Nights at sea with the full moon are interesting. I would have loved to capture one on a photo, but night is also when the boat is really moving (occasionally approaching 25mph). It may not sound like much, but the sea does not take kindly to being cut open . . . it fights back.
Meaning there is a lot of motion; long exposures would not work, and short exposures would have to be shot at a very high ISO (which I should have done).
BUT . . . the moon is easy to shoot hand-held, and the atmospheric distortion was not too bad.
I was using the 80-400mm lens, spot metering, and shooting at 400 ISO. This is what the shot looks like as taken and uncropped.
There is no SmugMug gallery . . . the full-size shots are all here (click for full version on a new tab or window), but since most of the content is black, the files are reasonably small. However, since most of the frame is black, it also makes sense to crop.
Here’s where it gets boring . . . I use Lightroom, I use onOne, I use Topaz, I use DxO, and I recently got the Nik Suite as part of renewing my NAPP (Kelby One) membership. I figure, what better way to check out the programs.
Here’s how it’s gonna work . . . the first photo in the series will be processed to death (multiple copies of the same photo processed with different programs and treatments).
Here is the photo as shot (cropped, and output from Lightroom without any adjustments).
I should mention one other thing . . . the moon is bright. Very bright. If I show it as bright as it is, all the features would be lost. When I photograph the moon, I spot meter, and bump the aperture a bit to give me more sedate photos.
Anyway, that’s the shot . . . I then apply some noise reduction because subsequent sharpening would produce too much grain.
As you might notice, it seems to wash the picture out. My normal processing is to then pass it through the onOne tweaks I use for most of my photos.
As you can see, it brings back some detail. Note that this is still a color photo.
The moon should be shown as B&W, and I can do that in Lightroom.
Not bad . . . so, let’s call these the baselines for both color and B&W shots.
Here’s the Nick Collection 1.28
DFine for Noise Reduction, taking the noise reduction version and running it through my onOne process, and finally Silver Efex Pro for B&W conversion. As far as I could, I used the default or automatic values.
Note . . . I could have made all of the initial photos brighter, or I could have made all of the final photos brighter, but I opted to leave them all as processed so as to facilitate comparison for them who are interested.
Using Topaz DeNoise plugin, then taking the result through Disperser onOne processing, and finally taking the DeNoise version and using Topaz’s B&W plugin to convert.
In every module, the conversion to B&W produces a brighter photo.
OnOne Perfect Suite 9
OnOne noise reduction options in Perfect Effects (there are no defaults, so I chose a ‘medium’ setting), then applying the onOne Disperser treatment, and finally taking the reduced noise version, and running it through onOne Perfect B&W module.
Now we come to the reason I like the DxO suite . . .
DxO Optics Pro 10
Like the others, first the DxO noise reduction . . .
. . . followed by my onOne post-processing treatment.
It might not be evident without closely comparing the photos, but that retains a lot more of the original detail, and does so with less noise.
Here are the color photos in order for comparison . . .
See? I said it would be boring . . .
. . . in my opinion, the DxO produced the best image after the noise reduction, and the best post-processed image, edging out onOne itself for first place.
DxO does not have a B&W converter per se, and I did not want to play around with it to come up with a B&W image (I could have), but it does have a Film Pack that has B&W film. I picked the Ilford Pan 100.
Not as good as the others because the film emulation reintroduces some grain.
So, what have we learned.
1) One could probably tweak settings in each of the programs to get pretty good results.
2) DXO’s noise reduction is unrivaled (for now).
I have a few more boring photos . . .
I plan to do a bit more with DxO Noise Reduction, this time on really high ISO shots.
. . . but, that’s a boring post for another time.
That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.
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Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.