R e d c h a s e r . c o m


Improving Imaging 




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Making Your Aerial Photo Maps Better.

The internet has turned into a great tool for fly fishermen seeking new water to fish, or a better understanding of the water bodies they already fish.  More and more anglers are turning to aerial photo maps available on line for a birds eye view lakes, rivers, and coastal estuary's.  I have already detailed in one article on this web site, means for locating and using aerial photo imagery from the internet to find good fishable water.
In a recent e-mail, Darrel Black let me in on a trick to improve the quality of the imagery that is available on line, using software that you already have on your computer.  Darrel informed me that he is able to improve the imagery available from terra server and other mapping sites by processing the images with one of the photo touchup programs found on most computers.
I have Micro Soft Photo Editor, it came with my Microsoft Office Tools Package.  I was easily able to improve imagery from terra server using this program.  To enhance an image that you find on a web site, you first have to download the image to your computer.  At Terra Server, there is an icon that appears on the screen above aerial photo images that says "Download".  If you click the download icon, the picture is reformatted, you then only have to right click your mouse on the picture and select "save picture as" from the drop down menu.  You can then name the images and save it on your hard drive.  From some other on line mapping services, you may only need to right click on the original image and select "save picture as" to save it.
Once the image is saved to your hard drive, you can open it in Photo Editor, or any other photo touch up program, and begin improving it.  In photo editor, once I open the image, I select the "Image" drop down menu from the tool bar, then select balance.  By simply adjusting (usually increasing) the brightness, contrast, and gamma settings, I am able to make an aerial photo image much sharper, and bring more detail into focus.  Darrel says that on some images he is actually able to bring out bottom detail that was not present before.
While improving aerial photo images requires you to save them to your hard drive, this is not such a bad thing.  If you are saving imagery of an area you will fish frequently, you will no longer need to log onto the internet to view your map of the area. 

This is an untouched aerial photo image from Terra Server.



This is the same image with brightness, contrast, and gamma enhanced in Microsoft Photo Editor




You will noticed in the enhanced photo, that you can see detail more sharply, and even distinguish individual small islands and grass clumps that wash out in the untouched version above.




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