Noise Ninja Application
Filter>PictureCode>Noise Ninja. When the dialog box comes up, hit the reset button. Next select the icon at the bottom center (looks like a Bar Graph with 3 green bars). A marquee tool will be activated. Drag it across the noisy areas and it will leave a yellow outline each place to select. In the image you will see that I selected her neck, both eyes, and some letters on the T-Shirt which are particularly noisy. Next click the Filter tab. The blur was too strong so I moved the Strength and Smoothness sliders (Luminance) down to 6 each or 8. For the color sliders, move the top two to 20 but the bottom one needs to go way down or the color noise will still show in the T-Shirt text. Click OK and you are almost done. There is still some monochrome noise left on her neck. However two or 3 simple passes with the Blur tool set to 50% opacity will fix it in about 5 seconds.
If you still have your original unedited image, you might want to try the Shadow / Highlight tool to make your initial tone adjustments instead of the Screen/Overlay blend. You may find superior results, more control, and less noise introduced.
Another alternative is to create a curves adjutment layer and change the blend mode to screen... then create another one and change the blend mode to soft light (or overlay if you prefer).
** Don't adjust the curve, just click OK.
That way you won't increase your image size (by duplicating layers) and you won't have to flatten the image so you can edit/tweak later.
Also, it automatically creates a mask for you and you can easily paint with black (soft brush, low opacity) to help hide the effects in certain areas. You can also adjust the layer opacity to tweak the effect.
I never flatten my image... I often go back to tweak things I've done before.
I won't suggest a different workflow/technique since you seem to mention that this was your desired effect.
As far as the noise goes, you're probably better off trying to learn how to use the filters (neat image/noise ninja) by finding tutorials to explain the settings or following good advice on boards like this.
A quick and dirty way to do this is to create a new layer and copy the merged image into it (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E). Then you can apply any number of filters (including the built in PS noise reduction).
Adjust the settings and add a black layer mask to hide the effect (ALT+Click or fill with black after or CTRL+I to invert mask).
Then paint with a soft white brush in the mask where you want to remove the noise. Most of the time you'll want to apply noise reduction everywhere... but often I find myself just applying it to dark spots, skin, or bokeh backgrounds... masking makes that easy.
Most of the filters are pretty smart and help to leave detail where it should be.
Remember, there's no need to flatten your image (most of the time)
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