Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6
Illustration by John Hersey

Reducing noise and sharpening


Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6

with Chris Orwig

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Video: Reducing noise and sharpening

Now that we know a little bit about Noise Reduction, let's go ahead and take a look at how we can reduce noise and also sharpen our photographs. First, let's navigate to the Detail panel. Let's do that by way of that shortcut. It's Command+Option+3 on a Mac. That's Ctrl+Alt+3 on a PC. Next, let's zoom in to 100% on this photograph of a fashion shoot. Let's double-click the Zoom tool in order to zoom in on the image. Then let's press the Spacebar key to click and drag. And because we double-clicked on the Zoom tool, it took this image to 100%.
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  1. 8m 57s
    1. Welcome
    2. Should I use Adobe Camera Raw or Photoshop?
      3m 22s
    3. What is Camera Raw?
      3m 45s
    4. Using the exercise files
  2. 21m 7s
    1. Bridge overview and preferences
      4m 9s
    2. Camera Raw preferences
      3m 17s
    3. Raw vs. JPG or TIFF files
      3m 5s
    4. Choosing a native raw file or a digital negative (DNG)
      6m 13s
    5. Converting or saving to the DNG format
      4m 23s
  3. 28m 44s
    1. Project overview: Cover photo shoot
      2m 6s
    2. Auto-toning and correcting white balance
      3m 3s
    3. Cropping and composing
      2m 35s
    4. Enhancing color and tone
      2m 39s
    5. Removing distractions
      2m 46s
    6. Sharpening and noise reduction
      2m 29s
    7. Converting to black and white
      2m 24s
    8. Adding a vignette
      2m 10s
    9. Making a localized correction
      1m 45s
    10. Creating snapshots of memorable looks
      3m 11s
    11. Re-editing Camera Raw settings
    12. Working with multiple adjustments
      2m 39s
  4. 16m 13s
    1. Navigating the interface and the toolbar
      5m 5s
    2. Image adjustment tabs and panels
      5m 8s
    3. Using the histogram
      2m 4s
    4. Previewing before and after different adjustments
      2m 4s
    5. Working with multiple files
      1m 52s
  5. 23m 17s
    1. Opening raw files in Bridge
      6m 3s
    2. Opening JPGs and TIFFs in Bridge
      3m 28s
    3. Accessing Camera Raw from Mini Bridge
      2m 57s
    4. Resizing in Camera Raw with workflow options
      3m 35s
    5. Saving from Camera Raw
      3m 5s
    6. Opening an image as a Smart Object
      1m 41s
    7. Creating a duplicate file
      2m 28s
  6. 13m 56s
    1. Using the Crop and Straighten tools
      2m 23s
    2. Working with the Crop tool
      3m 39s
    3. Cropping with an aspect ratio
      2m 26s
    4. Composing with the Crop tool
      2m 33s
    5. Creative cropping
      2m 55s
  7. 10m 29s
    1. Improving color balance
      2m 23s
    2. Using the White Balance tool and controls
      1m 35s
    3. Color correcting with white balance cards
      2m 31s
    4. White balance vision and creativity
      2m 22s
    5. Color balance resources
      1m 38s
  8. 30m 17s
    1. Deconstructing the basic adjustments
      3m 59s
    2. Recovering highlights
      2m 29s
    3. Making basic exposure enhancements
      1m 59s
    4. Making basic adjustments more quickly
      2m 18s
    5. The relationship between tone and color
      2m 40s
    6. Enhancing color and tone
      1m 9s
    7. Demystifying clarity
      3m 36s
    8. Increasing clarity
      3m 48s
    9. Understanding Vibrance and Saturation
      2m 28s
    10. Improving color with Vibrance
      2m 4s
    11. Using Vibrance and Saturation together
      1m 38s
    12. Color creativity
      2m 9s
  9. 8m 55s
    1. Learning about the parametric and point tone curves
      4m 53s
    2. Using the parametric curve
      2m 7s
    3. Using the point curve
      1m 55s
  10. 15m 29s
    1. Removing blemishes on a face
      4m 36s
    2. Cloning away small background distractions
      3m 37s
    3. Removing distracting background elements
      1m 55s
    4. Cleaning up a studio background
      1m 31s
    5. Removing dust on the lens or the camera sensor
      2m 25s
    6. Removing red-eye
      1m 25s
  11. 46m 13s
    1. Demystifying the Adjustment Brush
      3m 37s
