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PENTAPRISM N째12 March 2016

INTERVIEW

Arkadiy

KURTA

m a g a z i n e

reportage

Laos

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK BY JOHN MOULDS


www.pentaprismcommunity.org

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PENTAPRISM MAGAZINE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR TEXT AND PHOTOS PUBLISHED BECAUSE THEY ARE PROPERTY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS. ANY COPY IS FORBIDDEN BY THE LAW.


Welcome to Pentaprism, an online photo-sharing community. We are an international team of passionate photographers and artists that gathered in order to achieve common goals: show to the world great, high quality photographs, present amazing artists, allow new and talented photographers to be seen and recognized. The Pentaprism website is a user-friendly platform that guarantees easy navigation and worry-free photo uploads. We constantly work on the improvements of its interface and content. In order to ensure a high quality of photos presented on our website as well as in the Pentaprism Magazine, our curators carefully screen and assess all photos prior to their publication in our gallery. The Pentaprism Magazine is an extension to our website. We prepare it periodically in order to highlight specific works and to give a deeper insight of the photographers’ visions. The content of the Pentaprism Magazine includes special topic articles, interviews with our featured artists, photo reportages with travel stories and lots of great photographs. We believe that art has a catharsis-like quality and should be available to the masses. Therefore our website and magazine are accessible to everybody free of charge. In addition we do not allow any kind of commercial advertising on our platforms. The Pentaprism team of curators works voluntarily on a non-profit basis. If you wish to support the maintenance and development of the Pentaprism website and magazine, please feel free to make a donation. Your greatly appreciated support will be used exclusively to improve Pentaprism online visibility. Thank you for your visit and support. We hope that you enjoyed our photos and stories! We invite you to visit us again. The Pentaprism Staff


N째12 March 2016

EDITORS: PENTAPRISM STAFF

GRAPHIC DESIGN: ELENA BOVO

COVER PHOTO/INDEX PAGE PHOTO: ARKADIY KURTA


index 6 INTERVIEW WITH ARKADIY KURTA 28 FOCUS ON 46 REPORTAGE: LAOS BY JOHN MOULDS 82 HIGHLIGHTS 144 SIGNALS FROM THE UNIVERSE OF COLOR BY MARCO OLIVOTTO 152 MEET THE PENTAPRISM STAFF


INTERVIEW

Arkadiy

KURTA

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I am Arkadiy Kurta. My native country is Ukraine where I was born in the town Sumy. Photography became my passion 10 years ago. Now I work and live in Kiev. Most of my photos I made in Ukraine, but also I work in Germany. I am a professional photographer, so photography take all my time and it’s one job that I have. If you take a decision to be a photographer you should take it serious and you need to practice and learn it all the time. My favorite genres of photography it’s nude, portrait and street photos. Main awards “Photographer of the Year 2015 (Ukraine)” - I got a prize from the main sponsor of the contest (company Kingston) “PANORAMA of MY COUNTRY 2015” - PAAT Bronze Medal “II XATIVA’S INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST” - FIAP Silver Medal “Serbia 2nd International Salon Singidunum 2016” - Gold SALON medal “Serbia 2nd International Salon Singidunum 2016” - Gold FIAP medal “Serbia 2nd International Salon Singidunum 2016” - Silver PSA medal kurta.com.ua

