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Contrast Mask

This plugin enhances images with too much contrast by applying a technique known as contrast masking. For a brief introduction read Michael Reichmann's article at Luminous Landscape. One frequent issue with contrast masking is the formation of halos around dark objects. My plugin has a specific built-in algorithm for detection and suppression of potential halos.

Below is a screenshot of the Contrast Mask plugin.

Contrast Mask GUI

Downloads

Download Contrast Mask

Examples

Below are a few examples of images treated with the Contrast Mask plugin. The first image shows a scene in the medieval Italian village San Gimignano. Obvioulsy more contrast than my camera can handle. Left: original image. Right: processed with Contrast Mask.

San Gimignano - original image San Gimignano - processed image


The next example is a statue of Garibaldi taken in Milano. Left is the original image. The exposure is OK for the sky, but the hero could use some illumination (in the literal sense :-). The middle image shows what you get when you apply a straight contrast mask enhancement. There is a distinct bright halo all around the statue. Now Guieseppe Garibaldi may be a national hero, but he certainly was no saint, hence the aura in the above image is not only aesthetically unpleasant but also historically inappropriate. Here is where MV's Contrast Mask halo suppression comes in. The right image was obtained with halo suppression turned on.

Garibaldi - original image Garibaldi - straight contrast mask Garibaldi - processed with halo suppression


Acknowledgement

MV's Contrast Mask plugin uses a fast recursive Gaussian blur algorithm. The code is based on Tod Fiddaman's implementation.

Related Stuff

Fred Miranda's SR Pro
http://www.fredmiranda.com/software/

Giorge Fournaris' Photo-Plugins Contrast Mask
http://www.photo-plugins.com/Plugins/Plugins/Contrast-Mask-2.html

Ralph Altmann's SF Maskerade
http://www.simpelfilter.de/en/bildbearbeitung/maskerade.html

Harald Heim's LightMachine
http://www.thepluginsite.com/products/photowiz/lightmachine/index.htm

   © 2008 by Martin Vicanek