Category Archives: 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 😉

A Mercury wallpaper and Parkinson’s law

Do you know Parkinson’s law? Well, maybe you do not know that you know it.

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

Sounds familiar? You know what happens if you give a task a certain amount of time. You will use it. Or fill the spare minutes with things you do not need to do. It seems that the application of Pareto’s law gets better when time is not available.

Maybe you take the wallpaper (which will fit a screen with 16:9) and let Mercury remind you that there are tasks which need to be done. Parkinson’s law and Mercury seems to be a strange combination – if you think of Mercury as a god of trade and travel, the importance of effectiveness over efficiency clearly makes sense. But this is a different story…

The uncropped version of the picture can be seen on 500px.com

Mercury by Stefan Steinbauer (usinglight) on 500px.com
Mercury by Stefan Steinbauer

A walk in the floodplains of the Danube

A nice walk with my dear ones on Saturday also brought some nice pictures of a warm winter in the floodplains of the Danube. At least there were no mosquitos.

Wallpaper: “Sunset on Vienna”

Facebook is a bitch.

I am one of those people who randomly post their pictures on facebook. And I am one of these people who want their pictures to be seen – I consider them art and not instances of reality. So if somebody asks for a wallpaper I cannot say no.

This might explain why the picture looks like it is. 

10mm have a very distinct look of its own and when you turn it into an HDR and apply the usual suspects: Contrast treatment, some glow, slight color shifting and some other lightroom thingies. Tataaaa – after approximately 100 minutes you get this.

Consider this a gift and use it as you like. Dimensions are FullHD (1920 x 1080) and license is creative commons. Have fun and consider sharing this post with your friends.

Or maybe you want to put this picture on your wall (german only)?

Thinking at the end of the year – “Crossroads of choice” wallpaper

Sometimes pictures make you think. Especially at the end of the year, where it’s traditionally the time to reflect on the past year and think about what choices you made, which choice you did not take and what you learned.

The motive present is always the standing at the crossroads. I wanted to collect some thoughts on what you can do at such a point – using this photograph.

  1. You choose a path.
  2. You do not choose and wait for something (This might be the worst solution in most cases but can be a good choice on rare occasions).
  3. Maximize your options. If you look in the picture below, you do not see the path to the right because the camera covers a lot but does not give you the whole picture. Think of “The map is not the territory!“.
  4. Invent a path.

Whatever you do: Think first!

If you want you can use the picture below as a wallpaper (This one is 1920×1080 and creative commons). It might help as a visual anchor to think on what you want to achieve 2012. Use your brain and don’t let it be the other way around.

 crossroads of choice by Stefan Steinbauer

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