Image Rescue Attempts

This article features a selection of hawk image rescue attempts that I did in post processing this morning. As regular readers will know I recently added Topaz Denoise AI to my standard post processing approach.

What follows are five handheld images, all captured at ISO-3200 in poor light with a Nikon 1 V3 and 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 telephoto zoom lens. The out-of-camera jpeg (OOC) is shown, followed by a jpeg that I processed from the corresponding RAW file for each photograph. The OOC images will illustrate that each of the photographs was underexposed.

Last year I tried some image rescue attempts with these photographs and was not happy with the results that I was able to achieve. Having added Topaz Denoise AI seemed to be a good enough reason to give it another shot.

So, let’s have a look at my latest hawk image rescue attempts, this time done with my revised post processing approach. I did not make any spot adjustments other than removing a few small streaks caused by snowflakes falling.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-3200, out-of-camera jpeg
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-3200, jpeg produced from RAW file

Like many people who use DxO PhotoLab software I have a number of custom presets. I used a couple of them as the starting point for all of my hawk image rescue attempts in this article.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-3200, out-of-camera jpeg
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-3200, jpeg produced from RAW file

You will notice some differences in the processed files as I noodled around with a number of adjustments in the various programs that I use. The common dynamic with all of the processed images is that I gave myself a maximum of 5 minutes, including computer processing time, to complete each image rescue attempt.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-3200, out-of-camera jpeg
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-3200, jpeg produced from RAW file

In all cases I exported a DNG file from DxO PhotoLab 2 into CS6. Then I did some common slider adjustments. I also used Levels with some of the images.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-3200, out-of-camera jpeg
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-3200, jpeg produced from RAW file

Depending on the sample image I did some adjustments with the Nik Collection, typically with functions found in Viveza 2 or Color Efex Pro 4. I may have pushed things a bit too far with some images… but hey… I was only doing some testing.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-3200, out-of-camera jpeg
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-3200, jpeg produced from RAW file

After I was done using the Nik Collection, I ran the images through Topaz Denoise AI. I wasn’t expecting miracles, but just wanted to see if I could realistically use any of the images to at least produce some smaller sized prints. I believe will be possible based on these quick test image rescue attempts.

Technical Note

Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Photographs are display as 100% captures without any cropping.

How you can help keep this site advertising free

My intent is to keep this photography blog advertising free. If you enjoyed this article and/or my website and would like to support my work, you can purchase an eBook, or make a modest $10 donation through PayPal. Both are most appreciated. You can use the Donate button below. Larger donations can be made to tom@tomstirr.com through PayPal.

As a reminder to our Canadian readers, you can get a special 5% discount when ordering Tamron or Rokinon lenses and other products directly from the Amplis Store.

Word of mouth is the best form of endorsement. If you like our website please let your friends and associates know about our work. Linking to this site or to specific articles is allowed with proper acknowledgement. Reproducing articles, or any of the images contained in them, on another website or in any social media posting is a Copyright infringement.

Article is Copyright 2020 Thomas Stirr. Images are Copyright 2019 Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication or adaptation of any kind is allowed without written consent. If you see this article reproduced anywhere else it is an unauthorized and illegal use. Posting comments on offending websites and calling out individuals who steal intellectual property is always appreciated!

4 thoughts on “Image Rescue Attempts”

  1. Glad to see such a fine series with the 1V3.
    Have you ever tried to shoot migrating warblers catching an insect? Often they start for a flight from bushes or low twigs, and with luck there is a pattern of repetition, so prefocusing is often possible. – Would the autofocus of the E-M1X be able to “snap” on such an object, or is it just too erratic?

    1. Hi Stefan,

      The scenario you describe would be a piece of cake as long as pre-focusing is possible.

      The auto-focus on my E-M1X is extremely fast and accurate. When using Pro Capture H mode I use single point auto-focus, 60 frames per second, with 15 pre-shutter release frames and my frame rate limiter set to 15 frames. When using these settings I can keep storing updated full resolution images (RAW plus jpeg fine if needed) in temporary memory while half-depressing the shutter release. After the bird has taken flight and has almost left the frame, I fully depress the shutter release to commit those photos being stored in temporary memory to my memory card. Like your Nikon 1 kit, when shooting at 60 frames-per-second the first frame sets focus and exposure for the balance of the image run.

      As long as I had a 1/4 second to lock on the warbler and hold it while in Pro Capture H mode, there shouldn’t be any problem getting a run of 15 Pro Capture H images. I do this on a very frequent basis when photographing butterflies and small birds taking flight.

      Nothing about the E-M1X is ‘erratic’. This is simply the finest camera that I have ever had the pleasure to use. It is a true ‘go anywhere, shoot anything’ camera. I wouldn’t trade it for anything else on the market, regardless of price.

      Tom

      1. Hi Tom,

        Thank you for the reply. When I said “erratic” I meant the warbler. No insult of the E-M1X intended!

        Prices for the E-M1X have fallen to Euro 2,000 in Germany. Hoping for a cheap 400mm zoom & bird AI.

        Best,
        Stefan

        1. Hi Stefan,

          🙂 thanks for the clarification on your comment! To answer your question on erratic subjects, as noted in my first replay, as long as I have at least a 1/4 second to acquire auto-focus and hold it on a bird, I am always confident I will get a good 15 image Pro Capture run.

          I have an M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5.-6.3 on order with Olympus. I’m hoping to get it in early October. I anticipate that this will be a superb lens to match up with my E-M1X or an E-M1 Mark III. When the Bird Detection AI firmware is available later this year, I anticipate that the E-M1X coupled with this lens will be an amazing combination for birding and nature photography.

          You will see some articles here using the M.Zuiko 75-300 mm f/4.8-6.7 in the near future. This lens is not weatherproofed, but is small, light and cost effective. It provides an equivalent field-of-view of 150-600 mm when compared to a full frame system. It does not accept teleconverters like the M.Zuiko 100-400. I can’t comment on performance yet as I haven’t shot with it… but that will be changing soon.

          Tom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *