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One of the things that can happen when you shoot a digital image is you can sometimes get color noise artifacts. If I zoom into 100% here, Command+1, Ctrl+1, you can see right away in the shadow areas, we are seeing this random red, green, and blue pixels muddying up our shadows. This can happen when you are shooting with high speed ISO or with the Telephoto Lens in low light or a couple of different scenarios there. What we want to do is get rid of the Color Noise here and just eliminate it so we see the image instead of seeing the distracting colors here. So to begin, we are going to go ahead and duplicate this layer. I want to name the duplicate as I make it, so Command+Option+J or Ctrl +Alt+J. We'll go ahead and name this Remove Color Noise. Great, and then we are going to set our blend mode to Color.
I am going to go ahead and change the blend mode to Color here from the pop-up list and then we'll go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. The trick here is to only blur it as much as really necessary. I'm going to take it all way back to the smallest number and you can see that there is still some noise there and we are just going to go ahead and crank up that slider and little increments until we don't notice the random red, green, and blue pixels anymore. Each image is going to use a slightly different value depending on the resolution and level the detail there but it looks like, about 4 pixels here that works for this particular image. I can hold down the Spacebar when I put my mouse outside of the dialog and pane around to kind of check at other areas, and yeah, that's looking pretty good.
So here is before, I'll turn the Preview check box off, there is before and there is after, maybe I'll zoom up one more time so you can see it better, Command+Plus, Ctrl+Plus, hold down space to zoom or pane around. Here is the Preview check box. We'll turn that off. There you can see the pattern pretty distinctly here. We'll turn Preview back on and you can see, we've pretty much eliminated the random red, green, and blue pixels. Now you still do see some luminance noise. That's that little green pattern there. We are going to go ahead and keep that. That's all right. We are just trying to get rid of the random colors that are kind of poisoning our image so to speak.
Great, I'm pretty happy with that, click OK. Let's fit to Window+Command+0 and there you have it. So pretty easy technique to remove Color Noise. Just dupe the layer, set it's blend mode to Color and then just blur it until that noise pattern disappears.
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