    2. Correcting exposure by brightening shadows
      2m 23s
    3. Painting an effect into a photograph
      4m 41s
    4. Increasing visual interest by brightening shadows
      4m 3s
    5. Increasing visual interest by heightening saturation
      5m 0s
    6. Whitening teeth
      3m 33s
    7. Adding color to makeup
      5m 58s
    8. Changing color
      4m 12s
    9. Selective sharpening
      6m 8s
    10. Eye sharpening and skin smoothing workflow
      4m 28s
    11. Creating custom Adjustment Brush presets
      2m 10s
  12. 11m 33s
    1. Enhancing the foreground and background of an image with the Graduated Filter
      4m 55s
    2. Reducing exposure with the Graduated Filter
      3m 15s
    3. Creative effects with the Graduated Filter
      3m 23s
  13. 33m 26s
    1. Noise reduction
      6m 33s
    2. Reducing noise and sharpening
      6m 36s
    3. Sharpening more effectively
      7m 18s
    4. Edge sharpening in an architectural photograph
      3m 1s
    5. Sharpening a portrait
      2m 3s
    6. Using the Detail panel to soften skin
      7m 55s
  14. 16m 18s
    1. Introducing HSL
      3m 38s
    2. Modifying color and tone
      3m 52s
    3. Enhancing a fashion photograph
      3m 5s
    4. Enhancing color and tone with HSL
      3m 16s
    5. Getting creative with color
      2m 27s
  15. 13m 59s
    1. The black-and-white controls
      2m 43s
    2. A simple black-and-white conversion
      2m 5s
    3. Using multiple panels to create a black-and-white image
      3m 52s
    4. Creating a dramatic black-and-white landscape
      5m 19s
  16. 6m 40s
    1. Traditional black-and-white toning
      3m 26s
    2. Toning a color photo creatively
      3m 14s
  17. 11m 17s
    1. Deconstructing the Lens Correction controls
      3m 48s
    2. Correcting lens vignette
      1m 59s
    3. Correcting lens vignette more quickly
      1m 21s
    4. Correcting chromatic aberration and defringing
      4m 9s
  18. 16m 30s
    1. Understanding the Effects controls
      5m 54s
    2. Using the Post Crop Vignette for creative effects
      3m 23s
    3. Adding film grain to a black-and-white image
      2m 18s
    4. Adding film grain with Camera Raw and Photoshop
      4m 55s
  19. 14m 4s
    1. Introducing the Camera Calibration panel
      3m 39s
    2. Comparing color options with Snapshot
      2m 47s
    3. Creative color with the Camera Calibration controls
      4m 48s
    4. Camera Calibration resources
      2m 50s
  20. 9m 41s
    1. Introducing presets
      2m 27s
    2. Applying presets to multiple images
      3m 9s
    3. Preset resources
      4m 5s
  21. 10m 0s
    1. Quick raw processing of multiple files
      4m 38s
    2. Recording an action
      3m 15s
    3. Batch processing multiple images
      2m 7s
  22. 13m 52s
    1. Creative vivid color
      3m 30s
    2. Working with split toning
      2m 14s
    3. Applying soft and warm colors
      1m 25s
    4. Adding warm, muted colors
      2m 28s
    5. Adding and reducing false color
      4m 15s
  23. 7m 58s
    1. Additional resources
      3m 11s
    2. Camera Raw and Lightroom
      4m 19s
    3. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6
6h 28m Appropriate for all May 24, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6, Chris Orwig provides in-depth training on Camera Raw 6, the CS5 component that enables photographers to open and manipulate images in non-destructive and now even more efficient ways. This course covers the benefits of the raw processing, which makes it possible to more precisely control an image's appearance—exposure, shadow and highlight detail, color balance, sharpness, and more—including new workflow procedures and technical concepts and issues. Learn the entire Camera Raw workflow, from opening and resizing, toning and cropping, to sharpening and saving. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Comparing Camera Raw and Photoshop
  • Understanding the differences between raw and JPEG or TIFF
  • Converting to the DNG format
  • Opening an image as a Smart Object
  • Working with the Crop and Straighten tools
  • Color correcting
  • Retouching blemishes
  • Reducing exposure with the Graduated Filter tool
  • Reducing noise and sharpening
  • Creative editing in Camera Raw
Photoshop Camera Raw
Chris Orwig

