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In this brief movie, I just want to highlight another important aspect of reducing noise and that is making selections or creating masks in order to reduce noise and just certain aspects of your photograph. In other words, what we can do here with this picture of the Disney Concert Hall is I can copy the Background layer by pressing Command+J or Ctrl+J, I'll go ahead and name this new lawyer noise. And then what I want to do is just select the sky because I don't need to reduce the noise on the structure, because there won't be much there.
But when it comes to skies, often, there's a lot of noise in those areas. So here I'll go ahead and use one of my selection tools, say, like Quick Select and just click and drag over the sky. Well, now that I have that selection made, I'll click on the Add layer Mask icon, so that on my top layer well I just have the sky itself. Next what I'm going to do is click into the layer. Notice how you can click to target the mask and you see the little brackets around it or the layer; you want to make sure you're on the layer itself.
Next, turn on the Background layer just so you can see this in context and then go ahead and navigate to your Filter. In this case, we'll go to Noise and Reduce Noise and what we'll be doing here is really just focusing in on the sky. So in this case, we can reduce this at a pretty high level. I don't need to preserve details really at all when a lot of that color noise out. Again, no need to sharpen any details; I can just crank this up, because what I really want to have is this nice smooth sky. Click on it to look at the before and after, and then in order to apply that, click OK.
Now with this image, we obviously worked on a really fixed area, yet you could also paint in the noise reduction to other areas as well. If ever you have a photograph where there's just noise in one area, well, either select that area or mask in the noise reduction to that area, and by doing that, you can reduce the noise and improve your pictures in specific ways.
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