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11 April 2017

We enjoy spending our Friday afternoons winding things down at the bunker by scouring the Web for a photography-related video clip to feature as a Saturday Matinee.

Looking at You. Only one of us is real.

You might think we've seen it all after presenting 182 clips (so far) -- and there are Fridays when we wonder if indeed we have.

But then something jumps up to surprise us.

The frame above is from The Photographer, directed by Kristian Skylstad with Herman Skylstad as the mime (who talks now and then) with the camera. That is a black tear on his cheek.

But the frame above is more than a frame from the video. It's in fact what we saw as we watched the video, which at half-an-hour exceeds our arbitrary Saturday Matinee Clip Length.

The specter in the back is a reflection of our entertained visage as we watched Herman pop up and pretend to photograph us at work.

We liked the concept so much, we grabbed our iPhone and, after carefully positioning it low enough to frame both the screen and our reflection, looked at the screen as we took a snapshot.

Then the trouble began.


When we opened it in Photoshop, we noticed Herman had a terrible moire problem.

Apparently taking photographs of a screen is not something the computational photography magicians have worked out yet. Our focus at that close distance was just too sharp to avoid the moire.

Moire. As shot and as processed.

The image above shows the problem as it affected Herman's hands on the left. Brutal. Unusable, really.


But the image on the right shows how a simple Camera Raw brush was able to minimize the problem. Enough so we could massage it away for our 500 pixel rendering above anyway.

Adustment Brush. Moire Reduction.

Among Camera Raw's tools (both in Lightroom and Photoshop) is the Adjustment Brush. It lets you paint over an area and adjust any combination of parameters. So if you want a red nose to be a little less obvious, you can paint over it and change the Saturation, say.

Fortunately for this image, one of the parameters was Moire Reduction. We cranked it up to +82 and wiped away the moire.

We can only hope Herman took as much care with our image as we did with his.

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