Category Archives Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks

Hello one and all, and thanks for dropping by again for #HybridDaveTuesdays on #TravelTuesday here at Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider. I’m Dave Williams and I’m here once a week to share something with you from the world of Photography and Retouching, and this week it’s a little note on noise in your images and using the Reduce Noise Filter. Let’s get going!

So, last week I told you all that I was in Tromsø, Norway, and despite the -12 celsius conditions and occasional blizzard I persevered and got some awesome nights of Aurora and had some stunning views before me through the fjords and snow blanketed terrain. One image in particular though, the view from my hotel, was the inspiration for this post. Here it is:-

 

The view from the Magic Mountain Lodge in Lyngseidet, Norway

This was a snapshot caught right at the start of the day before a long drive north. The light was very low, the ISO was very high, and the grain in the image is testament to that. For me the most noticeable noise is up in the snow around the mountain to the right. So sometimes it’s good to leave the noise there, it’s quite a good characteristic to have, but often in the world of commercial photography it’s just not acceptable.

The Reduce Noise Filter

Filter > Noise > Reduce Noise

This tool has been hanging around in Photoshop for a while. It’s generally pretty good but it’s worth noting the name. It’s called the Reduce Noise Filter, not the Remove Noise Filter. The reason I point this out is because it’s pretty hard to remove the noise in an image without losing detail. This is because Photoshop is taking a look at an area of the image and trying to determine which pixels don’t fit, then replacing them with an average of the surrounding pixels. Make sense? So if I have a 9×9 grid with a white pixel in the centre and black pixels surrounding the edges, the noise filter will notice that the white pixel is the one which is out of place and stick a black pixel there. What this does on a larger scale is pretty catastrophic if you think about it. We invested in an awesome camera which we use to shoot RAW, capturing the precise colour and tone of each individual pixel, then we stick it through a noise reduction process which changes each one of those pixels based on it’s neighbour and spews out an average which it’s decided works better. That’s what you need to have in the back of your mind when you use noise reduction, along with this:-

“Nobody ever threw away a photo of their relative, their wedding, their partner, or their cat because it was noisy.”

-Hybrid Dave, 2017

So let’s break it down. One type of noise that the Reduce Noise Filter can deal with is Color (I think that means Colour) noise. This type of noise is red, blue and green dots scattered across your image, often in the form of splodges rather than individual pixels, but it could be either.

When using this filter it’s best to reset the sliders to zero each time to start off, thereby effectively hitting the reset button on the filter and seeing the preview with no filter applied.

Back to the Color Noise, with the slider at zero give it gentle progress to the right until the color noise starts to blend with the rest of the image. Be careful not to slide too far!

 

 

Luminance Noise is next up on the list here. Unlike Color Noise, Luminance Noise is made up of dots which are grayscale, anywhere between white and black. Here’s a closer view from the bottom right of the image showing these dots:-

 

Removing the Luminance Noise comes as a two part process, with the Preserve Details slider activating once you move the Strength slider. What happens here is you effectively smooth out the image using the Strength slider, then bring the detail back with the Preserve Details slider. With the Strength slider set to zero, slowly move it to the right until you’re happy with the effect it’s had on the Luminance Noise. Once you’re happy here, start increasing the Preserve Details slider to bring back the detail without reintroducing the noise. This is simple to understand, and easy to use once you do understand, but without that prior knowledge of what’s actually going on it can be just a random set of sliders being moved up and down. Let’s move on…

 

 

Switching the radial selection from Basic to Advanced will open up the option to apply the noise filter to single channels of colour. It’s the exact same principle as the Color filter, but applied to Red, Green, or Blue only. If you’ve noticed that only one channel needs the filter more than the others it’s a handy tool to have, and it comes with the Strength and Preserve Details sliders right there.

The last thing to look at here is the box entitled Remove JPEG Artefact. This tackles the problem caused by compression in JPEG files. Each time a JPEG is saved the quality gets worse, and it wasn’t great in the first place! This check box will do what it can to reduce the noise caused by the processes a JPEG file is put through in order to try to preserve it from the compression effects.

So that’s my breakdown for you all today on the Reduce Noise Filter right there in Adobe Photoshop. It’a a fairly simple tool, but understanding it will help you to better utilise it, and I hope I’ve helped.

