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Photoshop has become an indispensible tool for photographers, designers, and all other creative professionals, as well as students. Photoshop CS4 Essential Training teaches a broad spectrum of core skills that are common to many creative fields: working with layers and selections; adjusting, manipulating, and retouching photos; painting; adding text; automating; preparing files for output; and more. Instructor Jan Kabili demonstrates established techniques as well as those made possible by some of the new features unique to Photoshop CS4. This course is indispensable to those who are new to the application, just learning this version, or expanding their skills. Example files accompany the course.
If you shoot with a digital camera and use a high ISO, or if you are shooting in dark circumstances, you are bound to get some digital noise in your photographs. Fortunately Photoshop has a pretty good Noise Reduction filter built-in. I am going to zoom into this image, so that you can see the noise in the backs of these seals, and you can see it's particularly prevalent in the shadows. To deal with this, I am going to come at the Filter menu at the top of the screen, go down to Noise and choose Reduce Noise. I could convert this file for Smart Filters first so that my filter would be re-editable.
But I have shown you that in other movies, so I am going to move right on to Reduce Noise. That opens this large dialog box where I see a preview of the image. As long as the Preview box is checked, I could also preview my image out here, but I just don't have room on my screen at the moment. I am going to start by taking all these sliders over to the left to see the image as it is without noise reduction. There are two kinds of digital noise. There is the colored noise that you see here, and then there is also grayscale luminance noise, which resembles film grain.
To try to reduce the color noise I will use the Reduce Color Noise slider, and I will drag it over until the color noise goes away. Because that blurs the image, I could sharpen details a bit, but I do prefer to do most of my sharpening in the Sharpen dialog boxes. If this image had been compressed in a camera or in Photoshop as a JPEG, it might have gotten some square looking artifacts. I can try to remove those by checking Remove JPEG Artifact. But that's not the case for this image, so I will leave that unchecked. Now I still can see some grain here and that's the kind of luminance noise that this slider, the Strength slider, can help with.
I am going to take that slider and move over to the right. Now just as I do that Preserve Details comes on, because what this slider does is add quite a bit of blur to the image. And as I move to the right, I can see some of that luminance noise going away and smoothing out. There is an Advanced tab here too. The main difference there is that it allows you to deal with noise on a per channel basis. So, you can look through the Channels here to see how much noise is in each and then you can vary the Strength slider for individual channels.
In most cases, you will find most of your noise in the Blue Channel, but I am not going to do that now. I am just going to click OK and back in my image, I can see that I have improved the noise situation somewhat although it's not perfect. I will press Command Z on a Mac, that's Ctrl+Z on a PC, to show you how the image looked with the noise and how it looks after noise reduction.
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