a couple - one's definitely not to be looked at while eating, but I'd like to clear it up a bit to see some more detail - not x-rated, just painful.
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