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Thread: Noise reduction processes in CS4

  1. #1
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    Default Noise reduction processes in CS4

    I am looking for some useful ideas on effective background noise reduction processes in Photoshop. I know there is stuff online but I want to go away from Noise Ninja and thought someone might have a non-secret process they might share.

    Thanks
    Lucky
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  3. #2
    Tony Hansford Guest

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    Thanks for starting this. I have the same questions basically.
    I have been using Nik Dfine 2.0 but I find I have to mask out the subject or else it blows away all the feather details.

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    I generally just use either Neat Image or more often than not, simply using the blur tool (brush) at around 10-15% and gently applying a light blur to the background. I try to avoid overdoing it these days as too much noise reduction tends to make the backgrounds look a bit 'plasticy' I think.

  5. #4
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    There's a real simple one that requires no additional processing called expose to the right, always better to not generate noise in the first place. I agree with Richard, keep it to a minimum to much processing doesn't make for attractive BGs. What issue do you have with Noise Ninja?, seems to be quite a good plugin and works well for me.
    Chris Ross
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  6. #5
    Tony Hansford Guest

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    But Chris, on the weekend I was shooting a white sea eagle in a tree against a blue sky. I kept shoving the EC downwards to stop the highlight blinkies from blinking. I got to minus 2 & a bit and they were still blinking. The bird is exposed to the right as much as possible without blowing out the white plumage but the rest of the image is at least 2 stops under exposed. So background noise is going to be a problem isn't it?

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    Hi Tony, I'm having difficulty in following what you are saying but sounds interesting.
    What metering mode were you using? I'm presuming that the scene wasnt overcast if you were having such difficulty in retaining detail in your whites? Clear sky is pure light so shouldnt be noisier than your subject?

    To your initial query - Drawing out masks & blurring the background is time consuming and easy to spot in most cases.
    Have you tried Topaz denoise? The plug-in's not going to break the bank + works a fair bit better than neat image/noise ninja.
    I use it all the time

    Karl

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    Tony, it depends on the camera and how far you pull up the noise with your adjustments. Also in that case it may be better to let some highlights blow, which is telling you the brightness range in the scene was more than could reasonably be handled. It really is a juggling act in cases like this, do you want the highlights or the shadow detail? If the shadowed or highlight area area is small it may be OK. In the case of a perched bird you could blend two exposures taken in quick succession with highlight masks about two stops apart. The other option might be to change angle with respect to the bird, at certain illumination angles white plumage seems to be incredibly bright.

    If you're talking your 1DMkIII, it should handle it a lot better than a 1.6 crop camera.
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
    Instagram: @ausnaturalimages

  9. #8
    Tony Hansford Guest

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    Oops, sorry, it looks like I've hijacked the thread.

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    Tony, I will e-mail you a tutorial so you can understand shooting to the right. Chris is correct. If you have a dark bird against a bright sky there's no way to capture ALL the tones in ONE shot. It's impossible! If I have that situation, I will dial in overexposure (up to +3 stops) and shoot. I don't like to combine images really so if I blow the sky, so be it, as long as the bird stays well exposed - I am interested in photographing birds, not the sky and accept that sometimes a compromise needs to be made. You cannot have everything in one shot when you're dealing with tonal extremes. BTW, Neat Image works fine for me when I need to use it, but I need it less often because I shoot to the right and understand the way digital sensors work. Of course, the better camera bodies will handle noise far better than the lower models. That's how it is.

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  12. #10
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    I use Neat Image Lucky. Nothing secret sorry
    Cheers, Dave

    www.davidstowe.com.au WORKSHOPS

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  13. #11
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    I use Neat Image as well in Photoshop. Actually my process was developed from a fantastic tutorial by our very own Richard Hall, which appears on another site.

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