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Hi Arkadiy, thank you for the opurtunity to deepen your way to intend photography. Hello. My name is Arkadiy Kurta. I am photographer from Ukraine. At what point in your life did you decide that you wanted to be a photographer? I got my first camera 10 years ago, since then photography became very interesting to me. I decided to work as a professional photographer in 2009. Tell us about your photographic work. Do you have a specialty? Is there a particular style or method that you use? Now photography takes all of my free time. I do all the works with my photos from start to finish, I take a photo, afterwards, I retouch it. I love working with few genres in photography such as nude, street and portrait. Mostly I chose locations for nude in the Carpathian mountains, but also I work in studio. How do you determine who will make a good subject to photograph? For me, it’s very important to choose the right model. In recent years, models will contact me and ask about the possibility of taking part in my photo projects. Sometimes I find models that interest me on the internet, photo sites or on social networks. First, I would invite the model in a nice cafe where we can talk, not even about photography as a main subject. I need to see what kind of person she is, I watch her hands and her fingers, her movements. It’s difficult to believe, but fingers and hands tells me a lot about person. Also on this meeting, I can understand if the model is open to people or not. I can understand this in 30-40 minutes if I should work with this person. I have advice for beginners. You should create an idea and choose location. Also, understand the genre of future work, after this you need start to look for the right model. I Hope my advice to watch her hands and movements can help others as much as it’s help me. Who or what inspires your work? Every detail can inspire to create an interesting work. Anything that can make you feel in the right way. Sometimes it’s just a good mood or a nice smell. Actually, a scent of a woman helps to generate some great ideas. I often connect some music with the photo. Sometimes works of other authors can help me to create new ideas. Sometimes I take already created work

and develop from this to my own work, that comes out from how I feel and how I can see it. What gear do you most enjoy using at the moment and why? I am shooting with Nikon D700 for 5 years now. Almost 80% of my photos were shot with Nikkor 80-200 f2.8 lenses. I do not use extra light if it is not a studio. Often I use natural light and sometimes I take reflector and light diffuser. First of all you need to learn to feel the light and when you know how to do it, then you don’t have so many problems with the lighting equipment. Whats your favorite photo shoot you’ve done and why? I don’t have one shoot that I like more than the others because there’s a lot of positive moments every time. I take shots then I work on the material. if I love how it looks like I would come back on this location with something new and make more photos. Usually I work more than one time with same model if I remember and like her. Works that I made in mountains last 2 years still interesting for me and I want to work more with it. What has been most valuable to you in your learning? When I learn something it’s very interesting for me to hear other’s point of view. It’s not always the same with what I think, but I never refuse, because I always try to understand. I will never tell to someone that I know all about photography, I always try to grow up and learn something new. If someone tells you that he knows all about photography it’s mean death for him in this area. Also, don’t forget to take beginners seriously, they usually have a lot of new and interesting ideas and this is great. What do you look for when scouting new locations? Street is one of the biggest locations, unfortunately we often ignore it or don’t notice. Every street scene have something special, but usually people do not pay attention to this. I organize a photo tours for photographers 2-3 times in year, basically it is in Carpathian (Ukraine). We shoot models mainly in the nude genre. Before I create a group, I watch all locations by myself. Sometimes on the road we find new location and do some shoots in this places. It’s important to

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know that before starting to search a location you should create the image in your head and only after this start searching for the right place. Once you have an idea how do you start to bring it all together? I usually have a strategy. First of all, I need to create the idea in my head and then I search for location and only then that I start to search for a model. Thank you so much again for this interview, last question: why did you choose Pentaprism to show your works? It’s easy. I see a lot of professional photographers here and looking at their works doesn’t waste my time. I see other sites have a lot of materials that are not done professionally or not so interesting. Pentaprism collections really has the best works and I find many great authors as well. I am very grateful for the opportunity Pentaprism has given me. It means a lot to me. Thank You very much for the great work and a great team!

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F O C U S O N

H o l g e r

GLAAB My name is Holger Glaab. I was born 1975 in Aschaffenburg, a small town in Germany. I am mechanical engineer as profession and photography is a recreational hobby of mine. I do mainly fine art architectural and some landscape photography. The town I live is located very close to Frankfurt am Main which gives me the opportunity to visit frequently a town with some very nice architecture. When I was 15 years old I took the chance on school to learn analogue photography including developing pictures in black and white. At this time I was absolutely fascinated about photography. Unfortunately due to lack of time and money I didn’t proceed with photography for more than further 15 years. In 2007, shortly before our son was born, I decided to buy my first DSLR. Intentionally I bought it simply for taking some nice pictures of him and my family. But after a very short period of time the fever for photography returned and I started taking pictures of anything that came in front of my lens. I photographed almost every genre. I think it was beginning of 2013, I fell in love with a few fine art architectural works by Joel Tjintjelaar and for the first time I felt that I found an artistical way I’d feel really comfortable with to express myself. The first attempts haven’t been very successful and I had almost no clue how to get such amazing results. After a while I developed my own workflow and my results became more that what I had in mind when I took the shot for the base material. My pictures don’t show the reality as it is. They are more something such as surreal, from another world, from another time. I love the reduction of architecture simply on clear lines and shapes. I also try to avoid as far as possible any disturbing elements like people, plants etc. on my pictures. Therefore I wouldn’t call myself a photographer. I’m more somebody who’s searching for a medium to express my creative me. The pictures I create therefore are a combination of photography and a modification of the real world by usage of an image editing software.

