Noise becomes unavoidable as you push the iSo in low lighting
The biggest challenge for the music photographer is low light. The good high-ISO performance of modern D-SLRs will enable you to push the sensitivity up to 3200, 6400 or beyond and still come away with usable shots, but even with a top-quality ISO performer like the D810 used here, it helps if you know a little about post-processing noise reduction. Photoshop’s Camera Raw plug-in offers a Detail panel for this (or for Lightroom users, there’s an identical panel in the Develop Module). Both noise reduction and sharpening are best judged at 100% view; you can zoom in quickly to this by double-clicking on the hand tool. The Detail Panel’s Luminance slider enables you to smooth out grainy noise, while the Colour slider works to eradicate the specks of colour that often appear in areas of shadow at high ISOs. Noise reduction can have a smoothing effect on detail in your images, so it’s worth applying some sharpening to counter this.
The Noise Reduction sliders in Adobe Camera Raw’s Detail panel enable you to minimise the effects of noise introduced by high ISO settings; identical sliders are available in Lightroom