Dave McDonell on Noise

September 30, 2009 | Leave a Comment |


Dave McDonell, cofounder of Imagenomic, the company that makes Noiseware, my favorite noise reduction software weighs in on noise.

JPC    Where does noise come from?

DM    There are several factors in a digital camera capture process that contribute to noise. The most prevelant are temperature, the actual capture circuitry, sensor size, and the process of sub-sampling which induces errors between adjacent pixels.

JPC    Why is chrominance noise so much easier to reduce than luminance noise?

DM    It’s really not in application. It’s just that you perceive changes in luminosity or brightness much easier than you do in color.

JPC    Fine color noise is easier to reduce than coarse color noise, like the color patterns created by demosaicing bayer patterns. When are you most likely to encounter this type of noise? How should you treat it differently? How far can you go?

DM    There are no hard and fast rules for any of the above questions as all are dependent on the capture situation and subsequent output medium.

JPC    What’s the biggest challenge when reducing luminance noise?

DM    Achieving a balance between perceived reduction and image detail.

JPC    At what point would you stop using the sharpening controls in Noiseware Pro and start using the sharpening controls in Photoshop?

DM    Again, another matter of workflow organics. Each person has a specified workflow as to input, editing and output.

JPC    Do you recommend reducing noise before or after sharpening? Why?

DM    In the vast majority of cases, use noise reduction before sharpening as sharpening will almost always magnify existing noise patterns.

JPC    Do you recommend reducing noise before or after upsampling? Why?

DM    Along the same lines as sharpening, any noise patterns will be magnified. Sometimes it is necessary when resizing to use noise reduction in 2 steps – one on the unsized image and another finishing reduction on the upsampled image.

JPC    Tell me about one or more features of Noiseware Pro that typically get overlooked and under used.

DM    Probably the most under used but most powerful feature is the bracketing function. One can quickly establish usable ranges from which presets can be generated. Presets is another overlooked feature whereby one can establish customized slider settings for a wide range of images.

JPC    Is all noise bad?

DM    All images have noise to a degree, regardless of capture method.  When the amount and/or type of noise becomes such that it is viewed as degrading to the image, then we definitely toss it in the bad category.

Find out more about Noiseware here.
Find out more about noise in my DPP articles and stay tuned for more.

Luscher Color Test

September 29, 2009 | 6 Comments |

The Luscher Color Test was devised by psychologict Max Luscher in 1969. It’s effectiveness has been known in advertising and industry (automotive and fashion) for years. Now you can gain some pracitalc insight into color psychology with this well-known color test – online.

It’s uncanny what this test can reveal (consistently), but remember it’s just a starting point. What’s far more revealing is your unique living relationship with color, which is revealed over time and in a variety of contexts under many influences. Awareness is the key. Use this as food for thought for developing insight into your relationship with color.

Take the test here.

What did the test reveal for you?

Comment here!

Read my articles on color at Apple here.

Check out my free color downloads here.

Check out my color DVDs here.

Learn about color in my workshops here.

Check out my color sessions at PhotoShop World and PhotoPlus East.

Color Psychology

September 28, 2009 | 2 Comments |

I’m making a series of blog posts that briefly describes many of the classic responses to colors. This material will be repurposed in my ebooks, DVD, seminars, and workshops. Your responses here may be featured there – anonymously. I invite you to participate. All you have to do is comment. Write the first words or phrases that come to mind when you look at each color. Then see how similar or different they are from other readers’ responses.

For more on color psychology …

Read more


September 28, 2009 | 10 Comments |

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see black?

Comment here!

Then read more and find other viewer’s responses.

Read more


September 28, 2009 | 10 Comments |

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see gray?
Comment here!
Then read more and find other viewer’s responses.
Read more


September 28, 2009 | 8 Comments |

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see white?
Comment here!
Then read more and find other viewer’s responses.
Read more

keep looking »


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