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Devotion


Space And Time| Holger Glaab


Germanium | Holger Glaab


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Silver Rose | Holger Glaab


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F O C U S O N

Antino CERVIGNI

My name is Antino Cervigni I’ m a painter for passion, deeply involved in every kind of pictures all during my life - sincerely natural photos are my preferite ones - medical doctor, a wife and two big sons and lovely twin granddaughters I live in the middle Italy countryside. My dream: a book with my personal shots captured all over the world, particularly my favourite subjects are birds catched in their natural habit.

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At dawn fighting| Antino Cervigni


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European Bee-eater | Antino Cervigni


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F O C U S O N

Albert FINCH

Born in 1980 and a self-taught photographer from Poland. Love to photograph women’s sensuality that shows balance between light and shadow. Mostly interested in medium format analog photography. Awarded and published in magazines like K-Mag, ASF, International Fine Art Photography.

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Kate | Albert Finch


Gosia | Albert Finch


reportage

L A O S OFF THE BEATEN TRACK BY JOHN MOULDS

Laos, a country with an abundance of mountains, rivers, ethnic minorities and colourful temples, easily accessible by tour companies and backpackers alike. My journey to Laos was not with a tour company but with the owner of a tour company and we backpacked our way through the north of the country using only local buses and tuk tuks. We visited the local tour companies and asked them about visiting the local ethnic villages but we found them quite expensive. We then approached the local tuk tuk drivers and enquired the cost to hire them for a day. For about $50 a day they would take us to any villages we wanted to see. The cost with the tour companies was in the hundreds for 2 people. Life in Laos is great for the local Laos people whose income from leasing land for rubber and tea plantations pay for an opulent life style. Large 4 wheel drive vehicles and partying every night are the the norm for the fortunate few in the North. But life for the local ethnic communities is dire in comparison as they try to carve out a daily existance in the dry, dusty and barren areas they occupy. The images here represent typical ’off the beaten track’ locations that tour companies rarely visit, but despite the harshness of life here, as with most Asian countries, the people are kind, friendly and welcoming. faceofvietnam.com


An advantage of backpacking and using local transport is that you get to see places the tour companies do not go to. The villages they do visit will generally have children coming straight up to the vehicle with their hands out expecting gifts. If you want to take a photo, the hand is out again for payment. Most of the photos I present here are from places not visited by tourists and no-one ever asked me for anything. I was probably the first western person many had seen. However a few dollars here and there will help some of the old ladies buy a little tobacco or something for the children.

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WASHDAY’, Akha Pixor family in Phong Sa Ly.

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H’MONG siblings in Bountai District. The belief here is that if there is someone sick in a house then they place leaves at the entrance to warn people of that fact. The conditions of these houses is very basic. Similar to Vietnam the construction is usually wide timber boards which usually have gaps in them for the wind and small creatures to enter as well as simple dirt floors. Communal beds but separate sections for men and women and the children always sleep with the women. The kitchen consists of a few rocks, a pot and whatever is available to cook.


‘MY HOME’, Thai Yang boy in Bountai District.


‘AKHA CHERPA’ family Phong Sa Ly. Villages like this were built on brown soil with few trees and no roads other than tracks sufficiently wide enough for a vehicle to pass. Dogs lazed in the hot sun and the people sat about and talked and fed the children. Most villages weaved, grew crops and fished in streams.


