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Reducing digital noise

From: Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac Essential Training

Video: Reducing digital noise

When you shoot with a digital camera, it's inevitable that you will get some noise in your photographs. This is most likely to happen when you are shooting with a high ISO, or when there are lots of shadow areas in your photographs, or if you are shooting in dim light. So if I were to zoom into this image, selecting the Zoom tool and the Plus symbol, and then clicking several times. When I get in real close, you can see that there are tiny specks of color, representing color digital noise, as well as tiny specks of black and white, representing grayscale digital noise, and there are some square artifacts that are a result of compressing the image in the JPEG format.

Reducing digital noise

When you shoot with a digital camera, it's inevitable that you will get some noise in your photographs. This is most likely to happen when you are shooting with a high ISO, or when there are lots of shadow areas in your photographs, or if you are shooting in dim light. So if I were to zoom into this image, selecting the Zoom tool and the Plus symbol, and then clicking several times. When I get in real close, you can see that there are tiny specks of color, representing color digital noise, as well as tiny specks of black and white, representing grayscale digital noise, and there are some square artifacts that are a result of compressing the image in the JPEG format.

I am going to use the Reduce Noise Filter to reduce all of those artifacts. I will take this image back to 100% by double-clicking the Zoom tool in the toolbox. Then I am going to go up to the Filter menu at the top of the screen, down to Noise, and I am going to choose Reduce Noise. That opens the Reduce Noise dialog box. I will move that over so I can see a preview of my image at 100% over here. Then I am going to zoom in on the nice big preview in the Reduce Noise dialog box by clicking several times on this Plus symbol at the bottom of the Preview window.

Then I will click and drag, panning over to another area of the image, around the seal's head. The way that this preview works is that when I click and hold with my mouse, I see the digital noise and the JPEG artifacts in the original image. When I release my mouse, the filter is applied with the default settings that you see over here. I am going to start by taking the Reduce Color Noise slider and dragging it all the way over to 0. I will do the same with the Strength slider. So now I have no settings over here.

Now I will take the Reduce Color Noise slider and I will drag it to the right, until I have eliminated the little specks of color. Now that doesn't mean there is no noise here, there still is noise represented by these gray pixels, but the color noise has been reduced. To reduce this gray noise, I will take the Strength slider and I will drag that to the right. I will take that to about 6. As I moved that slider, the Preserve Detail slider moved over to 60% in order to retain some sharpness in the image.

I am going to drag the Preserve Detail slider over to the left to try to reduce a bit more of the noise. Now, I don't want to go too far, because I don't want the image to look too blurry. But I can always check this 100% preview over here to make sure that it's still to my liking. Finally, I will check Remove JPEG Artifact, and that will help to eliminate some of the square artifacts caused by JPEG compression. When I am done, I will take the Preview back to 100%, by clicking the Minus symbol down here.

And then I will do a Before and After by unchecking Preview. That's how the image was and that's how it is now with noise reduction. Now that's a really subtle difference, but I think it's one that counts. So I am going to click OK to accept those changes, and here is the result. If I thought there should be more noise reduction, I can always go back up to the Filter menu, and notice that the last filter that I have applied is now here at the top of the Filter menu. So I could select that again, and that would basically double the amount of noise reduction.

But I think that makes the image too blurry, so I am going to Undo, by pressing Command+Z on my keyboard, and I am going to go with the result like this. At this point I would save and then close the image. So when you are shooting either in dim light, or with a high ISO in your camera, or you are shooting a scene that has lots of shadow areas, be sure to visit the Noise Reduction Filter to smooth out the color digital noise, the black and white digital noise, and to reduce JPEG artifacts.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac Essential Training
Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac Essential Training

