20 min. to read
Imagine the situation: the superstars came to your city - your idols, you dreamed all your life to see them. And now the miracle happened - not only did you buy the last ticket, but you also managed to take a picture with the Legend. But unfortunately, the man you asked to take your picture has never picked up a camera.
And what did you get? The photo is noisy, fuzzy, and blurry. If you are in this situation or have a picture you would like to fix grain photos with, the information below is for you. More often than not, grain appears when photos are taken at night. So what are some ways to remove digital noise?
So what are the grainy images and what program should you use to fix them? There is a similar term in digital photography - digital noise. It refers to the excessive redundancy of video interference in the final image. The effect appears as colored dots scattered chaotically all over the image.
There are two types of interference:
Sometimes it is easier to avoid the problem than also fix it later. If you know why noise occurs, you can take measures in advance and reduce the chance of its occurrence. Let's look at the most common causes.
Before we tell you how to make a picture less grainy, let's talk about why grainy appears.
Noise occurs when there is not enough light. In this case, the photographer gets into a trap - he needs a brighter picture, but if he raises the ISO, the quality will drop. You should either accept this or buy a brighter lens. To help you fix this problem you should lower the ISO setting,
The sensor may be physically damaged. For instance, it may have some broken pixels. These are called "broken" pixels that don't reproduce color or always shine one color - red, green, or blue.
The bigger it is, the better.
As a rule, the more expensive the digital camera, the larger the pixel size and also the higher the ISO setting the camera allows. Where an amateur camera is unsteady at ISO 800, another can easily keep your ISO 1200-1600 without noise or loss of quality.
Professional lenses also make photos less grainy than their budget counterparts. This is when you overpay not for marketing but for better technology. Besides, only in more expensive models, you can find really fast lenses with f/2.8 or lower. The lower that number, the darker you can be shooting photos without blowing up the ISO.
Noise can appear if you use a graphics editor:
But do not rush to upset, because you can also use the same graphic editor to eliminate them. But how to make pictures less grainy? We tell you in the next section.
We'll look at the easiest and fastest ways to remove noise from a photo using graphics editors. But keep in mind two things:
Switch the camera exposure to manual mode and adjust settings that may produce interference.
Use an extra light if you can. Even the cheapest external flash in a reportage will raise the quality of your shots and reduce noise. When choosing a camera, give preference to one with a larger pixel sensor.
Take photos in a RAW format it will remove grains from the photo. It is much easier than works with jpeg photos In post-processing, it will be easier to "pull out" the picture without losing quality. Sometimes the grainy effect is added to a photo intentionally. Considering that the photo was taken with a 21mp sensor, it is quite appropriate to use this kind of monochrome graininess to emphasize the mood of the more artistic shots. As you can understand from this section, the correct camera settings allow you to get rid of graininess without Photoshop.
Now we will demonstrate it in several ways.
The Dust and Scratch filter is the answer to questions about how to remove grain from the photo.
To apply this filter:
There is another way how to take grain out of photos. You can reduce the interference filter.
To remove graininess from photos in Photoshop, there is a special filter Filter - Noise - Reduce Noise. The pop-up window presents two modes of the filter:
Preserve Details allows you to preserve some details of the photo. But the higher the value of the parameter, the less noise is removed. The value of the parameter is determined experimentally, depending on the original image and the Strength parameter.
The Reduce Color Noise allows you to reduce the chromatic noise.
Sharpen Details allows you to sharpen and fix the grainy photo.
The Remove JPEG Artifact option masks the JPEG artifacts that occur during JPEG compression.
To apply this filter:
Like the Dust and Scratch filter, this one softens the image but does it in a slightly different way. You can try applying both filters at once. The filter can be applied several times to enhance the effect.
Now let's talk about another method how to make photos less grainy. Open the photo and duplicate the original layer. To do that, right-click and find the command Duplicate layer (hotkey Ctrl + J).
Stand on the duplicate layer by clicking on it. Go to the Filter / Filter - Camera RAW Filter / Camera Raw Filter menu (hotkeys Shift + Ctrl + A).
You will find yourself in the Adobe Camera Raw module. It is needed to develop images in RAW format but also allows you to work with files in JPEG format. Camera Raw has great built-in noise reduction, so there's no need to download or buy additional plug-ins.
Find the Detail tab and two groups of sliders in it: interference Reduction / ND and Color brightness Reduction / Color ND. The first group is responsible for brightness noise, which creates graininess, and the second group - is for color noise.
There are three sliders in both groups:
To remove grains from the photos, it is necessary to go to the Detail tab. In the column Noise Reduction, it is necessary to raise Luminance to the level when the noise begins to disappear and to lower it to the minimum Luminance Detail, with the subsequent rise for revealing of small details. Similarly with Color, Color Detail. The Luminance parameter adjusts the level of brightness suppression. The Luminance Detail parameter adjusts the noise suppression threshold. A lower value gives a cleaner result, but with noise, the details disappear too. The Luminance Contrast parameter adjusts the brightness contrast on the border between light and dark areas. Lower values give better results in interference reduction, but at the same time, lower contrast and a more blurred image. The Color parameter adjusts the level of chromatic noise suppression. Color Detail adjusts the chromatic noise suppression threshold.
And the last way how to reduce grain in Photoshop. In addition to Adobe Photoshop, other programs and plug-ins (most often RAW converters) are used to suppress noise. They come in both paid and free versions.
Plugins for Photoshop: Adobe Camera RAW, Topaz DeNoise, Neat Image, Grain Surgery, Noise Ninja.
There are a few ways how to fix grainy photos in Lightroom. Removing noise in Lightroom is very similar to the same algorithm in Photoshop. The fact is that Lightroom is a full analog of Adobe Camera Raw, but with a slightly modified interface.
The Luminance slider is responsible for brightness noises, and the Color slider - for color noises. These are the basic tools for noise reduction. The Detail / Detail sliders, like in Photoshop, define the effect threshold, bringing back detail and - often - noise, too.
The Contrast / Contrast slider brings contrast back to the photo, and Smoothness / Smoothness for color noise sets the smoothness of the transition between colors and does not allow the tool to discolor objects other than noise.
Read below to know how to get rid of grain in photos. The first section of the Noise Reduction tool contains sliders related to Luminance: Luminance, Detail, and Contrast. They control the three aspects of luminance noise.
Now let's talk about another way how to reduce grain in photos.
Next is the section with sliders that control color noise suppression. These include Color, Detail, and Smoothness. They control the three aspects of color noise.
It is the last way how to fix a grainy photo. Sometimes you need to apply noise reduction selectively, i.e. not to all parts of the image. Three tools in LightRoom allow you to do this: Radial Filter, Gradient Filter, and Adjustment Brush. Each of these tools has a slider that can be used to adjust noise only in the areas to which the tool was applied. Selective application of the Noise Reduction feature is especially useful in cases where a global change will result in a loss of image quality, or when you want to have more control over the application of the effect. For example, shadows tend to be noisier than highlights when brightness is increased. You can apply one of these tools to reduce noise specifically in the shadow areas of your photo.
Of course, Luminar Neo can also do all of this. As in the other programs, the Color and Contrast functions are related to the noise in the photo. It is up to the user to experiment with the settings to achieve the desired result. Luminar Neo has a Noise reduction tool where you can adjust Luminosity and Color separately. It would be best if you were careful because too much noise reduction can decrease the quality of the photo.
Now you know why there is graininess in photos and how to get rid of it with a photo editor without ever using it!