color digital Macro Nex photography postprocessing

On averaging(,) wool and the shadow test

Noise is your friend, noise is your enemy. Depends on who you are. For a photographer noise is mostly unwanted.

So there are millions of options and tool, how to get rid of noise. The easiest one being reducing your ISO to 200 or lower. This might be OK if you have time and lots of light.

But there are other methods and I was trying out an interesting one: Image averaging.

Noise comes because the camera is afraid ?!
Noise comes because the camera is afraid ?!

Averaging is a method which depends on one fact: The noise in the pictures is always different. Basically you take some pictures, treat them and put them together in an image editing program by a special recipe. Each layer gets the following opacity in percent:

100 *1/(number of layers below + 1)

Hence the number sequence starting at the bottom is 100, 50, 33.3, 25, 12.5 and so on. If you want to get a little bit more theoretical background, have a look here at Cambridge in colour (a wonderful site for noobs and pros).

I tried it once with a moving shadow (top picture), which consists of 3 shots at ISO 1600 and one macro with the Yasuhara Nanoha at f/32 and ISO 100 (but longer exposure: 1,6 seconds), just enough to get enough light and not have the wool move because of the warmth of the light. I have the impression it also improved the sharpness.

I will definitely try again with macros.

Red wool
Red wool

At the end a small tipp for users of pixelmator: You can add pictures as layers by using the menu only. And the funny part is: You have to add every single picture as one. Red wool consists of 7 pictures…  …boring work until the fast guys from pixelmator bring us a new feature 😉

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