Moth Pictures on Glass Pt 2 (Comparison)

/ in Photography by Marek
2 sets of 2x2 comparison photos showing the difference in processing
Compare the

After some thought I decided that the best way to show the differences of taking pictures of moths on a solid background as oppose to glass was by doing an actual comparison for this post.

I have completed this without bias and selected comparable examples both with their own advantages and limitations.

Both pictures were taken on the same day some time ago which I found in my backlog of updates.

Example 1 was produced from 39 frames with each image around 10mb in size and took 7 minutes to stack.

Example 2 was 56 frames with images of the same size and took 8 minutes to stack.

The size of the resultant images after the stacking process was 2.5mb and 2.6mb respectively.

Neither image needed any retouching after the stacking process.

Both images were then reduced in size to the standard I use for my website which is 1000 x 1000 pixels with the size on disk being reduced to 300kb approx.

To achieve this, I first needed to put the original shot into a larger frame as when I take the stack I try to keep as much of the subject in the picture as possible to produce the best results.

I will need to do work on both backgrounds as shown in EX1 and EX2 to achieve this.

For EX1a I complete the background colour using a sample, making sure not to get too close to the shadows, which would be noticeable and ruin the picture, leaving any dirt or marks to remove till later in the process.

2x2 grid of photos showing processing
Look at the Muck on 'Ere!

For EX2 I complete the background colour by sampling an area closest to the subject and completely redoing the whole background colour.

The results for EX1b took less than a minute whilst EX2b took me 11 minutes.

The next part of the process is to sharpen the images slightly and reduce any noise with the results being shown in EX1c & EX2c.

Finally, all I need to do is to clean up the first image by removing the dirt and marks from the background as shown for EX1d.

2x2 comparison photo showing processing
A clean sweep

There is nothing more to do to the picture taken on glass as the background was completed earlier but you may have noticed a difference in colour between the two original images.

I have observed this effect on other images taken on glass and believe it is caused by the reflection of light off the glass itself.

This however does not constitute any major problem as I can correct this easily with the software in post processing as shown in EX2c.

As stated at the beginning, this comparison was done without bias either way, with good examples for both methods of achieving my goal of standardising the backgrounds.

Which is the better image in this case is open to conjecture as both have their own merits in my opinion.