Question of the day - defog

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Posted 9/5/2006 by LadyRen in General Photography
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LadyRen
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Posted: 9/5/2006 7:05:27 AM
*** EDITED TO ADD:
This is an oooold thread but has a lot of great information and numbers for defogging. I just wanted to edit to add a defog action that I use on my own photos. It's all done on a seperate layer so you still have tweakability

ENJOY!!!



I've heard a few people mention it but like usual, didn't try it because I really didn't know anything about it and was too embarrassed to ask. I guess that's what's good about these questions - now you all know how stupid I really am so I can ask just about anything...

So, who uses it and is it always the same settings of 20/60/0? Sometimes I think it does a little too much to the photo so I halve it 10/30/0.



~Ren

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~Oscar Wilde

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KrisztinaK
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Posted: 9/5/2006 9:57:05 AM
Renee -

I use it on ALL of my photos, but I have realized that my default settings (20/50/0) can be a bit much on some of them. In order to save time, I have added defog to my PP action and instead of manually deciding which need the default and which it is too much for, I have decided that it would be more efficient to just lower my default settings. I tried halving it to 10/50/0 and 20/25/0 and prefer the latter (I did notice a differnece between the two). I have not found a photo yet that did not benefit from this defog. I now use 20/25/0 on ALL of my pics, after NR, but before any other edits.

HTH ...



HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

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jmetcalf
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Posted: 9/5/2006 10:26:25 AM
Oh my!!! Renee, thank you so much for your QOD. I learn so much from them!!! You usually post something that I have thought about and just haven't had the time to look at. You are about 10 steps ahead of me and I learn so much from your posts!!

Krisztina, that makes a huge difference on every shot I have opened up. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.


Julie
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kms66
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Posted: 9/5/2006 10:29:26 AM
Thanks for this post! I'm going to try it! But can someone tell me what it actually does? And what does 'before NR' mean? Thanks, Kelly



KrisztinaK
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Posted: 9/5/2006 10:30:36 AM
NR is "noise reduction"

I will dig up some links on defog that will explain what it does better than I can.



HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

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KrisztinaK
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Posted: 9/5/2006 10:46:53 AM
OK - here are a couple of links that may shed some light on the topic. The defog technique is actually called Local Contrast Enhancement.

link 1
link 2
link 3
link 4 - info at bottom of page

HTH ...



HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

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jmetcalf
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Posted: 9/5/2006 11:00:01 AM
Thanks Krisztina!!

As usual, you are a fountain of very useful knowledge. I am still amazed at what it does!!

Renee,
I don't want to hijack, do you mind if we post examples of how defog is working? If not, your thread, you go first


Julie
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Kameo
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Posted: 9/5/2006 11:03:57 AM
Great question, Renee!

So do I do this in place of Unsharpen - or in addition to? And what step should it be in my pp?

Kim



x2mom
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Posted: 9/5/2006 11:21:46 AM
Good question-I will be checking back because I too need help with this.

Krisztina-thanks for the links!



KrisztinaK
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Posted: 9/5/2006 11:24:09 AM
Defog is one of my fave PS techniques since I have discovered it. Here is what I do. I t is the very first step I perform after noise reduction. This is for a reason - quoted from this site.

"Local contrast enhancement can also clip highlights in regions which are both very bright and adjacent to a darker region. For this reason, it should be performed before adjusting levels (if levels are used bring tones to the extreme highlights within the image histogram). This allows for a "buffer zone" when local contrast enhancement extends the lightest and darkest tones to full white or black, respectively.

I have noticed that if the histogram is at either edge that some highlight and shows will be clipped. So I definately do this before any levels/curves c I may not even need to adjust white/black points after this step. Even in ACR I do not pull the histogram all the way to either edge, I allow about 0.1 stop exposure to allow for the shift that defog will have.

One other thing I do with defof is that I never run it directly on the background layer. I duplicate the layer, run defog on that and change the layer blend mode to luminoscity, then merge the defogged layer with the background one. There is a reason for this as well ... quoted from the same site :

"Local contrast enhancement, as with sharpening, can also create unwanted color changes if performed on all three color channels. In addition, Local contrast enhancement can increase color saturation significantly. You can eliminate these unwanted effects by either performing local contrast enhancement in the lightness channel of the LAB color space, or in a separate layer (while still in an RGB working space) and blending using "luminosity" in the layers window."

