Take a deep dive into Adobe Camera Raw’s noise reduction and sharpening
posted Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 7:00 AM EDT
Blake Rudis of f.64 Academy has created an awesome tutorial for performing noise reduction in Adobe Camera Raw. Adobe Camera Raw is a very powerful tool within Photoshop and it can work well for reducing noise, but it can require deliberate use of Adobe's sliders. You can also apply this tutorial for working in Lightroom as the sliders are very similar.
Ideally, you reduce noise while maintaining good detail in your image. It isn't obvious what all the sliders in Adobe Camera Raw do, as some of their names are opaque. Rudis has experimented with the software and can offer insight into the various sliders. The first thing he recommends is turning off all default sharpening otherwise the noise reduction will be competing against the sharpening.
A particularly useful tool for reducing noise is getting a good handle on the "Color" slider. Frequently, visible noise takes the form of distracting colorful pixels throughout your image. By increasing the color noise reduction slider, you can desaturate the color in the noise. That slider alone can be your ticket to success in many instances.
After you have performed noise reduction with the various sliders, it's time to selectively sharpen your photo. It is a difficult balance between reducing visible noise and then pulling detail out of your image without bringing the noise you just finished reducing back into your image. Try holding the "Alt" or "Option" key while working with the noise reduction and sharpening sliders to make your image temporarily grayscale, which can help you see what is happening in your file.
To see more from Blake Rudis, visit the f.64 YouTube channel. He has produced a lot of excellent tutorials.
(Seen via SLR Lounge)