Hand Me A Tissue

/ in Pictures, Shadows by Marek
Underbody shot of a Tissue moth, the photo has a blue-ish tint
Out of the mist

Things are always a bit quiet on the ‘mothing’ front at this time of the year, especially if you have been restricted as to where and when you can follow your hobby.

I thought I had finished all my updates from last year and had turned my attentions to other interests when I came across a folder with an update from Ireland that I had somehow missed.

Noticing it included an underside missing from the main display page for this moth, which was created after a previous visit to Ireland, spurred me into action.

It dawned on me however that due to the quality of this image that it may well be the reason it had been overlooked in the first place.

I knew from the onset that to remaster this image for my display was going to present a few challenges.

My thought process in this instant was to concentrate on procedures which have worked for me in the past thus avoiding the temptation of trial and error. I am pleased with the outcome so I have decided to document my approach here.

I use Silkypix development software for editing images as this came free with my camera originally and I have become accustomed over time to its quirks!

For this image I need to use the Haze to achieve the initial correction and provide a starting point.

When happy with the result I can then crop the image, convert the background to greyscale and in this case ‘remove shadows’, which although do not exist, lets the software do its trick of highlighting the image whilst leaving the background intact thus helping to remove the cost of having to use the dehaze tool.

I find this useful as the overall brightness of the whole image is restored which lends nicely to the next step of correcting the background using Paintshop Pro 5. This is done by cloning the colour closest to the image itself and painting the whole background to match.

This is possible due to the lack of shadows on images taken on glass, or indeed plastic pots which has been the subject of a previous blog post.

During this process I noticed that there was a small of amount of colour casting often seen when taking pictures of moths on glass.

The same underbody shot of a Tissue moth above, but with the blue tint colour corrected away
Purple Haze has cast a spell on me.

I use colour mixer plugin for Paint.net to remove this colour cast as it has proved successful on many occasions in the past.

It is now time to move to Helican Filter which sadly is no longer available for updates, but is my main program for the selective sharpening of images along with many more useful tools used over time.

It can be seen from the second example that the amount of haze is not uniform, which I can now correct employing its filters.

Although the noise has been removed completely whilst rendering the background, this is not true for the image itself, so I use Define2 to dampen the amount of noise prior to the final editing process, using its default setting.

Now back to Silkypix where I sparingly use two other filters called Underwater Photo Controller and Effects which serve to add some depth of colour and background sharpness which I find replaces some of the losses introduced when the image was originally stacked.

To finish off I need to get the background colour as close as I can to the images already on the main page.

Whilst increasing the brilliance of the whole image I find that it triggers a highlight control warning, so using the partial correction tool brush I can reduce the over bright area selectively and thus finalizing the image for display, successfully bringing it back into the light.