This site talks about the same problem (about 3/4 down the page) and shows a color example so you can really see what is happening. This is what convinced me to change my defog technique to what I do now.

BTW - I follow the same procedure (blend with lum. mode) for all of my sharpening as well. And yes, I do sharpen separately from defog, after all my edits have been done (and after I have cropped/resized).




HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

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Domini
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Posted: 9/5/2006 1:12:50 PM
I always do it at 20/60/0, but I shoot in raw and have all sharpening turned off.



Kameo
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Posted: 9/5/2006 2:06:03 PM
Thanks Krisztina - that really helps!
Kim



Panache
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Posted: 9/5/2006 4:26:58 PM
I often use 100/1.0/0. I can't remember who recommended that number (I think it was from a Photoshop course I took). So far, I've been happy with the results. IF any of my photos looks crappy because of it, I hope someone would tell me!

*--Debb


~~Debb --

LadyRen
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Posted: 9/5/2006 5:19:36 PM
Julie - posting examples sounds like a fab idea - I'm running off to pjotoshop now


Kristina, thanks for all the links and for the correct name. I can see why everyone calls it defog



~Ren

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zooreturns
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Posted: 9/5/2006 5:55:20 PM
that's awesome.
i was always running a defog of 20/60/0 (also as an action), but was incorrectly doing it at THE END.
a friend gave me some guides on sharpening, and said i should defog FIRST, so that's what i've started doing. i've only done it on a few pics (it was like 2 days ago) and already, i can't believe the difference.
i, too, have mine set as an action.
i open whatever pics I'm going to work on, and do a batch run of the defog action.
i have noticed it is a bit much on some though, so i'm going to try this new method and double it if needed.

here's the guide my friend gave me:
soft objects: flowers, puppies, rainbows, people 150/1/10
portraits (head shots) 75/2/3
moderate (products, landscapes) 225/5/0 (NOTE: I TRIED THIS ONE, AND IT WAS WAYYYYYYYY SHARP, so i dont know if these #s are correct)
max: oof, buildings, cars, coins 65/4/3
all purpose, can use 2x 85/1/4






Shooting with:
Canon 10d
85mm 1.8
50mm 1.8
Speedlite 420EX




LadyRen
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Posted: 9/5/2006 7:19:08 PM
>>>HERE<<< is my example. CC always appreciated!


~Ren

Be Yourself - everyone else is already taken
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jmetcalf
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Posted: 9/5/2006 8:58:08 PM
Okay, I am officially addicted. I have been defoggin all day

Here is my example

I did what Krisztina suggested 20/25/0. I have been using Domini's numbers as well. Different shots warrant different numbers.

ETA: I was embarrassed to post these as I am having focus trouble. Basically it sssssuuuccckkks.


Julie
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Domini
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Posted: 9/5/2006 9:12:50 PM
The thing about defog...it works best on a photo that doesn't have a lot of contrast added to it. You camera adds contrast, your processing in raw can add contrast, your lens also affects your contrast. So you do need to play & find what works best for you. There is a defog in my action set, but it is set as a layer mask so you can adjust opacity as needed.



emurph2
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Posted: 9/5/2006 11:04:40 PM
I rarely defog because my photos already have a lot of contrast and defogging adds a lot of contrast. I would suggest duplicating your layer, sharpening the duplicate layer, then adjusting the opacity before flattening. It is a couple extra steps but it works great for getting the right amount of sharpness for each photo without over sharpening, which can be very damaging to your photo. I have a recipe I like, but it's always too much, so I just adjust differently for each photo. I never go over 80% as a rule and some photos only %20. If I ran it the same on every photo I'd be damaging my photos. I made an action out of my steps and I just adjust and flatten, so it doesn't take any longer now that I have a recipe I like.


Erica

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LadyRen
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Posted: 9/5/2006 11:40:44 PM
Thanks Erica. I'd noticed that the 20/60/0 was too much for some of my photos so I was halving the numbers. I'm going to give it a try with a duplicate layers and then adjust the opacity instead.

When you say that you've created an action for this... would the steps be to open a duplicate layer and then apply the USM... after that you just adjust the opacity of the layer and flatten?


