Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday's Photo Tip - Another Look at Noise

Friday's Photo Tip - Another Look at Noise

pink yarn and knitting needles showing noise

Last week's post discussed what noise was in digital photography.

Rose, over at Waterrose Handcrafted Obsessions, wrote:

'Can you share a picture that has "noise"? I don't understand.'

The photo that I used for that post didn't really show noise - I had already removed it when the image was processed.

Looking back at the original, there wasn't a whole lot of noise that would be easy for an inexperienced eye to locate.

I went back through some of my older photos that I had taken with my point and shoot camera, the Sony Mavica CD-500.

I love that little camera, but it really had a problem handling noise.

My DSLR has very little noise when I use the correct settings, and I only have to use the noise removal software on a rare occasion.

To see the noise in the above image, you are going to have to click on the photo.

It will bring you to my website where you can select the image from the thumbnail.

If you click on the "L" under the photo, it will give you a larger view.

Check the area in the upper right hand corner. Notice the shadows or the darker area of the pink yarn.

See how it is mottled looking and not very attractive to look at?

Noise removal software will smooth that area out, but it will loose most of it's detail since that is a very noisy area.

Some of my images with that camera would produce these "mottled" areas in several spots, and I could never really see them until I viewed the image at 100% while processing it.

You won't be able to view the above image at 100%, but this is one of them that doesn't need it to see it.

Noise was something that was acceptable to a point in the stock industry a few of years ago. Today, there is no tolerance for it at all.

And since there are ways to deal with it, I guess they don't have to be.

Chalk another point up for this world of digital photography!


  1. Hi Kathy, I clicked on the large but still had a hard time seeing any noise, hey I'll show you noise,lol, at 3200 ISO at night, Still using noise reduction when I don't mind loosing some of the detail, going to try out the program you suggested on my next night time outting.

  2. Very interesting information. I have such a difficult time understanding all of this and putting it into action. I guess the old brain ain't what it used to be. I actually understand what you are saying but with my little camera i can't really do much about it.

  3. Hi Kathy - Isn't amazing how standards have evolved since the introduction of digital technologies into photography? Sometimes I wonder how I ever got a 'keeper' in the days of shooting film!

  4. Hi Bob - with the high ISO noise is inevitable. The balance is difficult at times, and doing hte best with it is all we can do. Your images always look great, so you have got a good on it for sure!

  5. Hi Photowannabe - the smaller, older cameras have a hard time with the noise. It has something to do with the smaller sensors. There are some noise reduction software out there that are free, and some are free to try. They really do make a difference. Good luck!

  6. Haha Bobbie - I think of that myself sometimes!


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