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Is Noise Giving You A Headache???

As wildlife photographers many of our shots are taken around dawn and dusk, when the action is at its best. Unfortunately, even in golden light, this often means that we have to use higher ISO values than we'd like ...and we all know how frustrating it is to end up with noisy images.

I've been trying out the new noise reduction software from Topaz Labs - DeNoise AI - and I must say I'm impressed. It has made some of my images viable that I thought were unusable, or at the very least would require a very long time and lots of patient fiddling to fix!

screen shot of the original NEF before and after in Topaz Denoise AI interface

screen shot of the original NEF before and after in Topaz Denoise AI interface: the noise is gone and the shot is ready for editing in Lightroom

The interface is user friendly and intuitive, and it is pretty easy to get the hang of the different noise reduction and detail recovery options. When you find the balance between them that suits your image it works well.

Using this software as the first step in your workflow, you can export as a DNG to retain editing capabilities in Lightroom afterwards. I particularly like the masking option to enable selective noise reduction in your image, and that you can do batch noise reduction. The only slight downside I've encountered is that it does take a little time to generate previews and save final images on my laptop, but then again it is doing a heck of a lot of work ...and meanwhile I can be getting my FB post and Insta ###s in order 🙂

edited shot in b&w

Above: the edited shot in b&w

Below: detail from edited shot - not bad for ISO 25600!

detail from edited shot - not bad for ISO 25600!

As well as low light wildlife photographs, this system has been excellent on my recent Ethiopian images taken inside the stunning rock churches. Some of these shots were hand held in virtual darkness so I had to push the ISO hard: these are what finally pushed me into trying this software, and the results have been better than I hoped. It also promises to work well on astro images, though I haven't as yet tried it for this.

I've attached a couple of my test files so you can have a look - both images were shot at ISO 25,600 so they are a good test!

If you're interested in Topaz DeNoise AI please consider taking a look via the link on this page - you will get a good price reduction and I will receive a small reward for recommending it ...and neither of us will be plagued by noisy images any more: a win-win-win!

Please note: I very seldom recommend specific products: I only do so when I have personally found them beneficial and think they could also be of benefit to my clients. I bought and tried out this software independently as many of you have asked me about noise reduction. For me this is a definite step up from manually reducing noise in Lightroom or Photoshop.

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