The ‘Noise’ of Summer

Summer officially begins today and that’s a good excuse for a party with noise-makers.

Joyful noise is always welcome, but not the noise we find in our party photos. High ISO settings let you shoot without flash where—just a few years ago—it was impossible. But with high ISO comes that nefarious gotcha… noise—booga-booga!

If, like me, you’ve been relying on  third-party plug-ins to clean up the mess, then here’s another excuse for a party:  Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 has vastly improved noise reduction!

No need to launch another app,  just get thee to the Develop module and you’re all set. Here’s a photo I shot at ISO 800, and you can see how the sky paid the price.  (Click on the image for a larger view.)

You’ll recall the noise reduction tools in the previous version of Lightroom were anemic at best.  But now you can  eliminate color and luminance noise without affecting the edge  detail. In addition, image sharpening is much more natural.  Kiss artifacts and snowstorms goodbye.

This is another killer improvement in Lightroom 3 which will save you money and leave more time for the beach.

Have a great Summer!