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In Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training, Jan Kabili highlights the key features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. She shows how to correct and enhance photographs, and how to organize a growing collection of digital photos. The course also explains how to use photos in creative projects like photo books, calendars, and greeting cards, and how to share work online and in print. Exercise files accompany the course.
When you shoot with a digital camera you're likely to see evidence of digital noise in your photographs. That's particularly true if you shot with a high ISO in your camera. You'll see that digital noise particularly in the dark shadow areas of the scene. In this case, I was shooting inside of a cave. So in order to get an exposure I had to ramp up the ISO and my camera to 3200, which is quite high. As a result, there's a lot of digital noise in this photo, but in order to see if I have to zoom in to 100%.
You may remember that there are several ways to zoom to 100%. I like to just double-click the Zoom tool, but another way to do that is with a Hand tool selected to click actual pixels or with the Zoom tool selected to click one-to-one. Then I am going to hold the Spacebar on my keyboard and click and drag to pan around in the image. As I get up to these dark areas of the scene I can really see a lot of digital noise in the form of these small dots of color.
So that you can see those better on the video I'll zoom in even further. Although, I really like to be at 100% to evaluate the amount of digital noise. To turn reduce this digital noise, I'm going to apply a filter here in the Full Edit workspace. I'll go up to the Filter menu and down to Noise and over to Reduce Noise. That opens the Reduce Noise dialog box. There is a nice big preview in this dialog box, but I also like to move this dialog box over so I can see some of the results over here in the document window as well.
The preview in the Reduce Noise dialog box is set to 100% by default. I can use a little + sign if I need to zoom in and a little - sign to zoom out. I'll leave that set to 100% for now for the most accurate view of the noise in the image. To reduce the noise, I'll go over to the right and use these sliders. I am going to start by taking the Strength slider all the way to 0 and the Reduce Color Noise slider to 0, so that I'm giving the image as it will look without any noise reduction.
Because the color noise is most prominent in this image, I'll start by trying to reduce it by dragging the Reduce Color Noise slider over to the right and I'll keep going until I see almost none of those little dots of color. I don't always have to go this far, but this is a pretty extreme example of color noise. Even with the dots of color reduced I still see grayscale noise in the form of dots of white and gray and black. I particularly can see that down here in this rock. To try to reduce that, I'm going to drag the Strength slider over to the right.
As I do, I see a reduction in that grayscale noise, but I'm also noticing that the image is getting a little bit blurrier here. To try to bring back some of the detail in the image I can try increasing the Preserve Detail slider. I don't want to go too far, because that will bring back some of the noise. So, there's always a compromise here between reducing noise and preserving details. There is one more check box that's not relevant to my image, because I didn't shoot as a JPEG, I shot this image is a RAW file.
But sometimes when you shoot JPEG you'll see some blurry squares in the JPEG image. Those are the result of the camera compressing the image into the JPEG format. You can try to reduce those JPEG artifacts by clicking this check box in the Reduce Noise Filter dialog box. When I'm done here, I'm going to click OK and then back in the image I'll go back to 100% by double-clicking the Zoom tool. Then I'll hold the Spacebar to change to the Hand tool temporarily and I move the image around in the window checking to see if I've successfully reduced the most egregious digital noise.
I think I have even in this extreme example. So, if you shoot with a high ISO setting in your camera and particularly if there are a lot of shadow areas or dark areas in your photo, be sure to check the photo at 100% view and apply the Reduce Noise Filter to eliminate some of the digital noise in the image.
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