Working with the Unbearably Bad Photo–Fine Tuning
There’s still a lot of noise in this image, but most of it can be successfully removed. The detail that must be protected is in the raccoon and the background isn’t really relevant. So I selected the raccoon using PhotoImpact’s Lasso tool with the Smart Lasso option checked. This option is sometimes called a magnetic lasso in other photo editors. Once the raccoon was selected, I inverted the selection, so that everything except the raccoon would be selected. This enabled using a high setting in PhotoImpact’s Remove Noise filter, which removed noise in the entire image, except for the raccoon.
As a final step, I downsized the image to about 50% of its original size. Downsizing helps noise to naturally blend into the image (this same technique can be used to remove moiré patterns in scanned images).
The final image isn’t one I’d submit with a job application to work as a photographer, but it is suitable for use on a MySpace page. Although the final image still shows some flaws, the result is infinitely better than the original, almost completely black image.