bricejohnson
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:35 am

Noise And Grain Reduction?

Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:13 am

Hey All.

I am currently using Photoshop cs5 and PSE 10 for sharpening, grain/noise reduction, contrast, etc.

I am not sure how to get the best out of the noise reduction in cs5 or Elements, as neither of them seem to work very well, or am I using them incorrectly?

Also, any suggestions from the pros with regard to what sharpening tool I should use? FYI: I am using a Nikon D3100. My pics are getting rejected with "grain" "quality" and "Soft" as the most common.

Thanks.
Calvin
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Noise And Grain Reduction?

Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:20 am

Hard to comment without examples, but, given decent light, images should need very little processing. If you need to make lots of adjustments, it is perhaps more appropriate to consider how to improve the original image.

Post processing should not be seen as a fix, but rather a method of fine tuning an already decent image.

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
bricejohnson
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:35 am

RE: Noise And Grain Reduction?

Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:22 am

Thanks for the response Colin. What sort of camera do you use, and what are your processing techniques?
Calvin
 
vikkyvik
Posts: 11860
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:58 pm

RE: Noise And Grain Reduction?

Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:36 am

Quoting ckw (Reply 1):
Post processing should not be seen as a fix, but rather a method of fine tuning an already decent image.

Yes and no. I've certainly taken many photos where I know that I'll need/want to do this or that in post-processing. Of course there's HDR and other composites, but also I'll take photos at ISO2000+ sometimes, and there's usually no way I'll get anything usable without some decent NR. Of course, I don't usually upload those photos to A.net....

It is perhaps just differing viewpoints on photography, as has been suggested many times. I certainly try to get my raw image as close as I can, but it's not always entirely possible.

Quoting BriceJohnson (Thread starter):
I am not sure how to get the best out of the noise reduction in cs5 or Elements, as neither of them seem to work very well, or am I using them incorrectly?

Hmmm, I find CS5 wonderful for noise reduction. However, note that I'm talking about NR on a RAW file. I find it quite good for that.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Noise And Grain Reduction?

Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:54 am

Quoting BriceJohnson (Reply 2):
What sort of camera do you use, and what are your processing techniques?

Sorry Brian, what you're asking would require an essay! I've owned/used most of Canon's DSLRs since the original D30, plus a few m4/3 models. Currently using a 5D3 and an OMD-5 (following the death by water of my 7D).

As to processing, again the devil's in the detail, and the key points will differ according to the lighting, ISO, lens used etc.

However I guess the rules start at the point of composition - I always shoot with my experience of what I can do in post-processing in mind. So for instance composition is based on how I may want to crop the image later, exposure based on the noise characteristics of the camera - eg. the 7D is very intolerent of underexposure, so my exposures were always on the generous side. The 5D lets you get away with murder.

I always shoot RAW. More time consuming I know, but gives a lot more flexibility. I use PS CS5 and ACR 6.7

1- Basic exposure adjustments, noise reduction (if needed) and cropping are all done in RAW. I may adjust the color balance or fine tune particular colours in RAW as well. If lens correction (esp. for WA) is needed, this is done in RAW.

2 - Import into PS as a 16bit image (at this point I'm using the ProPhoto color space to keep as much data as possible

3 - Adjust the tone curve. This varies from image to image, but as a general rule I tend to use a bit of an S curve (darken the shadows, brighten highlights) to give the image a little more punch - that's a matter of taste, but I do notice that the mags seem to like this, and will often add a bit more to my images. Note - its always possible for a publisher to add contrast, sharpness etc., but difficult to take it away!

4 - Sharpen. Now my personal view is that A.net images are oversharp, so perhaps not best to listen to me but I get the results I want using smart sharpen. Settings will vary depending on camera and lens, but my starting point is amount 100 radius 1.6

5 - and that's it. Save as sRGB jpg

Now I should stress I stopped shooting for A.net some time ago. The only acceptance criteria I worry about is whether the image is suitable for publication. I'm sure others will have cleverer, more sophisticated methods. Indeed, back in the days of film scanning I got very anal about this sort of thing - even wrote a suites of sharpening scripts for PS.

These days, I'm more of a keep it simple, less is more kinda guy. In part, this is because I'm often shooting to deadlines on assignment . This means getting as much right as possible in camera. I shoot a LOT of exposures, bracket exposures, vary the DOF etc. The idea is to get a frame that will take minimal work in post, as that's where the real time and effort comes in.

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
viv
Posts: 2953
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 5:17 pm

RE: Noise And Grain Reduction?

Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:26 pm

Quoting ckw (Reply 1):
iven decent light, images should need very little processing. If you need to make lots of adjustments, it is perhaps more appropriate to consider how to improve the original image.

Post processing should not be seen as a fix, but rather a method of fine tuning an already decent image.

Quite right.
Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
 
sovietjet
Posts: 2549
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2003 12:32 am

RE: Noise And Grain Reduction?

Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:51 pm

Yes, but the light is not always decent. I think anyone can take a photo on a nice sunny day with the sun behind you and have no trouble editing with just a few minor adjustments and no need for noise reduction. I think what the OP might have in mind is those days or situations when the light is not ideal, the ISO is not low, the editing is more tricky, etc...and wants to know how to suppress the inevitable noise increase during these situations.

That being said, I use Neat Image. You can have it integrated into photoshop and it does everything pretty much automatically. All you have to do is tell it how aggressive to be in noise reduction as you don't want to "wash out" your photos.
 
bricejohnson
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:35 am

RE: Noise And Grain Reduction?

Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:34 am

Could someone tell me how to properly sharpen and do NR in cs5 or Elements?

Thanks.
Calvin
 
vikkyvik
Posts: 11860
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:58 pm

RE: Noise And Grain Reduction?

Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:39 am

Quoting sovietjet (Reply 6):
Yes, but the light is not always decent. I think anyone can take a photo on a nice sunny day with the sun behind you and have no trouble editing with just a few minor adjustments and no need for noise reduction. I think what the OP might have in mind is those days or situations when the light is not ideal, the ISO is not low, the editing is more tricky, etc...and wants to know how to suppress the inevitable noise increase during these situations.

  

Quoting BriceJohnson (Reply 7):
Could someone tell me how to properly sharpen and do NR in cs5 or Elements?

There's no "proper" way as such - everyone will have a different technique. We can only tell you what we do.

To start with, are you doing this on a RAW file or a JPEG?
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".

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