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The Big Fixx: digital camera image probl... > Removing Digital Noise (Method #2)

Removing Digital Noise (Method #2)

If Elements 3’s built-in noise reduction feature doesn’t give you the results you’re looking for, you can try this quick trick I learned from Jim DiVitale and Kevin Ames. It does a good job of reducing noise, in particular those nasty red, green, and blue little dots that often appear in digital photos shot in low-lighting situations. This technique won’t remove all the noise, but it will remove the red, green, and blue color from the noise so it will appear much less prevalent in the photo.

Step One

Open the photo that has visible digital noise. Make a copy of the Background layer by dragging it to the Create a New Layer icon at the top of the Layers palette. This will create a layer titled “Background copy.”

Step Two

Go under the Filter menu, under Blur, and choose Gaussian Blur. Drag the Radius slider all the way to the left, then start dragging to the right until the digital noise is blurred enough that you can’t see it (of course, the rest of the photo will look mighty blurry too, but don’t sweat that, just blur it until the digital noise goes away, even if the photo gets very blurry). Click OK to apply the blur.

Step Three

Go to the Layers palette and change the blend mode of this layer from Normal to Color.

Step Four

Changing the layer blend mode to Color removes the visible blurring, but at the same time, it removes the red, green, and blue color from the noise, leaving you with a much cleaner-looking photo. Remember, this technique does not remove all the noise that your camera introduced. Instead, it removes the color from the noise, which makes the overall amount of noise less visible to the eye.

Before

After

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