Noise Issue

iluvphotography

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In the last few years I have really improved my photography and equipment... But there is one thing that still haunts me and I can't seem to fix it. And that is noise. I use a Canon6D which is supposed to be one of the best in the market for noise reduction. I use low ISO, 90% of the time at 100. I use tripod all the time, and in RAW processing I sharpen the image. Why can't i get rid of the noise. You can only see it at 100% zoom. I see other people's photos that are so sharp and without noise and I really envy them! What do I do wrong? Could it be my lense? my telephoto lens is a cheap 75-300mm f4.5. Please help...
My photos constantly get rejected at Shutterstock due to noise.
 

weepete

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Do you underexpose a lot and have to bring the exposure back up in post?

It's one of the worst culprits for unwanted noise.

Are you using any noise reduction in PP?
 
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iluvphotography

iluvphotography

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I usually do multiple exposure and blend using luminosity mask or use two exposure from the same RAW file. But I always watch my histogram so not too under exposed. I don't know how to do to noise reduction in PP.
Here is some examples of my shots. The foggy pics were rejected by shutter stock.
Mana A / 500px
 

W.Y.Photo

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Start making your histograms weighted to the right rather than the left. Noise will be gone.

Just don't blow anything out.


Also... maybe you're oversharpening, that can make noise look worse.
 
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iluvphotography

iluvphotography

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how do I control oversharpening? is this sharpening in Camera RAW? I don't do anything in Photoshop for sharpening.
 

weepete

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You have a good eye, there are some really nice shots.

The first thing you want to do is stop creating multiple exposures from the same raw file and take one correctly exposed shot for each part of the image you want to combine. Another thing to do is mask the sharpening so it only sharpens the edges of what you want, otherwise you can end up sharpening any existing noise and exaggerating the problem. Third is use some noise reduction in post.

What program are you using to edit these shots?

With the foggy shots the fog looks a little underexposed to me which could well be the culprit.
 

dennybeall

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All the photos are nicely composed but all seem dark.
Agree with W Y Photo.
Why not try looking at each photo when taken in the Histogram view and perhaps open up from Max f-stop a stop or two and slow the shutter down a tad.
And yes, stop multiples of the same raw file - you're just overlaying the same little noise spot on top of itself to get a bigger noise spot............
 

TCampbell

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In your "Just the Tips / Foggy Morning in Vancouver" shot, I do see three dust spots (upper left area) on the sensor, but I don't see a "noise" problem. One would have to be crazy obsessed to think that image has a "noise" problem. I do see three hot points that look like they may have been light bulbs in the town below. But they don't add anything so I'd probably retouch them out.

In your "above all" shot I do see some graininess in the clouds in the foreground (and if I really squint I can see a very very tiny amount in the background - but that's a stretch to see it.) This may be caused by your processing technique.

In any case, you can knock back noise in software. I've experimented with different tools but never thrilled with the noise handling performance of Photoshop or Aperture, so I started trying various noise handling plug-ins. The favorite that I finally settled on is Noiseware Pro (imagenomic.com). Noise Ninja is also popular but I felt I had a tiny bit more control with Noiseware Pro. BTW, you can get this as a stand-alone app or as a "plug-in" and the plug-ins are available for Photoshop, Lightroom, or Aperture. Some cameras generate more "chroma" noise, some more "luma" noise. Often noise shows up more in shadowy areas and less in highlights. Before I go too far, I should mention the basics of what de-noising is.

In high ISO and especially high ISO / long exposure images you get more "noise" in the image. This is randomness that causes some "pixels" to read more light than others ... or even false color that didn't really exist. But it's usually at an individual pixel level. (Also heat generates noise. A sensor which is physically cold will generate much less noise than a sensor which is physically warm.)

To de-noise, the software analyzes each pixel and compares it to the values of surrounding pixels... but it does look for edge-transitions, etc. If it sees what seems to be a random isolated pixel with a color value or light value that noticeably departs from adjacent pixels, then it assumes it's "noise" and it "averages" it's value to the value of the surrounding pixels. This makes the noise stick out less... but this "averaging" can also have an effect on genuine detail in the image -- mistaking fine detail for "noise".

Basic de-noising simply averages out everything -- you don't have much control. It will knock back the noise, but it also noticeably softens the whole image.

Advanced de-noising software is a bit more clever. It can help with noise analysis, but it also allows YOU to use your eye to "tune" it's performance. Most cameras have stronger noise in shadows and less in highlights. The software allows you to "tune" this so that it doesn't do much (if any) de-noising at highlights (so you don't have a loss of detail where it's not needed) and can be more aggressive with noise in shadows. It can also be more or less aggressive about certain types of noise.

Most of these de-noising plug-ins have a free trial. You should probably take advantage of that and try them out before you decide what you like best.
 
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iluvphotography

iluvphotography

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I use Camera RAW and Photoshop CS. Thank you for all the great tips and TCampbell for a very educational response. I am very excited to try those plug-ins...
 

The_Traveler

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I don't know how much sharpening you do but I routinely de-noise before sharpening (using Denoiser from Imagenomics).
Why sharpen noise?
and
Since denoising actually can destroy detail if done over-zealously, I don't want to do that.

Your images 'look' heavily worked and these kinds of large halos around junctions between light and dark can be the product of heavily worked images and that may be what they are dismissing as 'noise'.

piernoise.jpg
 

greybeard

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The way you expose your photos produces a beautiful dark murky type of "feel". This is also prone to show noise in the darker parts but, I wouldn't change a thing about how you are exposing or composing, I would treat the noise in post processing. (jmho)
 
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iluvphotography

iluvphotography

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Thank you all... So to summaraize, I should watch the histogram a bit more, use plug-ins for noise reduction in post processing and maybe try to master luminosity mask so that I don't have halos at edge of dark and light which I think is caused by hand blending...
I think one ther culprit is the sharpening. I really like some of pros images that are so sharp and I might overdo the sharpening and as a result I get noise and at the end my pics don't even look sharp!!
 

W.Y.Photo

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Yes, Oversharpening is like the plague now-a-days. Most websites like flikr and 500px do their own sharpening as well which makes things even worse.
 

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