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Improving Image Structure

Reducing Digital Camera Noise

In an ideal world we would only take pictures in well-lit situations and use the camera's lowest ISO possible. But we don't live in a perfectly illuminated world and many important events take place in less-than-ideal lighting conditions. Sunset scenes, candlelit dinners, and theater presentations are all examples of where the low light will force you to increase the camera's ISO. As we discussed in Chapter 3, “How a Digital Camera Works,” you can increase the ISO or light sensitivity of the image sensor, which adds a gain to the signal, which is often visible as increased noise. Sometimes we also make exposure mistakes and underexpose the image. When you lighten the image up in Photoshop, the noise of the weak signal often becomes unpleasantly apparent. No matter what causes the noise, we feel that it is much less attractive than film grain can be.


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