H’MONG girl who posed for this photo in Na Uon Village, Luang Prabang. This village sold bracelets and the children dressed up in traditional H’mong clothing for the tourists. After working in the ‘Bracelet Stalls’ the girls would return to their villages, minus the colourful clothes, and looked no different than the girls you see in the other photographs here.


WAT SING KHAM TEMPLE, Muang La. Novice Monks look to the camera when I stumble upon them at the rear of the Temple. Most people would go into the Temple but I prefer to wander around outside looking for a photo opportunity such as this.


H’MONG siblings in Bountai District.


KHMU lady in Vang Vanh Village, carries the biggest coconut I have ever seen up a rickety old staircase.


KHMU family in Hoayphay Village, Luang Prabang.

H’MONG, Bountai District. Typical scene of brown dirt and timber houses and children playing. No toys, or iPads here.


AKHA PIXOR girl with traditional back basket in Phong Sa Ly.


Lo Lo ethnic child in Muang Sing plays near a stack of what is probably asbestos sheeting.

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THAI YANG woman feeding her animals in Bountai District.

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‘MORNING LIGHT’, a Khmu family sit around in the morning light, chatting and enjoying the warmth of the sun. Some families never seem to do much other than laze around where-as others will be working in the fields.


THAI YANG mother and son, working in the front of the house. These people seem to be self sufficient with pigs, ducks and chickens. Obviously the father would be out in some fields tending to corn or watermelon or some other cash crop.


THAI YANG village where the children come out to see the strange person who has entered their village.


AKHA PIXOR people at the communal wash trough with even the little one washing her clothes at that young age. These washing areas are also where they wash themselves as well as vegetables and clothing. Running water is of a great necessity but before these were built they would have simply used the local stream or rivers.


Young Monks in TAD SAE WATERFALL, Luang Prabang.


THAI DENG girl in Pieng Ngam Village plays alone in front of her house.


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HIGHLIGHTS

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Enjoy The Silence | Carlos F. Turienzo


Phillippine | Carsten Witte

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White walls | Olavo Azevedo

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Wear Black Or Stay Naked | Alexey Frolov

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Sandra | Anton Rothmund


Dena | Sherry Akrami

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Child II | Jan Karlik

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Untitled | Roman Kramskoy


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Portrait Baroque | Philippe Ordioni

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Metamorphosys - Butterfly | Jackson Carvalho


Deer | Marek Komisaruk


Angel | Peter Kemp

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Getting Out | Fernando Alves

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Untitled | Pavel Javor

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Ice Reflection | Gilbert Claes

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On the other side | Maura Ĺ adosz


Untitled | Fira Alexandra

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Waiting for the show | Ralph Graef

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Mika | Carine Belzon

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Coast line | Yusup Yogaswara

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Mild | Gorecka


The Great Migration of Wildebeest | Sergey Agapov

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Untitled | Tadashi Onishi


Das Gefallene Kind | Corwin von Kuhwede

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Silence | Rafal Krol

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Untitled | Ian Ross Pettigrew


Low Tide | Nathan Wirth

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Auriana | Jimmy Hoffman


Untitled | Kim Scianghetti


Deja Vu | Mohammadreza Rezania

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m a r c o OLIVOTTO PHOTOSHOP | COLOR CORRECTION | POST-PRODUCTION | DIGITAL IMAGING | PHOTOGRAPHY

