Friday, October 5, 2018

paradise is a place... in Rhodes!

Cafe Paradise is a small tavern - Cafe restaurant in Rhodes, Greece located in Glyfada beach. The Cafe is located in north part of the island and you need around one hour to reach it. After traveling this long distance you will find the restaurant located near the beach. The Cafe is operated by an old couple and one family friend and it has extremely low prices compared with other shops. Although I don't recommend entering the sea, the landscape view is fabulous and worth the time to travel there as you can see from the photos:

Glyfada beach, Rhodes, Greece.
Glyfada beach, Rhodes, Greece.

Glyfada beach, Rhodes, Greece view from the Cafe.
Glyfada beach, Rhodes, Greece view from the Cafe.

Glyfada beach, Rhodes, Greece.
Glyfada beach, Rhodes, Greece.

Paradise Cafe, in Glyfada beach, Rhodes, Greece. View of the inside.
Paradise Cafe, in Glyfada beach, Rhodes, Greece.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Processing Black and White pictures with RawTherapee: Play Raw - Rio de Janeiro

Sometimes all you need a good picture, some editing in the lighting and then you get one very dramatic picture. The photo was taken in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by gadolf (Gustavo Adolfo) and posted as part of the Play Raw competition. You can find the original RAW files here



I used all the basic editing tools of the RawTherapee to increase the contrast and make the picture to look much more dramatic. You can find the pp3 file here.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Processing a High Dynamic Range raw image with RawTherapee

Editing High contrast images is hard because you have at the same time to decrease the highlights, increase the dark areas, and at the same time keep the natual colours. Although not always possible, shooting RAW always helps. The RawTherapee offers a plethora of tools to "fix" your images. To illustrate the tools available in RawTherapee, we will edit a picture taken by Ivan Sagalaev and released under CC license in the Play Raw competition of the pixls.us forum here.

Image after importing to RawTherapee.
Image after importing to RawTherapee.

Step 1: Preparation. First we fix the distortion (if exists) in the Transform tab. Before start editing we always try to fix possible distortions of the image.


Initial Histogram of the picture.



Step 2: Editing the light. 

The second step is to press the "Auto Levels" button in the Exposure tab. This will light the dark places of the picture, but it is not enough.The sky now is it much lighter than before and the colors washed out.

Exposure settings in RawTherapee of the image to recover the dark areas.
Exposure settings in RawTherapee of the image to recover the dark areas.

First we have to fix the highlight of the sky. We increase the exposure compensation and at the same time the Highlight compression to avoid possible over exposure.

Second, we can decrease slightly the Highlights in the Tone curve.  Moreover, we can also increase slightly the Contrast in the same part of the settings.

The third step is to apply negative graduated filter. By selecting negative strength we actually add more light. We set the angle to -174 to highlight only the dark areas.

Negative Graduated Filter settings of RawTherapee to insert more light in the picture.
Negative Graduated Filter to insert more light in the picture.

Next we apply Tone Mapping to slightly improve the dark areas. We only need small amount (0.01) of strength to make the picture to look natural.

In the Detail tab, we enable "Impulse Noise Reduction", "Noise Reduction", and "Contrast by Detail Levels" to increase local contrast. In addition, we can enable the Defringe to improve slightly the color accuracy in the edged of the objects.

Step 4: Editing color. 

Vibrance settings of RawTherapee.
Vibrance settings of RawTherapee.

Finally, in the Colour tab we set the "Vibrance" to 20 to improve the liveness of the color. Additionally, we can decrease the Blue channel in the "Channel Mixer" area to decrease the impact of the blue color in the picture and make the picture more warm.

Decrease the blue channel in the settings for the color.
Decrease the blue channel in the settings for the color.


As a bonus we can increase even more the contrast with the L*a*b* Adjustments and make the blues darker. Thsi is not always welcome from all the people, but I liked it anyway.


The final image after the editing.
The final image after the editing.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Processing high ISO night images with RawTherapee

Earlier this year i did some videos (here and here) regarding how to remove the noise from high ISO raw images. I decided to write down the work flow with text and pictures to avoid the seeking the video in different parts.

The original file is available here: https://discuss.pixls.us/t/playraw-high-iso-challenge/2778 and the image is taken by PkmXDec using a Sony A6000 + Canon FD 85mm f/1.8 S.S.C. + Lens Turbo II wide open.

Out of the box, the picture shows a lot of noise and the color is too warm if we press the "Auto Levels". This happens because he ISO is 12800 and the lighting available: sodium light. In addition, the color noise has a specific noise pattern, as shown in the uniform part of the picture on the left.

Initial raw image conversion using the default options.
Initial RAW image conversion using the default options.
1. Our first approach is to change the Demosaicing method from the "RAW" tab. The "RAW" tab contains all the options responsible from converting the image from the RAW format to actual picture. This is the first step of process flow before applying any advanced filter or changing the color temperature. In this tab, we change  the AMaZE to LMMSE method. We also change the enhancement steps to 6. The image now has slightly better color noise. An alternative method to use in high noise pictures is the IGV.

RAW image after using the LMMSE method. Notice the reduction of color noise.
RAW image after using the LMMSE method.
Notice the reduction of color noise.
Moreover, Chromatic Aberration in the same tab (Demosaicing) can fix possible chromatics aberrations in the picture. We select "Auto-Correction". Finally, we can also enable the "Hot pixel filter" and the "Dead pixel filter" under the "Preprocessing" set of options.

Demosaicing method options of  the RawTherapee when processing high ISO images.
Demosaicing method options of
the RawTherapee when processing
high ISO images.
2. Next we have to fix the white balance from the color tab. We decrease the temperature to 2451 and we enable the vibrance with a small value (13) to improve the unsaturated colors. We may improve the color in the final phase of our editing.

White balance of the RawTherapee.
White balance of the RawTherapee.
3. The next important step is the noise reduction from the Detail tab. There are two noise reduction methods: The normal and the impulse. We initially enable the "Impulse Noise Reduction" with the default settings. We expect to see a small improvement in random white and black pixels appearing.

Next we enable the "Noise Reduction". We change the Mode from "Conservative" to "Aggressive".  We will notice the difference in color noise, but we have to modify the luminance reduction to achieve better results. We change the "Luminance control" to "Curve". Now we can decide how much noise reduction we want depending on the light available. As generic rule, the dark parts of the
picture contain more noise, so we have to increase the noise reduction. We also increase the "Detail recovery" to improve the details of the picture and decrease the impact of noise reduction.
Noise reduction options of  RawTherapee for high ISO RAW images.
Noise reduction options of
RawTherapee for high ISO
RAW images.
Now even with enough noise reduction, we still have some artifacts. To remove them, we can apply the "Median Filter" from the same tab. Due to high noise of this picture, we select "5x5" Median type and "Weighted" Median method to eliminate also the remaining color artifacts.
Median Filter options for the noise reduction of the  RawTherapee for High ISO RAW images.
Median Filter options for the noise reduction of the
RawTherapee for High ISO RAW images.
4. With noise reduction, we also loosing vital information of the image and we decrease the overall clarity of the picture. To fix this we enable the "Contrast by Detail Levels" from the same tab.  We have to add a bit only to avoid the artifact generation in the picture.

Contrast by Detail Levels of  the RawTherapee.
Contrast by Detail Levels of
the RawTherapee.
5. Finally, we adjust the light and the contrast of the picture. The produced histogram show that the image needs more contrast. In this particular photo we decrease the shadows, we decrease the Exposure compensation to 1.2 and increase the "Black" value to 980 to emphasize the black in the picture.

Final image after processing with RawTherapee.
Final image after processing with RawTherapee.