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Lightroom 4 Image Optimization Workshop
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Applying noise reduction


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Lightroom 4 Image Optimization Workshop

with Tim Grey

Video: Applying noise reduction

In many cases, noise can be a challenge in digital photography. Noise is the random variation of tonal or color values at the pixel level. And it's most prevelant in situations where we're using a high ISO setting which increases the amplification of the signal on the image sensor for the camera. Or under low lighting conditions with long exposures. There are a variety of things that can effect noise. But generally speaking, we'll want to minimize that noise as much as possible. I'm going to go ahead and zoom in on this image. I'll zoom to a 4 to 1 zoom setting. And we can see there's a fair amount of color noise in the image, some random color variations.
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  1. 1m 31s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
  2. 15m 9s
    1. Overview of the Develop module workflow
      3m 8s
    2. Evaluating images
      3m 26s
    3. Seeing a before-and-after view
      3m 40s
    4. Correcting mistakes with the History and Snapshot features
      4m 55s
  3. 20m 17s
    1. Starting with a Develop preset
      4m 9s
    2. White balance adjustment
      4m 8s
    3. Basic exposure controls
      3m 26s
    4. Highlights, shadows, whites, and blacks
      3m 15s
    5. Adding clarity to an image
      2m 15s
    6. Boosting colors with Vibrance and Saturation
      3m 4s
  4. 31m 39s
    1. Fine-tuning with the Tone Curve adjustment
      7m 22s
    2. Advanced color adjustments
      5m 5s
    3. Sharpening an image
      6m 33s
    4. The Graduated Filter tool
      5m 2s
    5. Painting adjustments into an image
      7m 37s
  5. 24m 11s
    1. Cleaning up blemishes
      5m 4s
    2. Cropping and straightening photos
      5m 55s
    3. Applying noise reduction
      3m 52s
    4. Lens correction adjustments
      6m 2s
    5. Removing red-eye
      3m 18s
  6. 18m 41s
    1. Creating virtual copies
      2m 52s
    2. Converting color into black and white
      3m 51s
    3. Adding a color tint
      2m 30s
    4. Split toning effects
      3m 20s
    5. Adding a vignette effect
      3m 56s
    6. Adding a film grain effect
      2m 12s
  7. 12m 31s
    1. Adjusting multiple images with Quick Develop
      2m 49s
    2. Duplicating the previous adjustment
      2m 38s
    3. Copying and pasting Develop settings
      3m 54s
    4. Synchronizing Develop settings
      3m 10s
  8. 17m 16s
    1. Basic Photoshop workflow
      5m 41s
    2. Stitching panoramas
      5m 1s
    3. Working with HDR images
      6m 34s

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Lightroom 4 Image Optimization Workshop
2h 21m Intermediate Apr 27, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this workshop digital imaging guru Tim Grey focuses on the Develop module of Adobe Lightroom 4. Starting with an overview of the image optimization workflow in Lightroom, Tim walks you through the process of evaluating your images and deciding what adjustments you need to make. He teaches you how to use the Develop module's presets to achieve quick results, as well as how to apply your own adjustments, from simple exposure and color adjustments to advanced options like the Tone Curve and the Graduated Filter tool. Learn techniques for cleaning up your images, applying creative adjustments, and duplicating adjustments across multiple images. Finally, get some tips for integrating Lightroom and Photoshop to create panoramas and high dynamic range images.

Topics include:
  • Evaluating images
  • Seeing a before and after view
  • Correcting mistakes with the History and Snapshot features
  • Develop module basics
  • Fine-tuning with the Tone Curve
  • Sharpening an image
  • Painting adjustments into an image
  • Image cleanup
  • Creative adjustments
  • Duplicating adjustments
Subjects:
Photography video2brain
Software:
Lightroom
Author:
Tim Grey

Applying noise reduction

In many cases, noise can be a challenge in digital photography. Noise is the random variation of tonal or color values at the pixel level. And it's most prevelant in situations where we're using a high ISO setting which increases the amplification of the signal on the image sensor for the camera. Or under low lighting conditions with long exposures. There are a variety of things that can effect noise. But generally speaking, we'll want to minimize that noise as much as possible. I'm going to go ahead and zoom in on this image. I'll zoom to a 4 to 1 zoom setting. And we can see there's a fair amount of color noise in the image, some random color variations.

And also some luminance noise, variations in the overall tonal values that should not be there. On the right panel in the Develop module, I can scroll down to the details section. This is where we are able to apply sharpening to the image, but we can also apply noise reduction to the image at the same time. Noise is exhibited either as illuminance variations, brightness variations between pixels, or color variations. Generally speaking, I would say that the color variations are more offensive. But of course, luminance noise can be a problem as well. Let's start off with the color noise since that's most obvious in this photo.

The controls here are actually quite simple. I can increase the Color Value, which is the Color Noise Reduction Value. And you will see quite clearly that color noise is being reduced rather significantly. Now, as we increase the Color Noise Reduction, we're actually averaging out color values. So, if we increase this value too much, we will actually see a reduction in the overall saturation in the photo which can be a bit problematic. So generally, we want to use the minimum value that produces a good effect within the image.

We'll often not be able to eliminate noise all together so it's more a matter of reducing it to an acceptable level. Once we've adjusted the Color Noise Reduction value, we can also adjust the Detail slider, and this determines how much detail enhancement will be applied. If I enhance too much detail, you can see that some of that noise starts to come back into the image. And if I reduce it too much, then we start to see a softening and a reduction in saturation for the image. So, we'll want to fine tune the balance for that Detail slider in order to produce the best result.

Next, we can turn our attention to luminance noise. Once again, those are variations in tonal values. And we can see some of that within the image here. If I increase the Luminance slider, you'll see that that noise starts to disappear, but you'll also see that detail starts to disappear. We start to see something of an out of focus effect in the image, which can be very problematic. And so, with the Luminance slider, it's even more important to make sure that we're using the minimum value that will actually produce a good result. We don't want to raise it too much.

So in this particular photo, I think, right about there will probably work out pretty well. We reduced the appearance of noise, but not softened the image too much. I can then fine tune the degree of detail that I want to preserve within the image moving to the left we'll see more of the softening effect. Moving to the right, we'll start to see a little bit more detail present within the photo. And we can also adjust contrast, obviously as we average out luminance value within the image. We can start to see a loss of contrast and so fine tuning that Contrast slider can help improve the effect to final result in the image. Obviously, whenever possible, it's best to avoid noise in the first place. Capture the lowest ISO setting possible try to avoid long exposures or getting your camera too hot.

But in situations where you simply can't avoid the noise, you can reduce the effect of that noise with these noise reduction controls in the Detail section of the right panel. Just keep in mind that you want to use the minimum amount for both luminance and color noise reduction production to achieve a good result, so that you're not adding new problems to your photos.

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