81 video lessons · 7187 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
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  1. 2m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 17s
  2. 13m 0s
    1. Touring Elements
      7m 24s
    2. Starting from the Welcome screen
      5m 36s
  3. 16m 11s
    1. Importing photos from a camera
      8m 48s
    2. Dividing scanned photos
      3m 52s
    3. Capturing frames from video
      3m 31s
  4. 23m 13s
    1. Touring Bridge CS4
      7m 44s
    2. Opening files from Bridge into Elements
      5m 1s
    3. Rotating photos
      1m 17s
    4. Moving, deleting, and hiding photos
      4m 11s
    5. Renaming photos
      5m 0s
  5. 29m 16s
    1. Tagging photos with keywords
      6m 28s
    2. Rating and labeling photos
      5m 55s
    3. Sorting photos by filter
      6m 23s
    4. Finding photos
      4m 33s
    5. Organizing photos in Collections
      5m 57s
  6. 52m 52s
    1. Touring the Quick Fix workspace in the Editor
      8m 34s
    2. Applying Quick Fix lighting controls
      3m 33s
    3. Applying Quick Fix color controls
      6m 30s
    4. Applying Quick Fix sharpening
      3m 44s
    5. Using Quick Fix touchup tools
      7m 43s
    6. Fixing group shots in Guided Edit
      6m 25s
    7. Merging multiple exposures in Guided Edit
      7m 24s
    8. Applying the Scene Cleaner in Guided Edit
      6m 31s
    9. Running Automated Actions in Guided Edit
      2m 28s
  7. 30m 57s
    1. Touring the Full Edit workspace
      6m 5s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      4m 28s
    3. Arranging panels
      4m 14s
    4. Using tools
      8m 15s
    5. Setting editing preferences
      3m 8s
    6. Adjusting color settings
      4m 47s
  8. 46m 0s
    1. Using Undo History
      6m 6s
    2. Zooming and navigating
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a blank file
      5m 43s
    4. Photo resizing and resolution
      8m 21s
    5. Enlarging the canvas
      3m 10s
    6. Cropping and straightening an image
      3m 12s
    7. Using the Recompose tool
      3m 23s
    8. Processing multiple files
      6m 16s
    9. Saving and formats
      4m 11s
  9. 23m 25s
    1. Understanding layers
      3m 30s
    2. Working in the Layers panel
      8m 53s
    3. Combining images with layer masks
      11m 2s
  10. 22m 24s
    1. Understanding selections
      3m 39s
    2. Manual selection tools
      7m 36s
    3. Automatic selection tools
      3m 9s
    4. Refining a selection
      3m 59s
    5. Modifying and saving selections
      4m 1s
  11. 55m 51s
    1. Using adjustment layers
      9m 21s
    2. Adding a Levels adjustment layer
      4m 49s
    3. Applying a Shadows/Highlights adjustment
      3m 24s
    4. Adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      5m 30s
    5. Adjusting with Color Curves
      4m 3s
    6. Removing a color cast
      3m 55s
    7. Correcting skin tone
      2m 10s
    8. Reducing digital noise
      3m 44s
    9. Sharpening photos
      9m 42s
    10. Working with raw photos
      9m 13s
  12. 18m 58s
    1. Using the Smart Brush tool
      5m 20s
    2. Using the Detail Smart Brush tool
      3m 30s
    3. Dodging and burning
      1m 49s
    4. Healing blemishes
      3m 51s
    5. Removing content with the Clone Stamp tool
      3m 15s
    6. Removing red-eye
      1m 13s
  13. 26m 26s
    1. Applying filters
      5m 6s
    2. Adding effects
      3m 0s
    3. Using layer styles
      3m 36s
    4. Using shapes
      8m 25s
    5. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      2m 54s
    6. Converting color to black and white
      3m 25s
  14. 7m 35s
    1. Creating text
      4m 7s
    2. Editing text
      3m 28s
  15. 27m 26s
    1. Making a photo collage
      7m 15s
    2. Stitching a photo panorama
      3m 43s
    3. Saving for the web
      6m 40s
    4. Creating web galleries in Bridge
      6m 47s
    5. Creating a PDF slideshow
      3m 1s
  16. 4m 34s
    1. Printing photos and contact sheets
      2m 49s
    2. Sending photos by mail
      1m 45s
  17. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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