Camera Raw/Lightroom: Split noise removal for darks and highlights

  • 6
  • Idea
  • Updated 2 months ago
  • (Edited)
Traditional weak point of CR / Lightroom is the noise reduction. I found similar problems reported to Adobe 2 years ago but nothing has been improved. The noise removal and sharpening should be split between dark and highlight areas. It is obvious taht the noise is much more visible in dark areas of photo. The sharpening and the noise removal should be split into separate areas: dark and light. It should be really easy to implement basing on local corrections with luminocity range.
Photo of Marek Szopinski

Marek Szopinski

  • 5 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 2 months ago

  • 6
Photo of Christian Fürst

Christian Fürst

  • 94 Posts
  • 27 Reply Likes
I believe that it would be great to have seperate noise-reduction filters
Photo of Cristen Gillespie

Cristen Gillespie

  • 1267 Posts
  • 324 Reply Likes
Although the sharpening is meant to only be capture sharpening, I agree that especially noise reduction is a weak feature in CR. I normally leave it until I can use a 3rd party filter, but would like it if I had more control over it inside CR. It should be one of the first things we do, and if I have a noisy image, I have to be careful to apply merely a very few global adjustments and leave the image fairly flat so I can take care of the noise before I make it a lot worse. I'll vote for an improvement.
Photo of eartho

eartho

  • 814 Posts
  • 198 Reply Likes
if the LR team could implement a layered/masked workflow, then this problem would be a simple fix... use the range tool to create a mask for the shadows, apply NR.
Photo of eartho

eartho

  • 814 Posts
  • 198 Reply Likes
Got news for ya... each local adjustment is basically a layer with a mask, but limited access to the controls. CaptureOne figured this out a long time ago, and miraculously the world didn't end after they implemented.
Photo of Robert Somrak

Robert Somrak, Champion

  • 148 Posts
  • 40 Reply Likes
I think local adjustments and all other adjustments are parametric commands stored in a database.  Look at a preset with a simple radial filter.  It only has a few bytes of parametric data.  Photoshop layers can double the size of the file.

You can call them layers if you want.
(Edited)
Photo of Christian Fürst

Christian Fürst

  • 94 Posts
  • 27 Reply Likes
Robert Somrak, is there a tutorial anywhere regarding this way of noise-reduction? Since I am working as a stage-photographer, I have to deal with noise on relatively high levels (I am not using my Lumix G9 beyond 6400) regularly. using a masking filter like the graduated filter would really help
Photo of Robert Somrak

Robert Somrak, Champion

  • 148 Posts
  • 40 Reply Likes
Christian

1)Create a Gradient Filter with the 3 lines VERY close together.
2)Drag the center line so ALL 3 LINES are off the photo.  You may have to zoom out  to less than fit view to do this although I have always done it in fit view.  This essentially creates a mask over the whole photo you can adjust with the Range tool.
3)Apply the Luminance Range Mask to select either shadows or highlights
4)Apply local noise reduction.

I would probably use global noise for highlights and shadows and then apply further local noise using the above technique for extra noise in the shadows.

You can also use a large radial filter to select the whole photo but I find using the gradient filter much easier.

If you have any more question let me know.

PS. You can duplicate these masked gradient filters for more effect.
(Edited)
Photo of Marek Szopinski

Marek Szopinski

  • 5 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Please notice that noise reduction option in CR filters has nothing to do with noise reduction section in Detail tab. It seems that this kind of noise reduction in allowed in filters is very simlified version of mentioned one. It makes this option almost unuseful. 

To people who want to achieve wonderful results in noise reduction: just use DxO Optics Pro 11 with prime noise reduction mode. I have never seen better quality of NR. Unfortunately there is no way to continue working with CR with RAW files. DxO can't save the results as RAW files :-(. 
Photo of David Tristram

David Tristram, Employee

  • 127 Posts
  • 56 Reply Likes
maybe this is basically what people are saying here, but you could create a layer with your photo content, create a mask for luminosity, and then apply the filter.  Then combining layers would show the filter effect only in the desired luma range.