Stacking raw files isn’t anything new. We’ve been able to do it in Photoshop for years. But doing it in Photoshop requires some legwork. If you’ve got moving subjects in your shots, you need to mask things out, which can take a lot of time depending on the shot. Kandao’s new Raw+ software, however, figures it out automatically.
Sometimes, when we’re out with our cameras, the light is a little lower than we’d like and we need to ramp up our ISO to compensate. But raising the ISO introduces noise. Potentially a whole lot of noise. And while you can never really get the image to look as good as it would have if you’d been able to shoot it at a low ISO, there are things you can do.
In this video, Unmesh Dinda from PiXimperfect shows us how to use the noise reduction tools in Lightroom to help reduce the impact of noise. This technique also applies to using Adobe Camera Raw. He then goes into Photoshop to illustrate how we can further bring back some of that lost detail.
Modern and high-end cameras can shoot without significant noise even at very high ISO values. But many of us still don’t own such cameras, so the ISO value where the photos are still usable is pretty limited. Koldunov Brothers share a simple Photoshop technique that will let you shoot In the dark even with a smartphone and reduce noise effectively.
There’s plenty of great applications and plugins out there that will help you reduce noise in your images. Some are standalone apps while others are plugins. But there’s a lot you can do straight from within Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) and Lightroom without all that.
This video from Blake Rudis at F64 Academy talks us through the noise reduction features in ACR. As it uses the same raw engine as Lightroom, the same settings and techniques work the same way there, too. So, if you haven’t really dived into it before, or you’re relying on 3rd party apps, here’s how it all works.
The quality of long exposures is determined mostly by the amount of noise a camera produces. The lower the noise levels, the better the exposure. This is especially true if you are shooting lots of nightscapes or night skies, where most of the photo is black.
And Brendan Davey shoots a lot of night photos, in fact he shoots enough of them that it was worth a while for him to create a database which compares the amounts of noise each camera (or camera sensor) produces.
Photoshop’s layer blending options are some of its most powerful tools but also one of its most frustrating, particularly the “Blend if” sliders. Designed to help you blend a layer with those below it based on the luminance of colour channels, actually seeing what’s effect it’s having on a layer often can be difficult.
In this video from the f64 Academy, Blake Rudis shows us a technique for dealing with “Blend if” to be able to easily see what part of the image our layer is covering, and applies it to some noise reduction.