~Ren

Be Yourself - everyone else is already taken
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emurph2
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Posted: 9/6/2006 12:07:18 AM
I hit record for the action, control J (to duplicate) then go to filters>sharpen>......I think I'm somewhere around 100-2.0-0. You could hit luminosity too for a blend mode as was suggested above. I didn't do that, but good idea. I then stop the action. That leaves it open to adjust and flatten. I think it's a good idea to find your recipe that works well with your photos/camera and leave it open for adjusting whether it's a defog or not. If your subject is in full sun you will often already have a very sharp and contrasty image. A photo with backlight will need a lot of contrast added to perk it up.


Erica

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tlmniteowl
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Posted: 9/6/2006 12:42:58 AM
I have been doing this but did not know it was "defog" I did not know that the order was so important I will do it that way and see if it improves my photos. This is a great topic!
Terry


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FrederiqueS
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Posted: 9/6/2006 2:46:58 AM
I defog all my pictures as follows:
- landscape etc: 15/30/2
- portrait: 5/15/1

I used to use higher settings (although never as high as 20/60/0 but brought them down considerably when I got my 5D.
That tells a lot a bout the quality of tyhe pictures of that camera. The depth sooc is amazing.

Now if I could get my hand on a 1D!!!



JBegs
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Posted: 9/6/2006 4:30:56 AM
Okay Renee....I'll jump on the "I'm dumb" bandwagon. Is Defog the same as a USM??? I have never understood the difference (if there is one).

*hanging head in shame*


~~*~*~~Jennifer~~*~*~~


ABCMum
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Posted: 9/6/2006 4:38:42 AM
Hi all, pretty new at all of this.. would someone be able to explain this topic further?
I only have PS Elements 3. Is defog in there somewhere or is the unsharp mask I use sometimes exactly the same tool?
Do the ratios you have been providing as examples match the three variations you can use in PSE 3? i.e. a) %amt b) Radius Pixels and c) levels.
Thanks
Megan

LadyRen
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Posted: 9/6/2006 5:21:51 AM
Krisztina - I just went back and re-read your longer post explaining things. I think I kida skimmed it first time around. I just wanted to say tanks again. I'm going to try to make my own action for it now.


~Ren

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carleyb
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Posted: 9/6/2006 6:15:14 AM
Hello peaple! thanks for another grrreat QOD, have been wondering bout this one for a while. LadyRen, u r a mind reader!



KrisztinaK
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Posted: 9/6/2006 11:16:39 AM
Wow - I haven't been here since yesterday afternoon and this thread has gotten so much longer than I even imagined it would. I have just read all of the responses and would like to make a small comment regardingt the numbers being used for this technique.

There are certainly no wrong or right numbers to use as we have all seen. I myself have used 20/50/0 on many images in the past that it has not been too much for, although I am seeing more as of late that it is too much for. Hmmm - maybe it does have to do with the camera. The higher number does seem to be too much for the pics I've taken with the Rebel. Definately play with the numbers and you will find what works for you.

I did want to clarify on some things I am seeing mentioned. Defog (LCE) and sharpening are both done with the Unsharp Mask filter. The difference between the 2 is the values they use and the point in the workflow where they are performed.

for those of you that didn't get a chnace to take a look at the links posted earlier, this info is quoted from this site :

"Local contrast enhancement attempts to increase the appearance of large-scale light-dark transitions, similar to how sharpening with an "unsharp mask" increases the appearance of small-scale edges. Good local contrast gives an image its "pop" and creates a three-dimensional effect-- mimicking the look naturally created by high-end camera lenses. Local contrast enhancement is also useful for minimizing the effect of haze, lens flare, or the dull look created by taking a photograph through a dirty window."

also here :

"Fortunately, performing local contrast enhancement in Photoshop and other image editing programs is quick and easy. It is identical to sharpening with an unsharp mask, except the "radius" is much larger and the "percentage" is much lower. The unsharp mask can be accessed in Adobe Photoshop by clicking on the following drop-down menus: Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask." and

"Amount is usually listed as a percentage, and controls the magnitude of each overshoot. This can also be thought of as how much contrast is added at the transitions. Amount is typically 5-20%.

