Week Four: Noise, Light and Shade Techniques

Reducing Image Noise

Noise is unwated pixels that is seen in a picture where for example, a picture is taken in a dark area with a long shutter speed, it can also happen when taken on a lower priced camera. I therefore decided to use this photograph from my Event Assignment which shows a dark picture taken on my not as high end camera. Here is the photograph I am going to use:

The noise created in this picture is mostly luminance noise, this is also known as greyscale noise and shows patchiness and grains within the image. Noise can be seen more in one colour of the image, and is mostly seen in the blue parts. It is best to check each part seperately to see which are causing the most problems. To do this I chose, ‘Filters > Noise > Reduce Noise’, this then brought up the box to give me advanced settings and check each of the colours individually.

Between each of the colours I balanced out the strength of the luminance and also the preserve details because if worked with too much, luminance will still come through and there will be too much focus on little things such as hair. I used the advanced settings to change the settings of each colour seperately as Green and Blue needed editing. I then edited the Sharpen Details and removed JPEG artifacts to give an overall better final image.

Here is the final image, you can’t tell a lot on what I have changed, but I think the edges look a lot more sharpened and the image looks a bit better quality:

Improving Shadows and Highlights

The shadow/highlight tool can correct photo’s with silhouetted images due to strong backlighting or correcting subjects which have been washed out due to being too close to the camera flash. The tool lightens or darkens based on surrounding pixels and for this reason there are seperate controls to try and achieve the best outcome.

I chose the same image again basically because of the light and dark contrast and to see how the tool would effect this. First I chose the option ‘Image > Adjustments > Shadow/Highlight’ this enabled me to use certain settings and also to see a preview before I settled on the editing.

If I was to make each of the Shadow and Highlight percentages up to 100% each, it gives a lot of light all over the photograph and it makes it look a bit too overexposed, here is an example of this:

However if I went the other way and made the Shadow and Highlight scales all the way to 0%, it makes the image very dark and doesn’t really highlight any of the colours which need to be more visible. Here is an example of this:

I therefore need to find the right balance between the two to get an overall better finish to my photograph. To do this, I can click on ‘Show More Options’ at the bottom of the page to bring up more ways in which I can edit the image. I then edited the different parts of the image, focusing on the amount of correction to make, tone, radius, contrast and of course the shadow and highlights by using this larger box:

After doing this, I was then able to come up with a final image which was more vibrant than the original. I tweaked a lot of the different parts of the image to finally come up with this one which manages to let a lot more light in and also highlights the main parts of the image, this being the people on stage and also the background screen…


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