Enhancing Pinhole Photos

Veijo Vilva

This is a section of one of the pinhole photographs I've taken. It sure isn't very sharp, on the contrary, it is quite soft and noisy. Because of the noise, it isn't advisable to try to sharpen the original image as the noise will be accentuated. However, adding a small amount of Gaussian blur first and un-sharp masking after that will give a much cleaner image:

Well, it doesn't look very sharp, but there is a lot less noise and the edges are much better defined -- and we must remember that this is just a crop from a 3260 pixels wide 10 Mpixel image. Performing an additional un-sharp masking step will further enhance definition (at the expense of somewhat increased noise, of course):

Looking at the above images, we might ask whether it makes any difference in practise. Well, it certainly does, especially when the pics are printed, but even in scaled down versions of the original and the enhanced images the effect is quite obvious. First a scaled down copy of the original:

And then the enhanced version:

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