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Old Sep 16, 2012, 4:18 PM   #1
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Default Best time to remove noise from photo.

Hi all,

I am wondering when is it the right time to clean noise from a photo in pp.
Is it better to clean before you start post processing or after when you have corrected or adjusted the photo. As I have never used noise removal or sharpening in any photo that I have posted in the past, I feel like a real twit.

Anyway before working on photo or after you finish the adjustments and why or which is better option.
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Old Sep 16, 2012, 4:27 PM   #2
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Quite often, other post-processing activities will reduce the impact of noise, particularly upsampling and downsampling. I'd suggest you wait until you've finished with your other efforts, then, if and only if you think it needs NR, do it.

But do it sparingly.
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Old Sep 16, 2012, 5:01 PM   #3
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Thankyou TCav for quick reply.
Makes it a bit easier as didnt know where in workflow but now I know.
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Old Sep 16, 2012, 5:12 PM   #4
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Generally, the best way is to use a low ISO setting with enough light to make noise irrelevant, but since you specified post-process, I would recommend using RAW, and availing yourself of the noise reduction abilities of your RAW developing software (Raw Therapee, Lightroom, or other). You can do most of what you will need to do this way. In general, I would recommend removing noise early in the process, and save sharpening until last.

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Old Sep 16, 2012, 5:55 PM   #5
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Re: sharpening, I recommend you not sharpen. Sharpness is determined by the resolution of the image sensor and the resolving power of the lens. Sharpening, either in the camera or in post-processing, isn't really "Sharpening" at all. It's "Acutance", or adjusting the edge contrast.

And what I said before about doing the NR late in the process applies to working with JPEG as well as RAW. I disagree with VTphotog on this. Much of what you will do in post-processing will reduce the impact of noise anyway, and NR processes have a way of reducing detail as well. Doing NR early in the process, will reduce both noise and detail. If you wait until later, you will probably find that you need less NR, and the detail will survive where it might not otherwise.
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Last edited by TCav; Sep 17, 2012 at 4:36 AM. Reason: sp
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Old Sep 16, 2012, 10:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
Generally, the best way is to use a low ISO setting with enough light to make noise irrelevant, ...brian
Just to amplify what brian said, first figure out why you are getting noise. Do you have the ISO set very high when you really don't need a fast shutter speed? Would something like image stacking be worth thinking about when you are shooting?

When you get noise, you are dancing on the edge of what your camera can do. It is worth figuring out where that edge is - it is often not worth shooting there.
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Old Sep 17, 2012, 4:22 AM   #7
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If I feel a bit of NR is to be applied,it it usually at the end of all other adjustments- such as levels,saturation/colour balance etc.... all of which can effect the level of viewable noise.
It just seems logical to me to be the last thing to do...
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Old Sep 17, 2012, 9:03 AM   #8
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Thanks all for replys. Just to clarify, I am shooting with a fuji hs-10 atm. My Nikon I left at home in Australia after last minute mix up. On the hs-10 I shoot in raw at 100 iso as much as possible. Just for evening shots around sunset or later if i shoot an event of some sort I have to use higher iso altho 800 is about the worst I will go. So that is why i am getting noise. Having done some reading and learning have noticed you can remove noise to a certain extent. I was realy thinking when abouts in the pp was the best time to remove. It is interesting that some do before and some after. I guess the best way would be trying the same photo twice once before adjustments and the next one after.
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Old Sep 17, 2012, 9:33 AM   #9
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I recommend that you use a program like LR, CaptureOne, Aperture or similar.

These are non-destructive parametric editors that only apply the changes when you export the final image and have an optimised pipeline. In other words, the guys who write the software decide when to apply it based on the full set of adjustments you have chosen because depending on what you are doing it may be better to do NR at different stages.

It works very well. I recommend downloading a trial copy of LR or CaptureOne and give it a try.

The "don't sharpen" advice puts TCav in a group of one I believe.

If you want some reading material on sharpening this is a decent primer:

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...sharpening.htm
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Old Sep 17, 2012, 9:54 AM   #10
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If you can't get acceptable results with your RAW developer, I would recommend Topaz labs' Denoise. It does a very good job of removing noise without destroying detail.
The reason I recommend early (not first-after exposure adjustments) noise removal is that when doing other adjustments, the noise may combine with picture detail to create artifacts which can be very difficult to deal with.

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