Reducing noise and sharpening

Now that we know a little bit about Noise Reduction, let's go ahead and take a look at how we can reduce noise and also sharpen our photographs. First, let's navigate to the Detail panel. Let's do that by way of that shortcut. It's Command+Option+3 on a Mac. That's Ctrl+Alt+3 on a PC. Next, let's zoom in to 100% on this photograph of a fashion shoot. Let's double-click the Zoom tool in order to zoom in on the image. Then let's press the Spacebar key to click and drag. And because we double-clicked on the Zoom tool, it took this image to 100%.

Now, here, one of the things that we can see is that there's quite a bit of luminosity and color noise in the background. One of the reasons why Noise Reduction and Sharpening are grouped together is because when we reduce noise, we are essentially softening the image. And then what we can do is add some Sharpening in order to compensate for that, or to add just a little bit of Sharpening, just because the file needs it. Yet sometimes, when we sharpen, we then exaggerate or add a bit of noise. So then we need to bounce back to our Noise Reduction.

We kind of do this back and forth dance between these two sets of controls in order to come up with some good results. What we know so far about Noise Reduction is that if we increase our Luminance amount, what we can do is really remove all the luminosity variants. Now, a lot of times we then need to add a little bit of color Noise Reduction. Already, this image is looking a ton better. We can of course dial in the appropriate amount of detail for that Luminance Noise Reduction. I want a little bit less detail here, little bit more Noise Reduction.

Then I will add a little bit of contrast, just to bring up the dimension or the shape. You will notice though that as you increase these different controls, you can bring back some more color. Let me exaggerate this for a second. Here you can see now my background, if we zoom in on it perhaps, you can see there's just a little bit of color variance here, which wasn't there when my contrast was lower. Now, of course it's going to be tough to see this in this movie, but you will have to look on your own images. So just if ever you notice that you bring something back, either with your Detail or with your Contrast slider, just go ahead and increase the Color amount a little bit more until it looks good. All right.

We will press the Spacebar key to realign that. Well, now that I have done this, I want to look at my before and after. I will do so by pressing the P key. Here we have our before and then our after. While this looks good in regards to noise, the image has become too soft. So I need to work on the Sharpening of the file. Here we have a number of different controls: Amount, Radius, Detail, and Masking. One of the things we will probably do first is we will increase the overall Amount or intensity of the Sharpening.

As we do that, we can see that these edges, or the edge detail, is becoming more prominent. We will also notice that it's starting to exaggerate some more of the noise. All right. Well, what about Radius? Well, for most images you are going to have a Radius less than 3. It's going to depend on the type of details that you have in your photographs. What this does is it extends the Sharpening out from a particular edge. So let's take a look at a lower Radius amount versus a high Radius amount. Take a look at the edge here on the top. I will zoom in on that.

Again, here's a low Radius. You can see the edge is pretty tight, and then here's a high Radius. It's extending out a little bit further there. So again, typically, we are going to want a pretty low Radius there. All right. I will double-click the Zoom tool, take it back to 100%. What about Detail? Well, Detail is really interesting! This will sharpen small details. And similar to this Detail slider, that if we drag to the left, that means less Detail. This slider works that same way. Drag it to the left, and we can see that those small Details now aren't sharpened.

Drag it all the way to the right. You can see that, yes, I am bringing Sharpening into the little tiny details, the texture in the file. So a lot of times what you will do is with people, you are going to have almost 0 amount of Detail, or a really low amount. With architecture or landscapes, you might crank that up a little bit. Next, we can increase this Masking amount in order to limit the Sharpening to particular areas. What this will do is it will slowly look at our image and just bring the Sharpening back to the edges. So as we increase Masking, the Sharpening is more focused on edge detail.

As we decrease that slider, it's more focused on the entire image. So here, I want to bring up just the Sharpening on the edges, so I will increase my Masking amount. Now, as we increase this Masking amount, and as it focuses more on the edges, we can also probably add a touch more of Sharpening here, in order to bring back some of those details. So far so good. Let's see how we are doing. We will press the P key. Here we have our before and now our after. So at this juncture, the image isn't soft, but we have the noise reduced.

Let's zoom in a little further, so you can see this. Here we have our before, and then now our after. So we were able to almost bring back all of that edge detail, a nice Sharpening effect that we had in the original file, that was softened once we did our Noise Reduction. So in this case, we have some really nice Detail, we have some really nice Noise Reduction, and this image is good to go. The only thing we might want to do is perhaps add just a touch more Detail Sharpening perhaps, just a point or two, maybe a little but more Sharpening if we want to bring some of that up.

Then here we have it, our before, and then after. Let's zoom back to 100%. We can do so by double-clicking the Zoom tool. Let's just click and pan around the image, so we can see a couple more details here. And then one more time, click on that Preview check box, before and after. That's some phenomenal Noise Reduction and Sharpening. I can say that because the Noise Reduction and the Sharpening inside of this latest version of Adobe Camera Raw is so much better than the previous version. Previously, the Sharpening and Noise Reduction became a little bit painterly.

What they have done is they have really rewritten how this works. What you will soon discover as you use this is it will help you come up with images that look just a ton better than they did previously in other versions of Camera Raw. So if you haven't yet experimented with these different controls, at this juncture, here's what I recommend. Go ahead and open up one of your own images and take what we have learned here in these last couple of movies and see if you can apply that to your own photographs, so that you can really start to become familiar with some of these controls and how they work.

Then once you spent a couple of minutes working on one of your own images, go ahead and rejoin me as we continue to dig into how we can work with these controls in even more efficient and effective ways.

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