ISO

Recommended Techniques For Noise Reduction

Recommended Techniques For Noise Reduction

Why Is Noise Reduction Such a Big Deal?

Noise is a big consideration in shooting pictures at night.  We push our cameras to capture the best details possible in dark conditions and the result can often be a little noisy.  What can you do about it?  Well, part of the answer lies in the shooting techniques but there's more on the post-processing side as well.  In the end, photographers have some good options available to them.

One of the challenges in using noise reduction is that there are so many options available to us.  In-fact, with all the different approaches available for reducing noise in nightscape images, it can be a downright confusing to know what to use when.  Darren and Mike got together and tested some of the most common methods available to determine what would be best to recommend and when.

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Mike's Super Long-Exposure Cheat Sheet

Mike's Super Long-Exposure Cheat Sheet

There are lots of different ways to shoot night photography.  We have the relatively short duration exposure (usually 30 seconds or less) where we get to see details in the night sky as points of light.  Then we have the star trail images where we shoot for a little longer and we stack multiple exposures so we get the stars to appear as trails in a way that's effective at reducing noise.  Both of these approaches open the shutter for a period of time that doesn't usually exceed 2 to 3 minutes - often less.  Part of the theory behind this is that multiple exposures are more effective at reducing noise than a single super long-exposure - even with long-exposure noise reduction enabled.

The Super Long-Exposure
In this article, I'm not letting the issue of sensor heat stop me from trying a really long exposure.  I'll make use of some long-exposure noise reduction to help address that issue.  I want to see what it looks like when I expose my shutter to light for 16 minutes or even 32 minutes.  The human eye is limited to ultra-short exposure times so we can't see much color at night.  But when the shutter is opened for half an hour, the results can be very interesting...

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