Lightroom: differential noise reduction

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  • Updated 6 years ago
Due to the laws of physics, the signal to noise ratio in our images is better in the higher tonal ranges than in the shadows and dark regions. Therefore, I'd like to suggest two knobs on the noise reduction slider: one for the degree of noise reduction in the highlights, one for noise reduction in the deep shadows. The mid tones receive an intermediate degree of noise reduction.

In photoshop, something similar is possible by using noise reduction on a given layer, and using then using a tonal mask on that layer. It's possible but somewhat cumbersome and hard to fine tune. A dual knob slider would be seriously awesome!
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Marijn van 't Veer

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Posted 6 years ago

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Rob Cole

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Good idea.

Work-around for the mean time is to use local noise (reduction), e.g. paint.
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Lee Jay

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Noise reduction is applied that way automatically already.
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Rob Cole

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Yeah, I recall Eric Chan commenting briefly about it. Still, if user could intervene for more control it would be a plus. Due to the way PV2012 works, and shadows and clarity..., shadows can get pretty noisy. Personally, I think Lr needs an "auto-discriminating" technology which allows one to control effect based on hsl, texture, regional contiguity..., so when one paints, it effects some things but not others. That could be used for applying any local adjustment, including noise reduction of course, based on any of those factors.
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ryan huber

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Tonight I was working in Lightroom and I had a suggestion for a feature for an update in Lightroom 4. I've been working with cameras pretty much every single day for the past year and I'm teaching classes and workshops and doing lectures for the graphic design and digital photography courses at my college and I've noticed that each camera handles noise differently. Some cameras noise isn't visible in the shadows but more visible in the midtones. Well here's where I think Lightroom could really improve. Instead of having one section for "Noise Reduction" which fixes the entire image. My idea is to have more noise reduction sections (but have the same sliders under each one like the "detail" and "contrast" sliders) but have a "Noise Reduction" section for shadows and one for midtones (and possible one for highlights), because my camera the noise is more noticeable in some of the midtones rather than the shadows and sometimes it's vice versa. This way photographers could fix the noise in the areas they want without smothing out the entire image like it does now (because the "Noise Reduction" section applies those settings to the entire image, even where it isn't needed and/or wanted). I've mentioned this to some of the people I work with and other photographers that I've collaborated with and that I shoot with and they all thought it was a good idea so this way the areas that need to be fixed without smoothing out the areas that don't need it and without having to go in and manually do everything with a brush (which takes quite a bit of time and can't be applied to other images as easily). I hope you put this into consideration and talk it over. Thanks for reading this idea/proposal.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Noise Reduction idea.