Noise is a topic in photography that seems made to cause confusion. However, it is crucial to understand it if you want to maximize image quality. In this article, we will go into detail about the two types of noise that affect your photos, shot noise and digital noise, and what you can do to minimize them. We will also explain the connection between things like your camera’s ISO and the amount of noise in your photos. So, what is noise in photography, and what can you do to reduce it?
Noise is the sleet storm Satan drenches our photos in when we stupidly leave our tripod in the trunk thinking VR will save our lazy butt, but instead we end up shooting at quadruple digit ISOs. In this article, we will take a look at a couple of techniques on how to reduce noise and how to avoid it in the first place.
One of our readers, Mike Baker, sent the below email to me today. I thought it was a great and interesting analysis of why downsampling an an image reduces noise, so I decided to share it with you (with his permission, of course). Trying to digest this stuff makes my head spin, but it is a great read. You might need to read it several times to understand what he means, especially with all the mathematical formulas (I had to):
This photo noise reduction tutorial is for beginner photographers, who want to reduce or get rid of noise in their digital images and don’t know how to do it. I will first explain what noise is and how you can reduce it in camera and then I will show how you can reduce it in post-processing, using Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and commercial plugins for Photoshop.