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Your digital camera can add tiny artifacts to a photo known as digital noise. You're most likely to see digital noise if your camera is set to a high ISO. That setting will make your camera sensor more sensitive to light so you can shoot in darker lighting conditions. But the trade-off is little color and grayscale specks that are known as digital noise. And these show up most in the dark areas of the scene. Fortunately, the Full Photo Edit workspace has a filter that can reduce some of that digital noise. To see the digital noise in a photo, you have to be at a 100% view.
Right now I'm zoomed out so I can see the whole photo in my document window. I'll zoom into a 100% by going to the toolbar and double-clicking the Zoom tool. Now I want to move the photo up in the document window so I can see some dark areas toward the bottom. So I'm going to hold down to Spacebar which changes my cursor to the Hand tool temporarily, and then I'll move down here and drag up until I can see the bottom of the photo. Then I'll release the Spacebar. Here you can see little specks of color and some grayscale specks as well; that are the digital noise in this photo which I shot with a high ISO.
I'm going to try applying the Reduce Noise filter. I'll go up to the Filter menu to the Noise category of filters and I'll choose Reduce Noise. In this dialog box, there is a large preview and the preview is set to a 100% by default. There are also some sliders I can use to reduce digital noise and you can see them set to their defaults now. To remind you of how the photo looked with no noise reduction, I'm going to take the Strength slider and drag it all the way to the left, and I'll drag the Reduce Color Noise slider to the left too.
So once again, you can see the noise in the photo. At first you mostly see color noise, so I'm going to start by reducing the color noise by dragging the Reduce Color Noise slider over to the right. I'll drag until I see a significant reduction in the color noise. So although I don't see many color specks now, I do still see some grayscale noise known as luminance noise, that's controlled by the Strength slider. I'll drag the Strength slider over to the right. Even though I have that slider pulled way over, I still see some luminance noise here, and that's because when you move the Strength slider, the Preserve Details slider goes with it.
The Preserve Details slider is trying to protect the details of the photo because otherwise, increasing the Strength slider would make all the details in the photo look soft. To show you that, I'll take that Preserve Details slider and move it all the way over to the left again, and you can see how soft the detail is here and down here with the Strength slider dragged over to the right. So I will increase the Preserve Details slider, and at this point I have to make a compromise between bringing back too much of the luminance noise down here and bringing back the details here.
Because the Preview checkbox is checked up here, I can also see the results of my settings out in the document window. Granted most of the photo is covered up, but I can see the bottom-right corner and I think it looks better than when I started. Now if you shoot JPEGs, you may sometimes see some blurry square patterns in your photos. If you do, you can try checking Remove JPEG Artifact and see if that helps. I shot this photo as a RAW file so I don't have that problem here. I'm satisfied with these results, so I'm going to click OK.
But if you ever want go back to the beginning, setting off your controls back to their defaults, you can hold down the Alt key on a PC or the Option key on a Mac, which changes the Cancel button to a Reset button and you can click that. I'll click OK to close this dialog box and here's the result at a 100% view in the document window. It's not perfect but I have managed to reduce some of the digital noise which was particularly visible in the shadow areas of the photo.
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