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How to Reduce Noise in Photography
Noise reduction in photography

How to Reduce Noise in Photography

Maybe you have a picture of a famous day. But when you later look at the pictures, they are green and soft. There is a lot of noise!

Good news! The photos are almost undamaged. There are ways to remove grain from photos with Photoshop techniques so that there is less noise.

This step-by-step tutorial will test two Adobe Photoshop denoise tools — the Noise Reduction filter and the Adobe Camera Raw filter. I will also show you how to use Photoshop Neural Filter for JPEGs and plugins designed to reduce grain and make the image clearer. But first, some background information.

orange butterfly with noise reduced in photoshop

What is Noise?

Sound makes your image look green. Small dots of light, sometimes colored, throughout your image. One of the main reasons for noise in images is high ISO.

Luminance Noise

Light noise is the most common type of digital sound. This type of sound looks like sand grains in your image. When you zoom in, some pixels appear to be brighter than others.

The queen in the picture was walking fast after dark. There was no other option but to upgrade the ISO to 6400 and fix the grain later after processing.

Heron with luminance noise

Color Sounds

Color noise is also called chromatic aberration or chrominance sound. When the separated pixels come out in the same color as green or red, you look at the color tone. Color dots do not match the other colors in the image.
Color noise is created when your sensor is hot. Even though I was on a tripod and shooting at ISO 100, this image has red and green dots of color because it was an 183 second exposure.

Shot of a bridge with long exposure and with color noise

How to Reduce Noise on Your Camera

Denoise tools are not the worst. Ideally, you want to make the most clean photo available with your camera. Start by lowering your ISO. High ISO introduces grain to your image.

You can also see grain if you lighten the shade too much. It helps if you use bright light to keep the shadows from getting too dark. This is the reason for the “right exposure.” The tops of your histogram should fit the right side of the graph.

How to Decrease Noise with Photoshop, Neural Filters, and Plugins

Sometimes, though, it is impossible to avoid the noise. For example, you should raise your ISO when shooting an action in a dark place. But now, there are tools that can help you to remove or reduce grain during processing.
First, let’s look at how to remove sound from a photo in Photoshop using two different filters. Then look at Photoshop Neural Filter and plugins.


Using the Minimize Sound filter, removing sound from your photo is easy in Photoshop. Or you can use audio tools in the Adobe Camera Raw filter. With these tools, you can reduce light noise and color noise. If Photoshop sound reduction tools are not enough, there are other denoise programs. Many work as plugins within Photoshop.
Details will be smooth after noise reduction. Measure noise reduction by keeping notes and structure. With all these Photoshop denoise tools in your hands and you know how to reduce noise in Photoshop, you can repair those damaged grain grains!

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