Noise in digital photographs can be a pain.  All those ugly grainy areas can really detract from your photos. But if used correctly, noise can add that something special to your photograph that really makes it a wonderful image.

Noise doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, it just depends on how you use it.  And the first step in that process is to realize what areas in your composition are likely to produce noise.  I can give you a hint:  Dark areas, high ISO’s, and long exposures are likely to produce more noise than light areas.

This can be fixed fairly easily, the main thing to remember is to try not to lighten the darker areas later during post processing.  This can produce huge amounts of ugly, grainy noise that is wholly avoidable by exposing your photo correctly in the first place, or (for those with a bit of Photoshop experience) masking out the affected areas.

Noise can appear everywhere though, not just in the darker areas.  Large areas of a single color can be quite noisy also and these areas should be cleaned up in your post processing routine in Photoshop or any other software you may use.

Having said all that, noise doesn’t have to be a bad thing.  A bit of grain can add an extra layer of texture to a shot, especially if you are creating a gritty, documentary type photo.  And for this purpose there is even the option of adding more noise if needed in photoshop.

So noise doesn’t have to be the bane of your existence anymore, you just have to know how to handle it, and it all comes with practice.

Happy shooting!

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