February 16, 2010

What's that noise?

Many of you came to my rescue a while back when I asked for some feedback on how to reduce noise in a photo.  In true awesome reader form, the answers you gave were so clear, and "doable" that I figured I should share the info with the rest of my bloggy friends.

Here' s the deal:  I am not a photography site, nor do I think I will ever become one especially since there are lots of amazing blogs on that topic out there (you'll meet some today).  I am however, a novice, let's say "picture taker", who is striving to use her point and shoot to the best of it's ability.  So I figure, any knowledge that I gain I should pass on to you, too.  That way there will be more beautiful pictures in the world even if they might not be considered "professional".  

I am only going to focus on the answers to my noise question today, but from here on out I will occasionally post other photography issues. That way, you will eventually meet ALL the lovely people who continue to help me become a better picture taker photographer.

...oh camera of mine!

I asked here how to get noise, or fuzziness, out of my close-up shots.  Many of you suggested allowing as much natural light as possible whether that be outside or indoors close to windows.

Lena (who has an adorable son!) suggested turning on the flash and laying a piece of 1 ply tissue over it to soften the harsh light. 

-She also uses a program called NeatImage (standalone and plugin for Photoshop) and reports it does smart blurring out of the noise.

- My friend Becky suggested that if you increase shutter speed then you could alter the aperture, thus letting more natural light in.  

- She also surprised me by saying that if you have a camera with removable lens, you can invert the lens to make it macro.  Just hold it up to the camera body and shoot away.  I am going to attempt to do this using an old film lens of mine and my point and shoot.  Who knows?!!

Caroline, who describes herself as a "baby photographer and photography editor", but is more like "awesome photography goddess" to me sent a few tips:

- pushing the zoom out of optical and in to digital always creates noise. Try watching the zoom meter and stop before it jumps into digital, or even better if you can turn off the digital zoom then do.

- Use the macro mode and move in closer

- Always BE as close as you can and use minimal zoom with a point and shoot

- set you ISO to it's lowest setting and shoot in portrait mode. This will open up the aperture (like the pupil of the eye) to let more light in. The camera may well warn you of camera shake and suggest you turn the flash on. This is so it can keep a faster shutter speed and get a tac-sharp picture. If you don't want to use flash you are going to need a VERY steady hand, especially indoors, but your pictures may also be a little dark because of the low ISO.

- Try using portrait mode OUTSIDE in good light, close up and see if you still gets lots of noise

- if all else fails get a copy of the free shareware: 'noiseware - community edition' and run your close ups through it  

See what I mean, I have the best readers ever!!!  I plan on incorporating these tips into my photo taking.  In fact, I've already done the tissue trick with rave results and I am now using Noiseware...

Check these out (originals on the left, edited on the right):



I was impressed.  Champ's arm did seem to become a bit feminine with the adjustments, but over all I LOVE it.  

Thanks again to all those who shared and I wish you all a photographic day!


Colleen said...

Interesting... I'll have to check out noisewear.

Caroline said...

I do the tissue trick too (with mixed results)! :D LOL re the 'photography goddess' - I wish! But thanks for the compliment :D. Good idea to put our ideas up on your blog page ~ it always helpful :D

Emmy said...

Great tips and the more you get out there and shoot the better you will get

Pam said...

You are so wonderfully creative!

alita said...

Ok seriously thank you for posting this. I was having the very same issue. I love taking pictures, but I'm no artist. Learning about photography is so captivating.

THANKS for sharing chica!

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