Dan Margulis, who invented color correction in Photoshop, has called him a renaissance man because of his eclecticism. Classical studies, a degree in Physics, two years’ work in the field of system management (University of Trento). He then becomes an independent sound engineer and music producer for almost twenty years. Finally, he gets (back) to the field of imaging, a passion he’s had since he was a child. In 2007 he discovers Dan Margulis’ books on color correction and starts studying with him. He attends both the ACT (Applied Color Theory) and AACT (Advanced Applied Color Theory) classes. Through the years he has taught in several private and public schools (computer science, recording techniques, programming languages). In 2011 he starts teaching color correction techniques in Photoshop, still relatively unknown in Italy. His forty hours of video-courses published by the leading Italian company Teacher-in-a-Box currently represent the most organic and global resource on the subject available in Italian. In March 2011 he organises the first Color Correction Campus, a full-immersion, two-day practical course. The Campus is repeated all over Italy and soon a community of students and followers is born (1700 subscribers, September 2014). The community is very active in sharing techniques, suggestions and information through the Web. The two-day courses are joined by one-day workshops, both for independent organizations and large trade shows like Photoshow (2012, 2013) and Grafitalia (2013). In 2014 he becomes a FESPA speaker at the FESPA Digital trade show in München (D), where he delivers six different seminars over four days. Since 2013 he’s been writing for the Italian magazine Fotografia Reflex, which hosts a monthly section about color correction. This is currently the only resource on the subject with a fixed cadence in Italy. He has taught for the most important graphic and design schools in Italy: IDP (Verona), IUSVE (Venice), ILAS (Naples), NAD School (Naples), Scuola Romana di Fotografia (Rome). He is currently in charge of the college-level courses of Photography, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign at IDP in Verona; Photoshop at IUSVE in Venice (Verona section); Quality Control of the Printing Process at the Institute of Higher Education Artigianelli (Trento). In his spare time he loves traveling, taking photographs, staying with friends away from the crowd and he prefers a book to television. When they call him an expert in digital color he thinks that he’ll never be able to reproduce the dark and deep light in his son’s eyes. He lives in Nogaredo, in the hills near Rovereto (TN), where he was born on January 27th, 1965.

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Signals from the universe of color BY MARCO OLIVOTTO N O I S E i s n o t e v e r y o n e ’s f o e

Did anyone notice the pitiful level of photographic judgement in forums and Facebook groups? Publish any photography and you’ll receive a mountain of criticism, ranging from “the style is not right” to “why don’t you straighten the horizon” – going of course through every intermediate step. There must be a manual of rules hidden somewhere, and half of the people seem to know it in and out. There must also be another manual stating exactly the opposite, and the other half of the people seem to know it out and in. That is, everything is apparently carved in stone, as is the opposite of everything. Quite a mess, huh? Yet there is one subject everyone seems to agree upon. There is so much agreement on it that a sort of inductive theorem has developed from it. It can be annouced as follows: “given any picture, it will contain too much noise, no matter how little noise it contains”. Have a look at figure 1. It’s a 100% crop from a portrait of a coloured individual. The skin in the original image is very dark, that is, it lives in Noisy Street, the most dangerous area in the city called Dynamic Range. For that reason, I’ve applied a steep curve to open it up a lot. The current average Lightness is something around L = 35 (100 is maximum), but it was around L = 13 in the original. Do you see noise? I personally don’t, neither in the composite nor in the single channels. My judgement is based on eye-evaluation and experience, but also on a top-class EIZO monitor. I dare say that the representation I am looking at is among the best I could aspire to. Yet I know some photographers who would judge this image completely marred by noise, especially when printed.

Fig. 1

Printing doesn’t add noise. On the contrary, it makes everything look smoother, in general (that’s one of the reasons why we use unsharp mask, in case you are wondering). Unfortunately, some people think that the optimal distance of observation for a print coincides with that of their nose. At that point, it’s like looking at an image under a microscope, and of course there WILL be noise. The sad news, though, is PENTAPRISM 145


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that from such a distance there WON’T be an image, but a number of blurred coloured patches. If people are interested in them, that’s fine for me – but I am more interested in the whole image. If you feel the same, read along, otherwise this article won’t be very interesting to you. A completely noiseless image can exist, but it could never be a photograph. If you put your camera on a tripod and take two identical pictures in the shortest time possible without changing anything, they will of course look the same. Yet they won’t be the same: more precisely, they won’t be the same at pixel level. Take the same pixel in the two versions and read their numbers: they will be rather similar, but almost never identical. The main reason for this is that the sensor and the electronics connected to it are affected by thermal noise: a random fluctuation which becomes bigger as temperature increases. One of the factors which influence sensor’s temperature is sensitivity, i.e. the ISO settings. The higher the ISO, the more noise we will see. Figure 2, believe it or not, is almost identical to figure 1. It received the same treatment; its average lightness is identical, L = 35. Yet it indeed is noisy. Horribly noisy, dare I say. The only serious difference between the two photographs is that figure 1 was shot at ISO 100, figure at ISO 6400. No noise reduction was applied in either change, and the development was made with Camera Raw’s parameters set to default. The curve was applied in Photoshop.

