A S C R A P B O O K O F S O L U T I O N S F O R T H E P H O T O G R A P H E R
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5 November 2014
Once in a while, we look up. We did it again the other day, a brisk morning that brought out the coffee cups in the neighborhood we were photographing for this weeks Friday Slide Show. And we saw the leaves changing color.
We stood in the shade, facing the sun and grabbed the shot, a Raw capture at f16.0, 1/250 second and ISO 400.
That left us with a little conundrum: how to process the Raw file.
We wanted to run it through Piccure+, using the tricks we learned from our discussion with Lui, Piccure+ co-founder.
But we also wanted to run it through the new OpticsPro.
Both applications do lens corrections but quite differently. To see the difference, we've overlaid the two thumbnails below:
So we thought a face-off might be interesting. Except an awful lot of other things happen when you convert a Raw file into an image. Tone and color correction among them.
We tried, but we couldn't keep that consistent between Photoshop and OpticsPro, as our comparison above shows. It was hard to see the forest from the leaves.
ON SECOND THOUGHT
We did like what we got in OpticsPro, though. Partly because the new ClearView tool took care of some glare we picked up in the lower right corner of the frame.
So why not use the Piccure+ TIFF in OpticsPro to get rid of the glare?
We did that and were very pleased with the results. We just had one little workflow issue. OpticsPro won't enable its PRIME noise reduction for a TIFF. It needs the Raw file.
Here's a comparison of the power of ClearView:
You can't see the consequences of that (at ISO 400) on these 800p and 500p reductions of the image. But as a workflow issue it's something to keep in mind. Who knows, one day you may be shooting a glorious sunset through some reddish leaves at ISO 12,500 and wish there was a way to use both Piccure+ and PRIME on the image.
Unfortunately, they both want to work on the undefiled Raw file.
Still, we aren't complaining. In the end, it turned out to be a question of which successful approach was more appealing.
Because the glare was a bigger problem than the noise, we preferred the TIFF solution.
We are pushing for a new update of Piccure+ with some improvements. Meanwhile just two comments that may help you in the meantime:
- You can work on the DxO TIFF with Piccure+. It should not be an issue to do PRIME and ClearView and then Piccure+. At least it's worth trying. I do not know how our algorithms interact with PRIME, but it's quite possible that the result is pretty awesome. So you would get the best of all worlds. It is safest to work on the Raws, but DxO really has some great algorithms at work, so here I would say "they do good stuff." However, I would not correct LensSoftness. Correction of chromatic aberrations is fine though. It is very hard to make general statements about the optimal workflows with many different programs, personal preferences and also the images at hand.
- If you are shooting f5.6 or the like (so little optical aberration) I have a neat tip for you: switch to Motion+, Micro and choose Quality or Quality+ (Quality+ for images suffering a little from compression, glare, oversaturation and the like). The result will be equally good but you safe about 50 percent processing time (we optimize the aberrations and the quality speed trade off in our next update end of the week).
Thanks for the tips, Lui. We're finding it harder and harder not to use Piccure+ on our images (even for small offerings like our Veterans Day image).