Image Enhancement

SFAP images for scientific applications are taken usually with the intention to show certain information about a site or an area; thus, optimizing the visual interpretability of an image with image enhancement techniques is often the primary concern. As discussed in Chapter 6.4.6, photographs taken with small-format cameras are not without radiometric deficiencies. Image-degrading effects like chromatic aberration (CA), vignetting, and noise can be corrected partly or completely with camera software or professional image-editing software. This may minimize or

FIGURE 11-3 Uncontrolled image mosaic created with Autopan Pro panorama software from 17 aerial photographs taken from 150 m height by an autopiloted model airplane. The mosaic covers a 600 m stretch of the Rambla de Casablanca near Guadix, Province of Granada, Spain (northeast is up). The hillslopes at the top and bottom are dotted with small terraces recently installed for a reforestation project; two patches with pine trees left of the image center are the remains of an earlier, failed reforestation attempt. Photos by C. Claussen, M. Niesen, and JBR, October 2008; image processing by C. Claussen.

FIGURE 11-3 Uncontrolled image mosaic created with Autopan Pro panorama software from 17 aerial photographs taken from 150 m height by an autopiloted model airplane. The mosaic covers a 600 m stretch of the Rambla de Casablanca near Guadix, Province of Granada, Spain (northeast is up). The hillslopes at the top and bottom are dotted with small terraces recently installed for a reforestation project; two patches with pine trees left of the image center are the remains of an earlier, failed reforestation attempt. Photos by C. Claussen, M. Niesen, and JBR, October 2008; image processing by C. Claussen.

remove radiometric flaws determined by lens and camera characteristics. However, the image objects themselves also may be responsible for visual shortcomings, especially regarding color contrast. Image enhancements may range from fine adjustments for improving the general visual appearance to considerable modifications aimed at emphasizing certain information. The following sections cover some of the enhancement methods the authors most frequently use on their SFAP images.

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