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Adding grain to hide artifacts

From: Noise Reduction and Sharpening in Lightroom and Photoshop

Video: Adding grain to hide artifacts

Light room and Camera Raw have the ability to add grain to a photo. So for a lot of folks, if you come into Way down here in the effects.

Adding grain to hide artifacts

Light room and Camera Raw have the ability to add grain to a photo. Now this might seem counter to everything that we're talking about with reducing noise and sharpening, but it has its place, and it might surprise you what its used for. So for a lot of folks, if you come into the develop module, and you see that there's additive grain. Way down here in the effects. You might think that this is a good area to replicate a film stock and you could do that. You could make this look like old grainy film but that's really not the intent. The intent here is that why I have an image that I've taken about as far as I can.

So an image like this, I've already gotten out as much noise as possible, there's not that much I can do with it. So at this point, it actually helps to sort of embrace it, and one of the ways to not think about the artifacts, are to throw in some uniform artifacts. So, if I just throw in a little bit of grain, you see it's actually distracting, and it kind of warms up the image. I can play around with the size of that grain. You can play around with the roughness of that grain. Now where I think this becomes the most useful is, let me hit my G key, and come back to the grid.

I have another file that's also pretty low res, but it's really different. You can see the structure of this file is very different. This file looks a lot smoother, alright? So if I select both of those. And we come in here to our Compare mode, and we zoom in. We'll see that they really look quite a bit different. So let's go ahead a sync the grain from one over to the other. First I'm going to select the image that I adjusted. Then I'm going to select the other one. I'm going to come over here to Sync Settings.

I'm going to make sure everything is unchecked, only grain. So if everything was checked it would look like that. If nothing was checked it would look like that. And all I want to do is add the grain. I'm going to synchronize that, and now if I come over to this image and zoom in, it's got the same uniform grain as the other. If these images are sitting side by side in a book, if they are way different ISO. Especially if they're composites adding a little bit of grain will really help out by bringing some consistency to the files.

It's counterintuitive because we think about removing these artifacts but there are times when adding them back in, especially on low resolution files like this can establish some inconsistency between them.

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