Re­veal del­i­cate de­tails while smooth­ing out lu­mi­nance and chromi­nance noise

NPhoto - - Niko Pedia -

Be­fore and af­ter

To see how your sharp­en­ing and noise re­duc­tion pro­cess­ing is shap­ing up, click here to dis­play ‘be­fore’ and ‘af­ter’ ver­sions of your pho­to­graph.

Give it 100%

To see how sharp your shot is (and to spot lu­mi­nance and chromi­nance noise more ef­fec­tively), you need to view the im­age’s ac­tual pix­els. Right-click on the im­age to sum­mon the pop-up menu and choose View at 100%. You’ll then be able to re­move noise and sharpen de­tails much more ef­fec­tively us­ing the slid­ers in the Un­sharp Mask panel. This op­er­a­tion will cause the im­ages in the be­fore and af­ter pan­els to zoom in.

Noise Re­duc tion

Click here to sum­mon the Noise Re­duc­tion panel.

Un­shar p Mas k

Click on this icon to sum­mon the Un­sharp Mask panel. The term sounds il­log­i­cal, but the Un­sharp Mask tool de­rives its name from a tra­di­tional ana­logue dark­room tech­nique de­signed to cre­ate a sharper look.

Chromi­nance noise

Here we’ve zoomed in 100% to give you a closer look at the un­pro­cessed photo’s pix­els. As well as a slightly soft-look­ing logo you can also see rain­bow speck­les of chromi­nance noise in the vin­tage bus’s ra­di­a­tor grid.

Bet­ter Quali ty

The Noise Re­duc­tion panel en­ables you to ap­ply a Faster noise re­duc­tion method, but choos­ing Bet­ter Qual­ity will help you erad­i­cate more ex­am­ples of chromi­nance and lu­mi­nance noise. This op­tion is es­pe­cially use­ful if you’re try­ing to process a photo to sell as a stock im­age, as the pres­ence of noise can cause a site’s qual­ity con­trol in­spec­tors to re­ject your im­age.

In­tensi ty and Sharp­ness

The Noise Re­duc­tion panel’s Sharp­ness slider helps you get a bal­ance be­tween smooth­ing out noise while keep­ing im­por­tant de­tails look­ing sharp.

In­tensi ty and Ra­dius

The Un­sharp Mask pane’s In­ten­sity slider in­creases the contrast around the edge of de­tails in the im­age. This helps de­tails such as our bus’s logo pop out and look sharper.

The Ra­dius slider in­creases the spread of the contrast change. If you push these slid­ers too far you’ll see harsh black or white lines ap­pear around con­trast­ing edges. Fol­low our tu­to­rial be­low to un­der­stand (and learn how to avoid) arte­facts such as ha­los.


This slider re­duces the com­bined ef­fect of the In­ten­sity and Ra­dius slid­ers, so it helps you get a bal­ance be­tween sharp­en­ing de­tail while keep­ing im­age-spoil­ing arte­facts at bay.

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