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Reducing noise

From: Photoshop Elements 11 Essentials: 02 Editing and Retouching Photos

Video: Reducing noise

If you set your camera to a high ISO, you have the advantage of being able to shoot in dim light without a flash, either outdoors or indoors. But the downside of shooting with a high ISO is that you'll often capture more digital noise than you want. In this movie, I am going to show you how to reduce digital noise using the Reduce Noise filter in the Expert Edit workspace. You really can't judge the digital noise in an image unless you're viewing the image at a 100%. So I'm going to double click the Zoom tool, and when I do, you can see these little specks of color and some specks of grayscale as well.

Reducing noise

If you set your camera to a high ISO, you have the advantage of being able to shoot in dim light without a flash, either outdoors or indoors. But the downside of shooting with a high ISO is that you'll often capture more digital noise than you want. In this movie, I am going to show you how to reduce digital noise using the Reduce Noise filter in the Expert Edit workspace. You really can't judge the digital noise in an image unless you're viewing the image at a 100%. So I'm going to double click the Zoom tool, and when I do, you can see these little specks of color and some specks of grayscale as well.

Those are digital noise, and that's what I want to reduce. If I take the Hand tool and I click and drag around the image, I can see that there are specks of color and black and white noise throughout the image. So I'm going to go ahead and open the Reduce Noise filter by going to the Filter menu and I'll go down to Noise, and I'll choose Reduce Noise. That opens the large Reduce Noise dialog box. Over on the left is a large preview of part of the image, it's set to 100% view, which is what I want when I'm trying to see the digital noise in the image.

I'm going to click and drag in that preview to take it over to another part of the image. Now you can see that some of the digital noise has been reduced already, and that's because of the default settings of these sliders. I'm going to take each slider and move it over to 0 to start, and I'll uncheck Remove JPEG Artifact. So that's the original amount of noise in the image, which you can see here in the dialog box as well is out here in the image. I'll start by moving the Reduce Color Noise slider over to the right.

And I'm going to move it until I no longer see those colored specks in the preview or add a new document window. But all of the digital noise isn't gone yet. Especially over here, you can see that there are still some black and white specks. To reduce those, I'll take the Strength slider and I'll drag that over to the right. Notice that as I drag this slider the image is getting softer, kind of blurry. So at that point I'll take the Preserve Details slider and move that over to the right to try to bring some detail back into the image.

Now this is always a compromise, because as I drag Preserve Details to the right, I'm bringing back some luminance noise. So I'll take it to about there and I'll also check Remove JPEG Artifact. The JPEG compression algorithm creates squares of color, and you can sometimes see those in an image, and sometimes checking Remove JPEG Artifact can minimize those. When I'm satisfied with the result I'll click OK and it takes me back out to the document window and applies the filter. And here in the document window I'll drag around to make sure that I've reduce the noise in all the areas about which I'm most concerned in this photo.

So that's how you can reduce both color and luminance noise using the Reduce Noise filter in the Expert Edit workspace.

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This video is part of

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  1. 6m 14s
    1. Welcome
      1m 10s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 30s
    3. Overview of the editing workspaces
      3m 34s
  2. 43m 14s
    1. Touring the interface
      4m 21s
    2. Making the most of the tools in Elements
      4m 6s
    3. Arranging the panels
      4m 32s
    4. Zooming and panning
      4m 3s
    5. Viewing multiple photos
      3m 51s
    6. Undoing
      5m 15s
    7. Cropping
      3m 46s
    8. Resizing
      7m 18s
    9. Saving images and examining formats
      6m 2s
  3. 19m 23s
    1. Understanding layers
      7m 59s
    2. Managing layers in the Layers panel
      4m 33s
    3. Creating new layers
      6m 51s
  4. 38m 28s
    1. Why use selections?
      4m 20s
    2. Selecting with the marquee tools
      3m 56s
    3. Selecting with the lasso tools
      6m 40s
    4. Selecting by color and tone
      6m 22s
    5. Refining a selection
      4m 51s
    6. Selecting hair
      5m 42s
    7. Hiding content with a layer mask
      6m 37s
  5. 46m 54s
    1. Why use adjustment layers?
      5m 15s
    2. Adjusting color with a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      4m 32s
    3. Correcting lighting with a Levels adjustment layer
      3m 32s
    4. Adjusting part of an image with an adjustment layer
      5m 19s
    5. Exploring auto adjustments
      3m 55s
    6. Improving shadows and highlights
      2m 14s
    7. Removing a color cast
      1m 47s
    8. Fine-tuning with Color Curves
      3m 16s
    9. Converting to black and white
      2m 26s
    10. Correcting camera distortion
      5m 32s
    11. Reducing noise
      2m 56s
    12. Sharpening
      6m 10s
  6. 20m 51s
    1. Creating a panorama
      5m 6s
    2. Merging bracketed exposures
      6m 0s
    3. Removing people from a scene
      5m 25s
    4. Combining group shots
      4m 20s
  7. 29m 24s
    1. Removing blemishes
      3m 42s
    2. Reducing wrinkles and circles
      4m 16s
    3. Enhancing eyes
      5m 19s
    4. Removing red-eye
      3m 15s
    5. Adjusting skin tone
      2m 21s
    6. Removing dust spots
      4m 7s
    7. Removing content
      6m 24s
  8. 52m 36s
    1. What is Camera Raw?
      5m 18s
    2. Using the latest Camera Raw controls
      3m 16s
    3. Camera Raw basics
      6m 22s
    4. Making use of the histogram
      3m 45s
    5. Setting white balance
      3m 44s
    6. Adjusting lighting
      4m 28s
    7. Adjusting color saturation
      2m 9s
    8. Cropping and straightening
      3m 58s
    9. Reducing noise
      3m 33s
    10. Sharpening
      3m 38s
    11. Synchronizing edits to multiple photos
      3m 36s
    12. Outputting from Camera Raw
      6m 14s
    13. Using Camera Raw with JPEGs
      2m 35s
  9. 48s
    1. Next steps
      48s

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