Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Truth About Digital Noise & How We Should Deal With It

Some time ago I was working on a photo I took of our family dog to probably have it printed in a large format and hang it on my studio wall. As I was editing it in Darktable, all was coming along fine until I came to the “denoising” stage. This photo was actually taken at ISO 1600 in plain daylight. I know, many of you would say I don't know what I'm doing shooting at such high ISO's in the middle of the day, well, I used the tele on my Canon at its max (720mm/35mm-equiv) and I truly don't have the steadiest grip in the world, so I just wanted to make sure I had a sharp image, and we all know that a sharper and noisier image is far better than a blurry or underexposed one, I also wanted to make sure my histogram had a “healthy” look, so it seemed easy for me to just increase the ISO sensitivity. Now, Darktable has amazing denoising capabilities, actually, I think they are better than many of the other RAW developing programs I have used before since it has many different types and can be used as combinations with multiple instances on any channel you want, you can even profile your camera if you wish. Anyway, tired of trying different denoising algorithms and not feeling satisfied by getting a nice "ultra clean" result, I decided to call it off making me wonder if it should just go straight to the trash and forget about it, it was a difficult photo to denoise and I really wanted to keep the hair details to the best.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Time-lapse Photography with Linux


Before I really start, I want to point out that there are simple mobile apps out there that will help you do time-lapse videos with your mobile phone and encode it all on the fly! So if you just want to do time-lapse videos as simple as possible, for fun and you don't intend to sell your work, then stick to those apps, they are OK. Otherwise if you are curious or really want to learn how to do it and sell them then read on...

Some patience will be required, depending on the amount of quality you are trying to achieve. I do time-lapses in a more semi-pro level which I sell in stock media sites such as or for direct clients who need to re-edit the encoded video to have it assembled with other video formats and the final encoded video must have certain quality specs. Also, I am able to edit the individual shots this way such as levels, exposures, colors and some effects at some point of the process.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

VirtualBox Bridged Networking and MTU Problem in a Windows Guest

Busting my head (and other valuable parts of my body) getting Bridged networking in virtual WindowsXP (Windows 7 doesn't have this issue) with Linux host because I needed it to have DHCP IP and make it available to my home network, basic websites would load and others would time out. Also accesing the machine via SAMBA would cause errors once in a while. Using standard NAT would work and resolve websites immediately, but the machine would get IP assigned by host machine and would not be seen to the rest of the home network and completely invisible in router.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Howto 24 bit M-Audio Fast Track Pro in Debian Linux with RT-Preemtible Kernel

For Kernels +3.x


UPDATE MAY 25, 2012 was on the fast-track-pro.conf file for better understanding of different modes.

UPDATE JUNE 16, 2012 changed kernel configuration in section "PROCESSOR TYPE AND FEATURES" Tickless System (Dynamic Ticks) to enabled, I wasn't thinking right, sorry for that one.


The Fast Track Pro by M-Audio is a really nice USB Audio interface, although small, it can perform well in a professional environment. I was given one of these a while back by one of my best web design clients and good friend.

The basic specs on this device are:
  • 24-bit/96kHz audio interface with dual mic/instrument preamps
  • Balanced/unbalanced analog I/O
  • S/PDIF coaxial; MIDI I/O
  • ¼” headphone output with level control and A/B source switch

Front and Back Views of the Fast Track Pro

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Shielding a Strat Guitar to Eliminate Hum and EMI Noise

For those of you who have a single coil pickup guitar or have had one such as a Fender Stratocaster or Fender Telecaster, know what a nice instrument it is and its trademark tone, but also know how noisy it can get, not like humbucker guitars, especially if played through high gains and heavy distortions.

I currently own a strat guitar that eventually I have been readjusting to my needs, playing preferences and style and have done a great hell of a job by adjusting the neck's tross rod, string height, fret dressing and intonation. The guitar has a nice set of pickups and I'm very happy with it and all the adjusting I've done to it, except, just like all single coil guitars (as I mentioned above) are just doomed for life to receive all kinds of outside noise and amplifying it through your speakers, making your playing and recording experience without hiss and hum a painful moment.