Fig. 3

The reason why figure 2 is so horrible is that heavens conjured against me when I took the picture. You can see the original in figure 3. I and Beppe Brotto, the musician portrayed while on stage, have a secret and untold game which we never agreed upon – but we do it every time. If he’s resting between two songs, he often looks into the audience. In case he spots me, he stops for a few seconds and stares into the lens while I take a picture. A fraction of a second before I did, this time, the light went down and we had the infamous Darkness From Hell. The shot is therefore underexposed by four stops at least. This would be a serious problem at low ISO, so we’re in deep trouble. Yet this deadly version is very useful to see what we can do in terms of noise reduction. All we see here applies all the more to more normal photographs. Noise comes in two flavours called luminance noise and chroma noise. The former is somewhat similar to the grain of old analogue film; the latter resembles confetti and shows up as a bunch of tiny, randomly coloured spots.

Fig. 2

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Figure 4 shows luminance noise. What you see, is the L channel of figure 3 converted into Lab. Figure 5 shows


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Fig. 4

Fig. 5

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chroma noise, instead, boosted in Lab with the Hue/ Saturation adjustment set at 50% for better visibility. These are the a and b channels of Lab at constant L, in fact. If you don’t believe that chroma noise it’s random, have a look at the close-up depicted in figure 6: the skintone is obviously out of whack, because it looks plainly and simply magenta; but no two adjacent pixels seem to be identical, due to the random fluctuation of their values. For once we are not interested at all in the colour of the skintone. The reason for it is twofold: the lighting conditions on stage were completely off whatever standard; and the severe underexposure has played havoc with a colour already seven miles out, giving it who knows which hue. Yet the main problem of the photograph is so huge (and it’s a luminance, not colour problem) that worrying about this in the first case would be silly.

When a photograph is underexposed, we tend to drag the exposure slider to the right to make it lighter. Figure 7 is just the same as figure 3, with the difference that exposure was boosted to +4. It is obviously more noisy, but I am interested in the look of things, not a mere quantity – at least here. Noisier may it be, but it looks better. The face is legible, at least. Maybe it’s too light and it should be contrasted as much as it should be cleaned up, but it’s a better start than the original version, not boosted. Figure 8 is more interesting, though. It is the same as figure 5, give or take the exposure boost. Saturation was again increased to +50. Now, THIS one IS noisier. The only difference between the former zeroed version and this one is the Exposure boost, which leads to a lesson: boosting the exposure in Camera Raw brings out more noise than there originally was. Maybe a +1 boost is bearable, but +4 is a monster boost. If the noise becomes so obtrusive that it is difficult to tame, we have a problem.

The first thing we should do is try to reduce the noise. The two different flavours require different approaches, and the good news is that getting rid of chroma noise is easy and usually efficient. Before discussing that, though, we should discuss a very important fact.

The boost in Exposure is far too high, but I wanted to show how serious the rise in noise can become. A value of +2,5 for the slider is still rather extreme, but it does better. Figure 9 is a close-up of what happens when we apply it and reduce color noise by setting

Fig. 6

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the correspondent slider at a value of 25 in Camera Raw and luminance noise at a value of 30. The left side is the original, the right side has had noise reduction. The swarm of coloured speckles has barely disappeared in the latter, giving way to the horrid magenta cast we know. But, obviously, this is a secondary problem at the moment. There’s nothing to laugh about, but the original was extremely improved.

Fig. 7

Figure 10, a possible final version, was obtained with a technique I use a lot. Given that Camera Raw is the module where noise can be better handled, I have a go at it with some strength with the idea in mind that I won’t push the reduction far enough to ruin the picture. Having come to a compromise, I enter Photoshop and use the Surface Blur filter at proper settings (low radius, relatively low threshold – 5 px and 15 px respectively, in this case(. This helps to blur the noise even more, but it retains thresholds; whatever Photoshop thinks a threshold is in this context. Then I use the Unsharp mask filter to bring back some detail, and keep it under control with a mask which only allows it to work on the thresholds (the Find edge filter on a version of the composite comes in handy to build it).

