January 2009
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5 photo tips as of January 25, 2009

Tip 116 (Image Noise): You must have heard of image noise if there was ever a talk about the quality of a photo, especially if the photo was taken in a low light condition. Image noise is also called digital grain, and are those ugly looking blemishes and warts (also called artifacts) that you see in a photo in the middle of a section of low light. It reduces the apparent finish of smoothness on a photo and makes it less clear.

Tip 117 (Reducing Image Noise in the camera): In some cases of low light, you would want to bump up the ISO so that you don’t have to reduce your shutter speed so much. But every increase in ISO increases the sensitivity of the sensor to light, and also increases the chance of generating more noise. Point and shoots typically will have noise by around 400 ISO, while many DSLR’s can go upto 1600 ISO without a sizeable noise increase.

Tip 118 (Reducing noise in the software): There are many specialist software such as Neat Image, Noise Ninja, Noiseware, Helicon Filter, that reduce noise. In addition, standard software such as Photoship have noise reduction as one of the features.

Tip 119 (Viewing images at 100% for noise): Most image programs show you the image at a size where many noise artifacts may not be easily visible, and depending on the size of your image, you might see your photo at 33% or 50%. Always review the image at 100% to see whether it has noise, especially if the photo has a lot of shadows or is a photo taken of the sky.

Tip 120 (Go light on noise reduction): Noise reduction is not magic. There is a slight degradation in the quality of the photo when you do noise reduction, and you should not be doing this again and again, since there will be some loss in quality.

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