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Improving the quality of a photo (reducing noise)

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  • Improving the quality of a photo (reducing noise)

    Hey all,

    I'm trying to reduce the noise of a photograph i have in Photoshop.

    Latest news coverage, email, free stock quotes, live scores and video are just the beginning. Discover more every day at Yahoo!

    I want to try and reduce the noise in this photo as much as possible and generally improve the quality of the photo.

    I've used Photoshop quite a bit, but never to touch up a photo.

    Can anyone tell me how i can do this?

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Hey, Source... Welcome to the fray.

    A filter you might try is BLUR/Smart Blur. This filter "attempts" to retain edges while blurring other areas. You'll no doubt need to tweek the sliders to get a feel for it. This filter works pretty good on "objects." Don't try this on people!

    Also... If your image is low resolution, e.g., 72 ppi like it was for the attachment, you might have to temporarily upsize it to, say, 288 ppi before you run Smart Blur, otherwise you'll probably get noticeable banding in areas where tone changes quickly over a short span.

    Perhaps you'll be able to see the difference on this attachment.

    Stay tuned. In the next 24 hours or so, other folks will no doubt post alternative methods. This being a holiday weekend, replies will probably be a little slower in coming that usual.

    In any event hope this gives you food for thought.

    Again, welcome to RetouchPro.

    Attached Files


    • #3
      Welcome to RP Source!

      In addition to Danny's tip, here is a very useful address :

      Download free demo of Neat Image for pre-purchase evaluation and non-commercial purposes.

      Here you'll find an incredibly good (and free) program for removing noise from images...

      Here is the "corrected" version of your original picture, run through Neat Image.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        What a difference! Thanks for posting that Flora.



        • #5
          Didn't think you were gonna keep me outta this did ya?
          I did it in PSP7 edge preserving smooth, unsharp mask, twice.
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Thanks Flora

            I have been meaning to download this program and your post just reminded me.. I downloaded it and will give it a try.


            Danny and Fugitive

            Your corrections look really good also..


            • #7
              Hi Ed, Fugitive, Jerry!

              You are welcome....I got this address from one of the tips I read in one of the RP Forums... Downloaded the program, installed it...and never looked back! ...

              Why go through all the trouble of doing something....if someone or, (like in this case), something else can do it even better for me????

              P.S. Fugitive...I just wanted to tell you that you managed to clean the image just as good as Neat Image, though!


              • #8

                Ditto the above kudos. Though I've seen ref. to this tool before, I wasn't particularly impressed with the examples from their website.

                YOUR example, however, sold me!

                Are you using the demo/free version or did you get the PRO version?

                From a techniques perspective, do you save your PS image as .tif, run Neat Image against the .tif and then reopen with PS to make further enhancements?

                Also, is there a particular point in your workflow that you do the degrain process, e.g., at the beginning, near the end or "it depends."

                Thanks for the enlightment.



                • #9
                  Hi Danny!

                  I am using their Demo/Free version which does practically the same as the Pro version...the only catch is that, while opening various image formats, (not PS, though), it lets you save the files in .bmp format only!

                  In other words:

                  1. I save my image in .tif
                  2. I run it through Neat Image
                  3. I save it in .bmp (the only one allowed in the Demo version)
                  4. I send the image to PS for further enhancements!

                  As for when I run an image through Neat Image...well "it depends".... If the image is too noisy to start with, I go through the "Neat Procedure" at the beginning....otherwise I prefer to work on what is there and save the "Denoising" near the end...

                  Glad I could help....


                  • #10
                    Smart Blur seems to work well with this type of thing because smart blur leaves the edges intact, more or less. After running smart blur take the blur tool and run it over any banding that you see to further smooth it out. This also works well on skin.

                    Attached Files


                    • #11
                      Hey, how'd I get on TV?


                      • #12
                        Mac users take note, NEAT is PC only.

                        Neat Image reduces high ISO noise, grain, artifacts in images from digital cameras, flatbed and slide scanners. It is a tool for professional photographers and digital image processing enthusiasts.

                        GrainSurgery and QuantumMechanic plugs are Mac or PC.

                        Photo Mechanic, fast image browser software at the center of your workflow. As a metadata automation tool IPTC, EXIF and XMP can be added using image variables to increase productivity and save time editing.

                        There are some very good APS6 actions here:


                        Stephen Marsh.


                        • #13
                          I have to say that of all the methods that I have seen thus far, that Neatimage has given the best results. Like many I have always struggled on with noise and artifacts removing them 'by hand' as it were. On seeing the results Flora got with this program I d/l it to see what it could do - ironically my attempts have been abyssmal, perhaps a read of the documetation is in order

                          Good links Steven, I have seen the coolpix action, but the other ones new to me, suppose in the interest of science I will d/l that action too.


                          • #14
                            This is Eft and Auto Levels in the time it took to click the buttons. Not brain surgery but Grain Surgery can do the same thing. I think Neat Image is free, which is a nice bonus. Quantum Mechanics is also pretty good.
                            Attached Files


                            • #15
                              Woh, thanks for the excellent replies all!

                              I'm going to take some time to read through all of them now...



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