Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Truth About Digital Noise & How We Should Deal With It

Some time ago I was working on a photo I took of our family dog to probably have it printed in a large format and hang it on my studio wall. As I was editing it in Darktable, all was coming along fine until I came to the “denoising” stage. This photo was actually taken at ISO 1600 in plain daylight. I know, many of you would say I don't know what I'm doing shooting at such high ISO's in the middle of the day, well, I used the tele on my Canon at its max (720mm/35mm-equiv) and I truly don't have the steadiest grip in the world, so I just wanted to make sure I had a sharp image, and we all know that a sharper and noisier image is far better than a blurry or underexposed one, I also wanted to make sure my histogram had a “healthy” look, so it seemed easy for me to just increase the ISO sensitivity. Now, Darktable has amazing denoising capabilities, actually, I think they are better than many of the other RAW developing programs I have used before since it has many different types and can be used as combinations with multiple instances on any channel you want, you can even profile your camera if you wish. Anyway, tired of trying different denoising algorithms and not feeling satisfied by getting a nice "ultra clean" result, I decided to call it off making me wonder if it should just go straight to the trash and forget about it, it was a difficult photo to denoise and I really wanted to keep the hair details to the best.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Time-lapse Photography with Linux


Before I really start, I want to point out that there are simple mobile apps out there that will help you do time-lapse videos with your mobile phone and encode it all on the fly! So if you just want to do time-lapse videos as simple as possible, for fun and you don't intend to sell your work, then stick to those apps, they are OK. Otherwise if you are curious or really want to learn how to do it and sell them then read on...

Some patience will be required, depending on the amount of quality you are trying to achieve. I do time-lapses in a more semi-pro level which I sell in stock media sites such as or for direct clients who need to re-edit the encoded video to have it assembled with other video formats and the final encoded video must have certain quality specs. Also, I am able to edit the individual shots this way such as levels, exposures, colors and some effects at some point of the process.