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Thread: Noise reduction assistance - urgent

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    Noise reduction assistance - urgent

    Hey everyone,

    I'm in need of urgent assistance. I've tried googling and reading through this forum, but I'm still at a loss what might be the best approach to reducing the noise in this image, and keeping whatever detail I can. I'm confused because a lot of similar questions in forums ask things like "what kind of noise is it?", "is it only in the shadows?", "is it ISO or exposure related?"... then the answers differ considerably.

    My 3 issues:

    1. It's not a photo I took, so I don't know the settings except to guess that it was from a cheap point and shoot. It belongs to a friend.
    2. It's a low-res JPEG (72dpi) with a good chunk of noise.
    3. My friend would like the photo processed for printing for her partner in the next couple of days.

    The photo is quite personal, so I've cropped a section of it to demonstrate what I'm dealing with. There will be no great cure for this, but I just want to clean it up as best as possible.

    Alternatively, I can offer some artistic processing, but first of all I just want to reduce noise and make the original as good as possible. There are many options in Photoshop. I don't know where to start. I'm guessing that I should be breaking the channels up and working on each... but I seriously have no idea where to start. Maybe it's because I'm only finding crappy tutorials online, but the advice is so different from website to website.

    Anyone have suggestions for me, based on what you see here?

    Ged
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    Ged McMahon
    Canon 5DMk3 | Canon 50D | 24-70L f/2.8 | 70-200L f/4 IS | 18-200mm go anywhere | 50mm f/1.8 | 100mm macro | 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 | 580EX II Speedlight | Some strobes and stuff
    http://www.gedmcmahon.com
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    Download a trial of noise ninja or nik Dfine and run it through either or
    Darren
    Gear : Nikon Goodness
    Website : http://www.peakactionimages.com
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    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Make it a monochrome, if you cannot get the noise under control.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

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    I seem to have more questions than answers, but I'll give it a go...

    First up, printing requires far more than 72dpi. 250-300 for reasonable quality. If you change this without resampling the final print may be quite small. If you resample you will add noise!

    Which editing software you use will determine what more you can do.

    In photoshop I would duplicate the layer and work on the top layer. Under the "filters" drop down there is a reduce noise option, this has a variable slider to control the effect. However, it does blur the image a little too. Try selecting back ground areas and heavily soften them, use a feather so there are no sharp obvious areas.

    You could also try adjusting the brightness, contrast & levels to smooth out some of the grain.

    You could also try a very subtle Gaussian blur so get an arty soft focus effect.

    Also try using the unsharp mask on the softened layer. If you have got rig of the noise this may sharpen the image back up. If there is still noise it will make it worse!!

    Now play with the fill and opacity of the layer to capture more detail from the original layer.

    Alternatively you could make the image B&W and play with the noise to make it look like fast film grain. Possibly adding a color cast to make it look sepia.

    Good luck

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    Ausphotography Regular Tommo1965's Avatar
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    removed the noise using topaz denoise plugin for photoshop, then sharpened to 100% at 1 pixel....not great I know ..but hard to make a slik purse from such a low res image
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    Last edited by Tommo1965; 01-02-2012 at 6:49am.

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    Thanks for suggestions so far. BTW I'm using PS CS3 and LR 2.6.

    I've just installed a trial version of Topaz denoise, so am playing with that.
    I'll get the layers working and play around with the top layer and opacity, I think. Like you say, there is little hope for enlarging the image for printing, so I'm also going to try a few different amateur effects (who knows, maybe she'll like them), like the pencil scratching, oil painting, or stamp effect (as much as I am loathe to do it). If there's going to be noise, I may as well work it in my favour!

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    I ran your original through a "Colour Blotch Reduction" action in CS3. It took 4 runs to tidy it up.
    I can do the full image for you if you like.

    The second image has been put through "Deep Noise Reduction" twice and "Dust and Scratches" @ level 2.
    Last edited by jjjnettie; 10-02-2012 at 5:32pm.

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    Thank you 'jjjnettie', so much appreciated. Your working of the image is excellent, given the high noise in the original.

    I have already processed and delivered the image (not as well as yours, but in the end I added an artistic filter to hide the grain), so I guess there is no longer a need for me to have the whole image done. But I'm very grateful for the offer.

    However, I am interested in your method in more detail (for next time) - are those NR techniques you mentioned part of the standard Photoshop tools, or are they plug-ins?

    regards
    Ged

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    * removed - please read site rules 3-7: admin*
    Last edited by ricktas; 14-02-2012 at 5:29am.

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    Hey jjjnettie, sorry that your post was removed due to answering my question, but I guess rules are rules. I did receive your post though, so thank you for offering that information and answering my question.

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