Radius controls the amount to blur the original for creating the mask, shown by "blurred copy" in the illustration above. This affects the size of the transitions you wish to enhance, so a smaller radius enhances smaller-scale detail. Radius is typically 30-100 pixels.

Threshold sets the minimum brightness change that will be sharpened. This is rarely used in local contrast enhancement, but could be set to a non-zero value to only enhance contrast at the most prominent edges. Threshold is typically set to 0."

This same site does not give a specific range of numbers to use for sharpening as this will vary a GREAT deal on the image in question but it does give a great description of what each slider does:

"Amount is usually listed as a percentage, and controls the magnitude of each overshoot. This can also be thought of as how much contrast is added at the edges.

Radius controls the amount to blur the original for creating the mask, shown by "blurred copy" in the TEXT illustration above. This affects the size of the edges you wish to enhance, so a smaller radius enhances smaller-scale detail.

Threshold sets the minimum brightness change that will be sharpened. This is equivalent to clipping off the darkest non-black pixel levels in the unsharp mask. The threshold setting can be used to sharpen more pronounced edges, while leaving more subtle edges untouched. This is especially useful to avoid amplifying noise, or to sharpen an eye lash without also roughening the texture of skin."

Sharpening will vary a great deal from image to image, some may not require any at all. Sharpening uses a higher amount >85 , and amount and radius usually stay quite low <5. Both techniques use the same tool, it is the ratio of the numbers that makes them different and changes the effect on the photo.

Defog is typically run as the first step in enhancing a photo (I do mine after NR) and sharpening is typically performed as the last step (I sharpen after resizing as well). So there are quite a few differences between the 2 and it is esp. important when each technique is being used in your workflow. I have mentioned before that I also perform both of these steps on a dup. layer and blend to luminoscity mode. Both defog and sharpening can cause color shifts.

I hope I am not beating a dead horse, just wanted to clarify on a few points. Sorry ... monolouge now offically over.



HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

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*Ariana*
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Posted: 9/6/2006 1:39:50 PM
This thread's been really interesting. Thanks for all the info, I'm off to practice now




erkatco
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Posted: 9/12/2006 9:42:48 PM
Oh, I really really didn't want to ask this question but, alas, I'm a dummy...so here it is...

where do I FIND defog...I've searched and search!! I have CS2. I'm sure it's a very obvious something or other!

Erin



KrisztinaK
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Posted: 9/12/2006 10:02:27 PM
It is actually the USM (unsharp mask) filter. It is the difference in numbers that is important to know whether you are using it to defog or sharpen an image.

HTH



HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

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erkatco
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Posted: 9/12/2006 10:08:22 PM
THANKS K!!!

Erin



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Posted: 9/12/2006 10:59:58 PM
Oh, wow. A whole new world...I just took some fun pics of DD yesterday that were all sorts of backlit. Here's my firs quick playing around with defog:
defogging edit
Thanks, Renee. And thank you to everyone for filling in this thread with such great info!


Sara
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LadyRen
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Posted: 4/9/2007 6:45:20 PM
bump


~Ren

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~Oscar Wilde

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MichyM
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Posted: 4/10/2007 1:10:12 AM
This has been a great read, thanks for bumping it!


Lauren




PeaKazza
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Posted: 4/10/2007 1:10:39 PM
I never use that combination for USM. I do however, almost ALWAYS run my Kazz-Sharpz action. It's more than just a USM, and it rocks in comparrison to some of my older stuff when I was using the 20/60/0 combo.
-K


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Posted: 4/10/2007 1:27:17 PM
I also wanted to add, I now use a high-pass sharpening action I found at action central for my final sharpening- it ROCKS! way better than any numbers I have tried for that! I do still do my defog first in my pp, but my numbers vary depending on the lighting and subject.



KrisztinaK
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Posted: 9/9/2007 9:06:27 AM
BUMP



HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

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avedadiva96
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Posted: 9/9/2007 9:16:50 AM
I finally figured out this was an old thread. At first i was very confused considering Renee has a defog action..LOL!

