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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 29 Jan 2011 (Saturday) 10:30
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Noise Removal tips?

 
noahcomet
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Jan 29, 2011 10:30 |  #1

Hi,

Just wondering if anyone has advice on how best to reduce noise. Right now I use the RAW processor in Elements, but the noise-removal tends to soften the pics. Even if I "preserve detail," I'm not quite happy with the effect.

I usually do bird photography and am concerned with noticeable noise in the sky-backdrop of my pics---on the subject itself, the bird, the noise isn't really an issue (which is to say that it's not as noticeable, since the bird has a more variegated surface). Is there a recommended way to isolate the noise removal to certain parts of the frame? I know this can be done in Elements proper by using layers, but I'm wondering particularly about doing it to the RAW image, since I think the noise reduction is smoother in RAW than with JPG. Is there a better piece of software I should use just for noise?

Thanks!


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tonylong
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Jan 29, 2011 10:35 |  #2

I haven't used Elements in a few years -- if the version of Elements you're using is 8 or 9 does it have the local adjustment brushes?


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noahcomet
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Jan 29, 2011 10:54 |  #3

It does, I believe, in the regular window for JPG editing, but not in the RAW editor. Guess what I'm wondering really is: is there a RAW editor with local noise-removal capabilities?


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Rimmer
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Jan 29, 2011 11:12 |  #4

noahcomet wrote in post #11737171 (external link)
It does, I believe, in the regular window for JPG editing, but not in the RAW editor. Guess what I'm wondering really is: is there a RAW editor with local noise-removal capabilities?

Sort of ... You can't mask or brush selected areas, but the Masking slider in Adobe Camera RAW can be a big help, especially with things like sky. Select the Detail tab (the middle one; looks like two triangles). Hold down the Alt key and grab the Masking slider and start increasing the value. You will begin to see the flatter, less detailed areas of your image turn dark. These areas are being masked against the effects of sharpening. Works great on areas of sky.

You can use the Alt key with the other Sharpening sliders too, to judge their effects. One note: with Elements 9 you don't have to be zoomed to do this, I don't recall for earlier versions. If this isn't working for you then zoom to 100% first.

With a little effort you should be able to balance the effects of sharpening and masking in ACR.


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tzalman
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Jan 29, 2011 11:40 |  #5

is there a RAW editor with local noise-removal capabilities?

Lightroom.


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tonylong
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Jan 29, 2011 11:48 |  #6

tzalman wrote in post #11737346 (external link)
Lightroom.

Yeah, this is what I don't know -- Lightroom and Camera Raw in CS4/CS5 have the local adjustment brush that can selectively apply noise reduction/sharpening -- does Elements have that or not?


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D ­ Thompson
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Jan 29, 2011 12:17 |  #7

tonylong wrote in post #11737390 (external link)
Yeah, this is what I don't know -- Lightroom and Camera Raw in CS4/CS5 have the local adjustment brush that can selectively apply noise reduction/sharpening -- does Elements have that or not?

While ACR has the local adjustment brush, there is not a noise option with it. The only place I know of is under the Detail tab and the noise reduction is applied globally. I guess you could apply the noise reduction in ACR and open as a smart object and mask out the area you didn't want it applied to. Does Elements use smart objects?


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D ­ Thompson
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Jan 29, 2011 12:22 |  #8

Rimmer wrote in post #11737225 (external link)
You can't mask or brush selected areas, but the Masking slider in Adobe Camera RAW can be a big help, especially with things like sky.

It works great for sharpening, but not trying to mask the noise reduction like the OP is questioning.


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TheLostVertex
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Jan 29, 2011 12:31 |  #9

tzalman wrote in post #11737346 (external link)
Lightroom.

Lightroom does not have local noise reduction. You can always desharpen or lower clarity to blur out noise, but that is not the same as noise reduction really.

Aperture has local noise reduction brushes in it. But they suck and are effectively useless, not much of a solution.

The best option to reduce noise in ACR/LR locally is to grab an adjustment brush and set its sharpness to -100 or what ever it goes to. It will stop the sharpening of the noise and help soften it a little bit.


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René ­ Damkot
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Jan 29, 2011 12:38 |  #10

noahcomet wrote in post #11737081 (external link)
Right now I use the RAW processor in Elements, but the noise-removal tends to soften the pics. Even if I "preserve detail," I'm not quite happy with the effect.

What version Elements? Mac or PC?

Also: don't be too concerned with noise. On any modern camera, NR is unnecessary IMO up to and including ISO 1600 if you expose well.


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TGrundvig
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Jan 29, 2011 12:46 |  #11

Not sure if this will help the OP, but if I want to spot treat noise I duplicate the background layer, apply DeNoise to the new layer, then use the brush tool or Opacity to apply the NR where I want it. Since Elements has Layer Masks, this should work. Or, you can duplicate the background layer, convert it to black, apply NR, and paint in where you want it applied (sky, etc).


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Swift
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Jan 29, 2011 12:50 |  #12

I leave the noise.

Why not? When I resize to 800x600 it's not even noticeable.


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noahcomet
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Jan 29, 2011 13:43 |  #13

These have been really helpful replies---thank you. I never even knew about the ALT-masking in RAW mode before! So much to learn.


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Rimmer
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Jan 29, 2011 17:14 |  #14

D Thompson wrote in post #11737549 (external link)
It works great for sharpening, but not trying to mask the noise reduction like the OP is questioning.

Yes, thanks for the correction. For some reason I got the idea he was asking about sharpening. I guess I was thinking that if the sky is already noisy that sharpening will just make it worse, but that wasn't his question. :oops:


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Noise Removal tips?
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