September 8, 2014 at 6:36 pm #7466Ezra MorleyModerator
The reason we asked to see the ‘Basic’ and ‘Detail’ panels, is that they are the two places to either create or fix noisy/grainy problems. I can see that you changed the white balance, brightened the image by about 1/2 a stop, increased the contrast by 26 ‘points’, and pulled the highlights down as far as they could go. The main grain culprit here is the Exposure slider. Whenever you brighten an image, the noise will increase. Normally, from ISO 100-400, you can get away with quite a bit of “pushing” in post-processing. However, when shooting at higher ISO speeds, in your case ISO 2200, the noise is quickly going to get out of control without some additional processing.
Thankfully, Lightroom has some powerful noise reduction built in, right there in the ‘Detail’ panel. As you can see, it has a ‘Sharpening’ section, and a ‘Noise Reduction’ section. The two are closely related, so should adjust them both for optimal results. I’ll talk about the ‘Noise Reduction’ section for now.
Most of the settings are good at their default settings. I don’t even know exactly what they all mean, much less what they all do! I usually only adjust the ‘Luminance’ slider for regular photos. For a ‘regular’ picture, you shouldn’t even need NR, especially from ISO 100-400. However, in this case, we DO need NR, so let’s get down to it!
Moving the slider to the right will increase the amount of noise reduction. You can play with it a bit, move it all the way, and see what it looks like. It will reduce it to a plasticky look, like you’re shooting through Saran wrap or something. Obviously that’s not what you want! For the picture that you are having trouble with, I would guess a setting of around 15-20 would do the trick. Just experiment with it a bit.
Now, after writing this whole episode, I thought, “Surely someone has already explained this better than I could”, so I went and did a little research, and found a tutorial straight from Adobe, where you can learn all about noise reduction!
Hope that’s helpful, and you’re welcome for the help, that’s what I’m here for!
God Bless!September 9, 2014 at 9:07 am #7476James StaddonKeymaster
My two cents: while increasing the Exposure by 1/2 stop does indeed start to introduce more grain, I wanted to emphasize the fact that the large amount of noise you are seeing here is due to the high ISO number. You started with a lot of noise. Increasing Exposure by 1/2 stop will not look that grainy using more conservative ISOs.
But . . . considering the situation you were in, you didn’t have much choice but to use the ISO you did hand holding it. I think it was a good choice.
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