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Introducing noise reduction

From: Lightroom 3 New Features

Video: Introducing noise reduction

Digital photography continues to advance at an incredible speed. One of the things that we've discovered in regards to digital capture is that the megapixel wars are over, and the new frontier has to do with light sensitivity and high ISO capabilities, which give us the ability to capture images in really low-light situations. Here we have a photograph which was captured in a low-light scenario. What I want to do here is navigate to the Detail panel. In the Detail panel, you'll notice there is a little warning icon.

Introducing noise reduction

Digital photography continues to advance at an incredible speed. One of the things that we've discovered in regards to digital capture is that the megapixel wars are over, and the new frontier has to do with light sensitivity and high ISO capabilities, which give us the ability to capture images in really low-light situations. Here we have a photograph which was captured in a low-light scenario. What I want to do here is navigate to the Detail panel. In the Detail panel, you'll notice there is a little warning icon.

If we click on this icon, it will zoom the image into 100%, so that we can see a one-to-one perspective of this photograph. Now, one of the things that happens when we capture images with a high ISO in these low-light scenarios is that we'll find our images have a lot of noise in the background. We'll have some luminance noise, which has to do with the Brightness value, and also some color noise. Also, we'll notice that the image will be a little bit soft. So, here what I want to do is deconstruct some of our new Noise Reduction controls inside of Lightroom.

First, let's go ahead and lower the Luminance amount and also the Color amount, so that we bring back all of the native noise to this particular file. Now, one of the things that I mentioned is that all of our new cameras now have this capability to capture images with this really amazing high ISO capability, yet what typically happens is that brings in noise and softness. So, what we need is we need a tool in postproduction that can help us effectively process our images, so that they can look really good.

Now, here's where we discover where Lightroom is incredibly strong. What they've done with these Noise Reduction controls is not only given us more control in regards to adding more sliders here, but they've also completely redone/rebuilt how Noise Reduction works. Let's deconstruct the sliders. Well, one of the things we notice we can do is change the Luminance amount. As I increase the Luminance, it all of a sudden turns on the Detail and Contrast sliders. The more Luminance value here, we're going to see less luminance variation in the background.

We can see the before and after by clicking on the switch. Here is before, and then here's after. Again, much less variation there in the background. We can also use this slider to look at our before and after as well. Well, how does Detail work? Well, like with Sharpening, a low Detail amount means there is going to be little detail in the background, i.e. the image will appear more soft. As we increase that Detail amount, we're going to see that a lot of those details will come back in the background. This is really helpful, especially because in previous versions of Lightroom what would happen is that we would increase the Luminance value and the image would become too soft.

It wouldn't look very good. It was a little bit too surreal. All right. Well, how then does Contrast work? Well, what you can do with Contrast is if you notice you're losing shape, kind of contour or dimension, you can bring up your Contrast slider to bring back some of that. All right. Well, so far we've deconstructed luminance. What about color noise? Well, you'll notice there are a lot of different color artifacts in the background here, on the face and the glasses, and also in the shadow areas. Well, the Color Noise Reduction will allow us to remove those really quickly, and again, let's exaggerate.

With a high amount of color noise, we can see that all the color variation has now been removed. The Detail slider, well, it's going to bring details back into those color areas. Here we have no Detail brought in to these different areas, and then as we increase that what we'll see is it will bring back little details there in the areas which were most affected by the Color Noise Reduction. Now, of course, whenever you're reducing noise, you want to think of using all of these sliders together, because what will happen is how far you go with your color noise will also affect how far you may want to go with your luminance noise.

You'll go back and forth between these different controls in order to dial in the exact effect that you're interested in creating. All right! Well, now that we've deconstructed how to work with the Noise Reduction and the Sharpening controls, let's explore how we can apply an appropriate amount of sharpening and we'll do that in the next movie. Yet before we leave this movie, let's go ahead and reset the Noise Reduction. We can do that by pressing Option on a Mac, Alt on Windows, and then clicking right here where it says Reset Noise Reduction.

That will then bring those all to their default values. Now, in the next movie, we can start with this image with all of these default settings, and then dial in an appropriate amount of sharpening and noise reduction.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Lightroom 3 New Features
Lightroom 3 New Features

53 video lessons · 9314 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 14m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 26s
    2. Comparing Lightroom 2 with Lightroom 3
      12m 27s
    3. Using the exercise files
      48s
  2. 20m 32s
    1. Introducing the Import dialog
      5m 54s
    2. Importing photos and movies from a CF card
      6m 31s
    3. Adding and importing photos from a folder
      3m 51s
    4. Synchronizing and finding missing photos
      4m 16s
  3. 34m 46s
    1. Filtering photos
      4m 0s
    2. Working with collections
      5m 1s
    3. Modifying image and thumbnail overlays
      3m 17s
    4. Crop presets and overlays
      5m 43s
    5. Using Auto Sync
      5m 33s
    6. Working with movies
      7m 13s
    7. Using Smart Collections for video files
      2m 10s
    8. Focal length filtering and Smart Collections
      1m 49s
  4. 19m 10s
    1. Setting up Flickr publishing services
      3m 47s
    2. Uploading photos to Flickr
      3m 4s
    3. Publishing to a Flickr Photoset
      3m 56s
    4. Publishing to a folder
      5m 11s
    5. Publishing to a Smart Folder or Smart Photoset
      3m 12s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. How sharpening works in Lightroom 3
      4m 48s
    2. Introducing noise reduction
      4m 45s
    3. Applying sharpening and noise reduction
      8m 23s
    4. Adding a grain effect
      4m 31s
    5. Using the Collections panel
      5m 42s
    6. The Adjustment Brush
      5m 48s
    7. The Graduated filter
      2m 10s
    8. Adding a vignette
      5m 45s
    9. Improvements to the Crop tool
      1m 59s
    10. Quickly changing crop orientation
      1m 40s
    11. Understanding the Point Tone Curve
      3m 10s
    12. Improving images with the Point Tone Curve
      4m 2s
    13. Using the Lens Correction controls
      5m 46s
    14. Enhancing images with Lens Correction
      3m 6s
  6. 5m 16s
    1. Adding audio to a slideshow
      5m 16s
  7. 11m 13s
    1. Introducing the custom print package
      3m 42s
    2. Working with the custom print package
      7m 31s
  8. 8m 46s
    1. Introducing tethered shooting
      2m 12s
    2. Working with tethered shooting
      6m 34s
  9. 7m 41s
    1. Optimizing and backing up a catalog
      2m 49s
    2. Upgrading Lightroom 2 catalogs
      2m 13s
    3. Working with legacy Lightroom files
      2m 39s
  10. 27m 21s
    1. New presets in the Develop, Web, and Print modules
      3m 26s
    2. Importing and working with CMYK images
      5m 55s
    3. Bonus workflow tips
      4m 51s
    4. Adding watermarks in the Print, Slideshow, and Web modules
      1m 20s
    5. Making creative watermarks
      3m 20s
    6. IPTC Extension metadata
      1m 16s
    7. Exporting by file size and with watermarks
      1m 51s
    8. Exporting collections
      3m 22s
    9. Ejecting an external hard drive
      2m 0s
  11. 1m 44s
    1. Additional resources
      1m 15s
    2. What's next
      29s

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