Lightroom Denoise

April 24, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

LightRoom Denoise

Some of the updates that Adobe introduces work well, so not so much depending upon which photo you intend to use. As Adobe continues to keep a competitive edge, it has recently introduced a automatic denoise feature to Lightroom in addition to the manual denoise feature that has been present for many years. I decided to give it a try with one of my more difficult images.

The above images were taken in a dark underground cavern tour where flash photography was not permitted. Halogen lights for the most part lit a dim pathway as a tour guide lead us through different parts of the cavern.  The rockfaces and Stalagmites were interesting, but somewhat difficult to photograph with much detail. The image on the left was photographed with an open aperture  of 4, 1/60 sec, and ISO of 12,800.  Perhaps with a private tour I could have come up with some other alternatives but such was not the case.

Bringing the images back to my home computer, the left image was as processed with curves lighting shadows but as one might expect going too far even with these methods lead to really nasty color noise (red primarily) and even softening of the image. Of course there are other software packages outside of photoshop and Lightroom that, at least at that time, I did not have access to in an attempt to further improve the image.

I decided to try the AI denoise feature in Lightroom. This feature renders a DNG file from your original image and may take a minute since it seems to process the information in the cloud. The Denoise feature has not worked on all images, and Lightroom will let you know which images it can not process. In this case however, it did a reasonably good job at reducing the noise level and allowing me to open up shadows just a little bit more while maintaining detail. The quality was certainly not good enough to blow the image up to a 30 x 40 inch tack sharp wall print, but that was not what was not my goal.


The new AI denoise feature may be helpful with at least some of the images that you may have had difficulty with in the past.




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