One of the new features in Lightroom 3 is Noise reduction. I had lots of questions regarding my post processing workflow and while I try to cover a lot of it during the Photoshop World classes, it used to come down to this:
Import > Crop > Export
Lightroom 3 changed all of that. It is now easy to add GREAT noise reduction to all the images from a shoot at the same time. 99% of my images are now shot with the Nikon D700, a real leader when it comes to high ISO / low noise capability. I have gotten away with not worrying too much about noise and noise reduction but when I started to use and test CS5 and Lightroom 3 I noticed a dramatic improvement in the noise reduction especially in the new Luminance settings. Most of the time when shooting concerts it means shooting at ISO 1600 and above which introduces noise. For those who are not sure what noise is, let me explain: Digital noise is the by-product of amplifying the sensor information so that less light (less information) is needed to get a proper exposure. The more you amplify the signal, the less light is needed. When digital noise is introduced into your image, unwanted color spots appear, especially in darker areas and in places with smooth tones.
In the past I found the noise reduction to hit or miss and each image would need to be tweaked individually in Photoshop or with a plug-in taking way too much time. Now I just add a little luminance noise reduction in Lightroom 3 and the noise is reduced but more importantly the image still retains the detail and sharpness.
Look at the face of Slayers front man to see that the skin looks smoother and there is less ‘noise’ but still great detail. This works great on older cameras as well. I loaded up some images from the Smashing Pumpkins that were shot with a D2x at ISO 800 and ran the new Noise reduction. As you can see from these two 100% crops, the difference is noticeable.
My workflow will now be:
Import > Noise Reduction > Crop > Export
any chance you’d do a tutorial using the Noise reduction sliders on concert images.. I’m still not clear what all the sliders do.. and how to use efficiently.
I’ll go into more detail on each slider soon. Just trying to give the readers an overview and many times, the settings I use won’t be the same for you.
Depends on camera, ISO, subject, noise present, etc..
If you have a specific image in mind, go ahead and send it to me and I’ll show you what I would do to it.
Sorry it took so long to respond to your response :).. Just saw your reply.. Still up for letting me send you an image?
sure. just send it to the email int he contact section and make sure that in the message you tell me its for the lightroom noise reduction.
Is noise reduction effect better in Lightroom 3 than Lightroom 3 beta 2?
I have to be honest here, I never really used the LR3 beta 2 very much. So I am not sure if the noise reduction was fully working at that point.
I know this is a very late comment. However, I just got to your blog from Scott Kelby’s and read this post. I am totally blown away at the noise reduction in Lightroom 3.0. In fact it was one of the main reasons for getting the upgrade. I am able to go back to some much older images and actually rescue them. It’s an amazing tool!
I totally agree with Myles. Thanks so much for this! I was fiddling, but not getting the results I was hoping for. Your formula results in incredible improvement! Exciting. I too will have to go back and apply this to old images from other cameras. Using the Mark ll btw, and just shot a concert, shaking every time I had to bump my ISO. No more!