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| p.1 #1 · Discovered: Silver Efex creates its own noise pattern in processing |
After recently stepping up my black & white game and processing much more heavily in Silver Efex Pro 2, I have discovered a frustrating by-product of the way Silver Efex processes highlights. It actually creates its own square pattern/grid pattern with the grid spaced at about 260px x 260px.
At first I thought it was just sensor noise that I was exacerbating (which is the vertical banding on the 5D3, which is very noticeable even in highlights, depending on how you process). I only found it after using a temporary harsh curves layer on a snowy white landscape image I was working on (I used the harsh curves layer to temporarily enhance contrast to make retouching easier).
To rule out the sensor noise possibility, I created a new empty document in Photoshop. I picked two very light colors (237, 237, 237 ... 226, 226, 226) and created a radial gradient using the gradient tool. You can't see the gradient with the naked eye, the colors are too similar, but stick with me.
Then I ran it through Silver Efex Pro 2 and applied the same curves adjustment layer to the resulting image as I had done earlier. Here is the result:
I can rule out the gradient tool as the cause of the pattern, because the pattern is exactly the same spacing and size as seen in my photo. The only commonality between the two documents is Silver Efex Pro 2.
For reference, here is the radial gradient layer, before Silver Efex Pro 2, but with the contrast enhancing curves layer applied: