Cleaner images the smart way: Selectively apply noise reduction in Photoshop using “Blend If” sliders


posted Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 4:59 AM EST


Blake Rudis of f.64 Academy offers an interesting way to reduce noise in Photoshop. Noise reduction in Photoshop is often a step that you want to fine-tune and selectively apply to an image. If you have a detailed image, you don't necessarily want to reduce noise across the entire image but perhaps just to softer, darker areas.

Photoshop's "Blend If" sliders are often used to blend multiple images together, but they can also be used to selectively apply image adjustments.

An issue with "Blend If" is that it is not possible to see where effects are being applied by default. Rudis addresses this issue by using a color filled layer and a clipping mask as you can see in the video below.

As DIY Photography notes, this technique will work in CS6 but requires that you "put your layer inside a group and then clip the color layer to the group rather than the layer."

If you haven't thought about using "Blend If" for applying adjustments to your images, it can be a very powerful tool. Retouching Academy has a tutorial for using layer blend if sliders for selectively adjusting shadow, midtone and highlight areas in an image.

For another tutorial on how to use Photoshop's blend if sliders for noise reduction, check out this one from Light Stalking.

As is the case with most tasks in Photoshop, there are many ways to accomplish the desired result. For example, if you're able to capture images using a tripod, you can also utilize layer stacking to reduce noise in Photoshop.

(Seen via DIY Photography