Jean-Claude Grégoire shows how to improve a dark photo and remove the noise revealed by image correction.
The photo below shows the difference between the original and the result. Click on the image to open it in a new window and see in detail.
Jean-Claude Grégoire writes:
For this tutorial I used AliveColors and the AKVIS Retoucher, AKVIS Enhancer and AKVIS Noise Buster plug-ins. I presuppose the reader already knows these three plug-ins well enough to be able to work with them effectively. So I won't go into detail about their use.
I'll demonstrate that, even in serious cases, this magic trio can help you to salvage very bad pictures.
Some days ago, I walked in the country, not far from the village where I live in the South of France, and took several photos of a nice old chapel. Unfortunately, the only good shot isn't properly centered and the only well-composed one is severely underexposed and has some other flaws, including an ugly date stamp.
Press . This plug-in works automatically. As it works, I can see that the defects are disappearing, e.g. the date and the hour.
So I choose other settings: the image is much brighter now.
Now when zooming, I find there is a bit too much noise on the bell tower and far too much in the sky.
So I'll have to proceed by successive steps.
When I zoom on the corrected image, I see that the correction is good in general, but not for the bell tower and some regions of the sky. It's very easy and quick to select those regions, using a large Color Brush (100 pixels) on alpha-channel in Channels palette, with 100% opacity and flow at the beginning, so that the edges of the selection are feathered,
and then a Color Pencil for finishing the selection.
Choose Add Alpha Channel to Selection from the shortcut menu. Don't forget to invert the selection on Selections tab and to save this last one under an evocative name, e.g. "sky".
Then choose Clear Alpha Channel.
At this stage, I could have flattened the image typing Ctrl+A, Ctrl+Shift+C, Ctrl+V, what creates a flattened image on a new layer, which I could recall "1st result".
I save the selection under an evocative name ("sky 2"). I type Ctrl+J and I call the AKVIS Noise Buster plug-in again.
I apply the plug-in. The result seems nearly perfect.
The corrections are excellent. Below you can see the difference in the area where the date was before and after the Clone Stamp.