A Beaver (Two Photographs) and More on Post-Processing – Noise

Beaver-2To view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

This beaver was on the edge of a river down a bank. I would have preferred a less obstructed shot. Although removing the twigs in Photoshop was possible, I chose not to do any fancy work. If you look closely to the right you can see its tail just under the water.

Noise is not grain. Grain was a function of the film’s emulsion crystals – you bought the film in part because you liked the grain or lack thereof. Noise is electronic signal noise brought about by the sensor using a higher than normal ISO. In other words when you raise your ISO, the sensor has to work harder and you get luminance and color noise. Taking photographs at the camera’s base ISO is not always an option, and so we shot with higher ISOs to get the light we needed for the aperture and shutter speed combination of our choice. Newer cameras have less noise at higher ISOs but there is always a point at which noise will be visible. You may also notice noise if you brighten shadow areas and if you crop very closely. Noise removal in most processing programs does the job nicely. Be aware that noise reduction consists of smoothing pixels out, so aggressive noise reduction will soften your image. My preference has always been for third party noise reduction software (NIK’s DFINE or Macphun’s Noiseless Pro) because both of these simplify the process, are easier to fine tune, are faster and produce better results.


5 responses

  1. Unless it is really blatant, I find it hard to discern noise. Maybe sometime you can give us before and after examples to compare? I tend not to use the noise button on the editor, probably because I don’t have a good grasp of what to look for. Your post helps quite a bit though, thanks!


    June 13, 2016 at 12:19 pm

  2. Great photos – lovely to see wildlife up close and many thanks for the tips on handling noise


    June 13, 2016 at 5:32 pm

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