Sometimes when you're on the road, things don't work out as planned. Your perfect shot of that monument is blown out, it was too dark to capture that wonderful meal you had, or all of your shots just look...flat. For me, there's nothing more disappointing as coming back from an amazing trip and having non-amazing photos to show for it. But, not all is lost! Today, I'll show you how to take a grainy, high ISO shot and transform it into something you'd be proud to show off. Check out my how-to video below, or keep reading for a step-by-step rundown of how you can remove noise from your travel photos with Adobe Lightroom.
There are two types of noise that you can remove, light noise (white/grey speckles) and color noise (randomly colored speckles.) Typically, you'll see more noise when you use a higher ISO setting in low-light situations. How much noise you see will depend on your camera. I've noticed more noise on our little Lumix than our newer Canon Rebel T1i, so if you do a lot of travel photography with a point and shoot the noise reduction tools will be prove themselves useful. If you've got a newer digital SLR, you probably won't see much color noise, even at higher ISOs (but the light noise will still be there, taunting you.)
Now, let's get down to the details. First, head on over to the Develop pane, then scroll down to the Detail section. Zoom in so you can see more detail; you'll be able to tell when you're done adjusting more quickly. Scroll down to the Noise Reduction section, there are a few sliders; the ones we're interested in today are Luminance and Color. To make your first adjustment, drag the Color slider up to clear up any colored specks in your photo.
After you get rid of any colored noise, you'll still have light and dark speckles in your photo. Simply up the Luminance noise reduction and your photo will clear up right before your eyes.
Got a photo you love but don't know to take it from good to awesome? Leave a comment below and I'll help you out.