Depending on what you want, digital noise can be something you deliberately want to use in your images to achieve an artistic look. Or this noise might be something you want to get removed (in most cases you do). This particular article will be a tutorial guide on how to reduce digital noise using Photoshop.
Digital noise is a common issue that mainly occurs during shooting. In low light environments, the camera ISO needs to be increased to brighten up the image. The more you increase the ISO, the more noise gets added to the image. Also, noise/grains can be introduced because of intense lights hitting the camera lens while shooting, which mainly occurs in outdoor scenarios.
We have written this article as a simple and straightforward guide rather than walking you through a more complicated process. You will be able to follow this article in any standard version of Photoshop.
Steps for editing the image
Here is the image that we will be using. You can download any image from free stock sites like Unsplash or Pixabay. Make sure the image you download has enough visible grains for you to work on. Now, open it in Photoshop and zoom into the grains.
Now, create a copy of the image by selecting the layer and hitting CTRL + J. By default, it will be named layer 1. We will keep it that way to make the tutorial simple. Then, click on the Filter menu from the top, select Noise > Reduce Noise
Basically, it’s a trial and error process, you will need to adjust these sliders differently based on the noise level. Firstly, keep the Preserve Details and Sharpen Details sliders to 0. Otherwise, you might not notice any changes. Now, Keep the Strength slider fairly high, increase furthermore if needed. If you see color noise, then manipulate alter the Reduce Color Noise slider as needed.
Here’s the final setting that is used for this image.
At this point, the noise should be reduced to quite some extend but may not eliminate entirely. So the next step is to add a Surface Blur. For that, again select the Filter option and choose Blur > Surface Blur.
Surface blur will detect edges and borders and blur things inside it. The threshold is used to manipulate that behavior. But primarily manipulate the radius to get more smoothness.
Here is the final setting for surface blur for this image:
Editing can be fun as well as a difficult process. How much time it takes depends on the image and your professionalism. If you have to deal with such images in bulk quantities, then you should definitely get them outsourced. It will save you a significant amount of time and make your process much more smooth and hassle-free. But in case you want to learn it yourself, then go for it. Keep in mind, it will take time to properly learn how to edit photos. Take some courses and do your own projects for self-improvement.