Dec 17, 2012

How to Reduce the Noise in Your Image

Tips To Reduce The Noise In Your Image

Sometimes there just isn’t that much Light around and you need to crank up the ISO to capture the scene you have envisioned   When you increase your ISO on a digital camera, your processor amplifies the signal it receives from the sensor to make it stronger, much like an amplifier on a stereo, it makes a quiet signal much louder.  The downside of using a high ISO is that artifacts in your image also magnified.  These artifacts appear as Color Noise and Luminosity noise.

Multiple Techniques

We cover using the Surface Blur, dust and scratches, and Reduce Noise Filters.  Learn how to use a combination of these Filters along with blending modes, Opacity and Layer Masks to maintain a high Level of control when removing the Noise from your image and to preserve details in the important parts of the image.


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  • user image
    Leszek Frankowski

    Didn’t we already have an episode on reducing hoise?

    Edit: Ok, just started watching and I see that it uses completely different techniques than the ones presented in 332. Great info as always.

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    Jon Peckham II

    When you increase the ISO, it puts more current (electricity) through the CCD sensor and that makes it more sensitive to light. It also increases more random firings of these microscopic sensors and that is where the noise comes from. The CPU just processes it all and compensates for the extra noise. Long exposures also do the same thing as well as heat. So, for less noise, use lower ISO’s, shorter exposures, and cooler temperatures. Simple physics actually.

    • user image

      Hm. I thought there is an analog amplifier in the camera that amplifies the signal. There is always noise on the sensor, but usually at low ISO you wouldn’t notice since the noise level is low enough. Like going with a loud music signal into an amplifier. But if the signal though is very quiet (dark), when you amplify it to get enough volume you will also amplify the noise.

      After a certain ISO the amplifier can’t amplify more, the rest is being done with software. Once you have reached that level you may as well use Lightroom to boost the ISO, the result would be the same (though some cameras do noise reduction even on RAW files…).

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    François Vendiol

    Is there a way you could upload higher resolution videos ?
    That’s is not such a big deal for this episode, but sometimes, it’s hard to distinguish the improvements on a picture because of the low res mud.

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    Alfonso Bonvini

    Hi Aaron I´m a faithful Phlearn member and been following you for a long time, enjoyed over a dozen of your Pro tutorials, and looking forward to buy more.


    I still love the free contents and don´t like to see them getting a cheap treatment~!

    I think using phamily´s pictures to be retouched offer a good opportunity both to you and works as motivation for us~!


    I believe you should use RAW files, on your demonstration, because if is true you still show techniques and inspire us, the final result is a bit sad to look at, and gives a cheap feeling at least, like on ep # 320…

    SO WHY

    you don´t require our file to be send in as RAW or at least over 7/8 MB or at least contact the user, once you choose the photo and ask for it~!

    i wish all the guys working at Phlearn to have a great end of the year and an even better one following up looking forward to your contents~! CiaoCiaoForNow~!

  • user image
    Timothy Smitley

    I’ve noticed that you say monochrome a lot but I think what you actually mean is analogous. Monochrome is just one color, while analogous is made up of several. Usually 1 primary color, 1 secondary color and their intermediate color(s).
    for example:
    green, blue, and blue-green.
    red, violet, and red-violet.

    one of the occasional exceptions that includes 2 primary colors, one secondary color, and the intermediates is – red, orange, and yellow together.

    So monochrome would be like just different shades and/or values of purple, but wouldn’t cross over into blue or red.

  • user image

    thanks for everything you are amazing
    how about a photo like this
    there was no light after sunset and i want to rescue the image