As always, I’d love to see what you’ve made, and I’m on Instagram and Twitter if you want to reach out. Keep an eye on my Instagram story today and tomorrow, I’m currently in the air heading across the pond to New York City to have a little look at how they do Christmas over there!

Much love

Dave

Let’s wrap up my first week back with a short, sweet, tutorial that is kind of a Trojan Horse, because it seems like it’s a Photoshop tutorial on How to turn a single Panoramic image into a Triptych (three separate images that have the basic look of a single image — perfect for printing) but hidden inside is a surprisingly handy, little known, little used Photoshop feature that is so incredibly handy.

Let that marinate for a minute. 

OK, ready for the first Trojan Horse tutorial of the year? Let’s do it (it’s short, easy, and partially automated which is the fun part).

See, that was better than it sounded, right?

OK, how ’bout some more cool stuff? Great!
For my first episode of “The Grid” for the year, I was lucky enough to have my super awesome wifey Kalebra on as my guest, and it was a really great show (some folks literally called it our best episode ever), but it starts with some REALLY BIG NEWS for KelbyOne members. It really got a lot of folks excited (and we are over-the-moon about it here at KelbyOne HQ), and we get right to the news at the beginning of the show, so I embedded it below.

Check it out (below), and let me know what you think about the big news in the comments below!

My 9-top Instagram Photos for 2016
As chosen by the awesome folks who follow me there (based on the total number of likes). :)

OK, that wraps it up for me, ya’ll.

I have some handy stuff coming on Monday (and some other news), so I hope I’ll see you then. :)

Have a great NFL Wild Card Weekend! (I’m not shooting any NFL this weekend, but…#rolltide!)

-Scott

Above: Here’s a quick gallery of some shots from our pre-conference workshops held yesterday.  

That’s right – we’re streaming it live – the conference kicks off this morning with a keynote presentation from the crew here at KelbyOne, but of course the star of the keynote is Adobe, who is showing some really cool stuff this morning, so you don’t want to miss it:

When: Today at 10:00 am Pacific Time (1pm EDT)
Where: My Facebook page – http://facebook.com/skelby

Hope you can join us for the big show!

Best,

-Scott

glasstweet

Happy Friday, everybody! I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to write about today, until I saw this tweet yesterday, and then I knew I had to do a short video (below), which is part studio technique and part retouching in Photoshop (the Photoshop part is really simple. Heck, the studio technique is really simple. It’s all simple — you just have to remember to do it during the shoot or you may not have much of a prayer afterward.

Hope you found that helpful.

Hey, are you coming to see me next week in San Diego?
I hope you are – I’m there teaching my new seminar. Come out and spend the day with me. :)

Have a great weekend,

-Scott

P.S. Want to watch something really fascinating and fun this weekend? Check out Moose Peterson’s brand new course on post processing for landscape photographers in Camera Raw. Here’s the link. 

The reason I’m embarrassed is – this Photoshop portrait retouching tip for quickly reducing shiny hot spots on your subject’s face, was sent to me by John Weigley, a reader of my books – but it’s not the fact that he sent me the tip (I absolutely love it when readers send me cool tips. In fact, I shared another one from a reader today over at LightroomKillerTips), but what I’m embarrassed about is that I just found his message this weekend. That doesn’t sound all that bad, until you realize he sent it to me in 2004. Ack!

So, before I go into the video (below), I owe John a very, very belated thanks for sharing this tip with me, so I could share it today (some 12 years later) with you.

Hope you find that helpful (and thanks again to John for sharing the tip in the first place).

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Wanna spend three days immersing yourself in learning Photoshop inside and out? Come and join us out in Las Vegas, July 19-21st at the Photoshop World 2016 Conference. You’ll learn more in three days than you have in three years. Here’s the link with details – get your tickets now and save $100 bucks. 

That’s right! It’s Friday and you know what that means – It’s “Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks” Friday!

The collage you see above is only one part of today’s trick, which has a whole bunch of steps, but every single one of them is easy, and you’ll learn all sorts of cool things along the way, so don’t let the amount of steps dissuade you. By the way — the US Military makes loads and loads of images available for download for free — just do a Google search and you’ll find about a bazillion to use to practice along. OK, here we go:

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