Digital Noise


Digital Noise is easily missed, but if you look for it.

You start to see imperfections in the colour everywhere.

This is a picture of the sky taken with a digital camera and is viewed at 200%.

The left side of the photo has been filtered and the right half has not.

The difference is fairly clear especially in the darker parts of the cloud.

Not rectifying this will get the photo rejected from most agencies.

Though some will reject photos for over filtering so always keep the original image.


How to selectively filter out digital noise

You will need Adobe Photoshop (or an image editor that allows you to work with layers)

A noise filter program such as Neatimage

Understanding of working with layers in an image editor.

1 - Filter your picture for noise using Neatimage

2 - Open both original and filtered versions of the photo in your image editor

3 - Drag original version on top of filtered version (ensure perfect alignment)

4 - Set view to 100%

5 - Using the eraser tool, erase any areas of the top layer that are showing noise revealing the filtered layer beneath..

I always filter the sky, other areas to look at are surfaces that should be shiny (glass, metal) or deep shadows.

Remembering excessive filtering removes detail from the photo so I tend to leave stone, concrete, grass, trees, snow and water alone.

If you decide to brighten the image remember to merge the layers otherwise you will just brighten the top layer though this can be a useful way of spotting areas of the sky that have been missed.

6 - Save image under a different file name.


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