Micki


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LadyRen
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Posted: 9/9/2007 9:23:24 AM
LoL Micki

It's so cool to see this thread bumped


~Ren

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~Oscar Wilde

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twkelly
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Posted: 9/9/2007 9:38:38 AM
I was doing it before I knew what it was, but I was using the contrast enhancement instead of USM. Since doing some reading about it and experimenting, I find that on 'people shots' the recommended settings of 20/60/0 look too harsh, at least to me. I now have it included in my finishing action at 11/50/0 and have been pretty happy with the results. Don't ask me why I picked 11!


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Wolfsong
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Posted: 9/9/2007 1:11:34 PM
I used to do 20/60/0, but I found that was always too much for my photos, and made them look way over-sharpened. So now I do 1.5/150/0. I know, TOTALLY different, but I like the way it looks so much better! Sometimes I tweak it a little more, just until I get the nice crisp look I want without it looking fake.



~Jenn H~
AncestralPea

PeaNut 255,703
March 2006
Posts: 4,092
Layouts: 182
Loc: DFW area, TX

Posted: 9/9/2007 1:18:07 PM
I sharpen with a high pass, and use 20/50/0 for my defog. Sometimes it is too much, though, so I think I'll try Ren's idea of cutting in half.


~Jenn H~

Canon 7D | 50mm 1.4 | 85mm 1.8 | 28mm 2.8 | Tokina 10-17 fisheye | 430EX II

PS CS4, LR 2.0

"Why can't life just be polite?"

~FM Static

patspix
Do you see what I see?

PeaNut 293,128
January 2007
Posts: 6,403
Layouts: 370
Loc: beautiful Pacific Northwest

Posted: 9/9/2007 1:21:38 PM
Wow--Great thread, very informative and helpful!! I usually do my USM/defog before I do anything else, but tend to tweak my numbers depending on what I am working on. The info on this thread is going to be very helpful. Off to study!


Pat
Nikon D90
105mm macro lens and some other lenses, too
a couple of P&S
The View Through My Lens




KrisztinaK
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 65,138
January 2003
Posts: 2,434
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Loc: New York City

Posted: 5/12/2008 11:48:11 AM
bump



HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

Canon 60D ... 30D & XT ... 24-105L f/4 IS ... 50mm f/1.8 ... 430EX ... Pocket Wizards ... PSCS6 & LR4

CWP
BucketHead

PeaNut 360,660
February 2008
Posts: 573
Layouts: 10
Loc: Somerset, KY

Posted: 6/9/2008 1:58:46 AM
Oooh, thanks for the friendly bump, Krisztina! I've been meaning to search "Defog" for several days and never got around to it. You made my day! I've even created my own action for it! My very first action, might I add...and I'm very excited!


Carla

Nikon D40
Nikkor 18-55 mm Lens
2x Tele Lens


My Blog
Carla Wells Photography Website

kclmomof4
PeaAddict

PeaNut 322,809
June 2007
Posts: 1,268
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Loc: Indiana

Posted: 6/9/2008 5:38:32 AM
This is intersting! i've not used this at all.. almost scared to.. Thanks for all the info here..


~Angela~
Canon 50D/kit lens, Canon Rebel XT*50 1.8*85 1.8*kit lens*Canon 75-300mm*580 EXII Speedlite
Savage Seamless Paper in Super White, Tulip, Coral and ThunderGray

Gina_MI
PeaAddict

PeaNut 61,475
January 2003
Posts: 1,386
Layouts: 7
Loc: Michigan

Posted: 6/9/2008 7:11:40 AM
Wonderful and helpful thread. Thanks for bumping it!!!



scraphound107
BucketHead

PeaNut 179,315
November 2004
Posts: 863
Layouts: 11

Posted: 6/9/2008 7:48:11 AM
LOL. I didn't realize this was from 2006. I was wondering if I was losing my mind since I have been loving Ren's defog action! Anyway, I wanted to say thank you for the bump because I was doing defog last

pschuchman
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 45,164
August 2002
Posts: 2,633
Layouts: 121
Loc: Virginia

Posted: 6/9/2008 10:24:53 AM
Thanks for the bump - great info here!


Patty

Patty Schuchman Photography
My Photo Blog

Nikon D3s/D700/D300, 70-200 2.8, 50 1.4, 24-70 2.8, 16-35 4,28 2.8, SB900, SB800, SB600..AB800(x3), AB400, softboxes, light stands, and LOTS and LOTS of stuff that is just TOO MUCH FUN to play with!
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