Fig. 8

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Fig. 9

I would like to stress that the original was developed in 8 bit, and the question is whether the result may be improved when working at 16 bit. I’ve tried, and my answer is no: I can’t see an obvious difference between the two operation modes, so they’re equivalent for me. The latter certainly produces less mathematical artifacts, but they are not perceptually different, which is what I consider important in digital imaging. I am rather sure that somewhere in the world there exists a plug-in which may do the same in one go, and I actually have one. I am not a big fan of plug-ins, in general, because I lose control of what’s happening under the hood, but in this extreme case I am not happy that the one I use fails miserably. It indeed reduces noise, but the problem is that it tries to wipe it away completely, which is never a good idea. You may think that the more noise we get ride of, the better the result, but this is a very common mistake that is made. If we ever managed to clean the image beyond a certain threshold (and that threshold is very close in figure 10) we would open the door to serious posterisation, which is something we do not want, of course.

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Noise is intrinsic to digital images, and it may become annoying, so having room to reduce it is a good idea. Removing too much means wiping away one of the founding aspects of the image, and obviously this makes it a very difficult image to handle. It is rather clear that noise should be attacked before any other problem, together with exposure, but bear in mind that it is not uncommon to make a partial removal and then refine it in Photoshop later. This is what I did in this case: the Surface blur filter was applied after the curve that finally set the colour to a decent standard, because the rather extreme curve needed to remove the deadly magenta cast took its toll and ended showing up more artifacts than were visible in the original version. All in all, the rules should be obvious:


MARCO OLIVOTTO |T hARKADIY e a r t KURTA o f a r b i t r a r y COLOR

Fig. 10

1. If at all possible, don’t underexpose. 2. If at all possible, use the lowest ISO setting compatible with the situation. 3. Do not overboost Exposure in Camera Raw (or Lightroom) because it will bring out more noise. 4. Once you have a vaguely workable image, remove as much noise as you can without destroying the main textures and move the image into Photoshop. 5. Do the proper adjustments there and, if needed, remove some more noise by careful use of blurring filters. Don’t go too far or they’ll bite you. These are my thoughts on noise for the month of March. More to follow in the next issues. ‘Til the next time, godspeed you!

www.marcoolivotto.com www.moonphotoshop.com marco@marcoolivotto.com

PENTAPRISM 151


MEET THE

Pentaprism

STAFF


Bernd WALZ

I was a professor for zoology and physiology and worked as scientist at the universities of Heidelberg, Ulm, Regensburg and Potsdam. Photography accompanied my whole professional life as a method for scientific documentation. Since 2006 I enjoy the creative and artistic aspects of photography, focussing on landscape and seascape photography. In another project, “Crystalline World�, I present abstract microphotography with vanishing borders between photography and painting. In all photographic projects I explore the artistic possibilities of sometimes extremely minimalistic compositions. www.bernd-gundula-walz.de

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Meeting of Three Biomorphs | Bernd Walz


November in the Fields | Bernd Walz


Elements of a landscape | Bernd Walz


Spring | Bernd Walz


M a h e s h BALASUBRAMANIAN

Mahesh Balasubramanian is an amateur photographer from India. He is interested in portraits, daily life and travel photography. He has started his photography journey in 2008 as a serious passion. He mostly takes close portraits of strangers during travel and daily life of people. At a glance, the face tells a story. Anything conveyed by the undercurrent of emotions is character. The challenge is when the mouth and the eyes tells two different stories at the same time. He tries to take the convergence. He strives to portray the inner heart and soul through the expressions in the eyes. He believes that through the subject’s eyes and expressions, one can get a feeling of the person’s emotions, state of mind, happiness or sorrow. He also loves to photograph daily life of people. http://www.maheshb.com

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Mahesh Balasubramanian


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Mahesh Balasubramanian


IN THE NEXT ISSUE INTERVIEW WITH

NATHAN WIRTH

Pentaprism Magazine #12  
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