Sunday, August 30, 2015

Can you really fix bad focus?

I managed to capture a couple of parrots in flight, but they where very close and the light in the forest wasn’t great. I was panning ok but the speed of the bird and the slowness of the shutter and not to mention autofocus cranking away. Ok The birds swooped in and I had little time other than your pick up the camera follow the bird and push the shutter. The result was clearly out of focus birds, yet the composition and action was interesting.
_IGP2009 Unfortunately Out of Focus _IGP1942 Unfortunately Out of Focus
Add-ins for Aftershot Pro 2Can I recover the focus? My experience has always been I Can Not! Normally such photos get culled as they are first uploaded.

It just happens that Corel are promoting their registration and support with a link to their new 64 bit add-ins and two of the add-ins caught my eye. The first was Wavelet Sharpen 3, which use a larger radius Unshapen Mask (USM) as well as the wavelet sharpening algorithm popular in GIMP. But such sharpening usually enhances the noise, so Wavelet Denoise also looked interesting. It brings the common controls over both luminance and colour noise filtering. With a little back and forth adjustment between these two add-ins and I was able to bring the images to a better “not quiet in focused” state albeit with some grainy artifacts in the background and some haloing. Definitely not in focus but more acceptable. However I can see there is a lot of power in these tools.
_IGP2009 Still Not Quiet In  Focus ...but _IGP1942 Still Not Quiet In  Focus ...but
Big Hint: Normally I would recommend using manual focus when panning after birds in flight and have any anti-shake of stability adjustment turned off. Of course you need to pre-set the focus to roughly the distance you expect the bird to be and there is a limit on to how slow you can let the shutter exposure be. (for most of us the limit is something like 1/60th. second) so in low light that means a higher ISO (eg 800)
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