Photoshop is an incredibly powerful tool for editing images, but one issue that many users face is dealing with noisy images. Noise, which appears as grain or pixelation in an image, can be caused by a number of factors, including low light conditions or a high ISO setting on your camera. Fortunately, there are several techniques you can use to reduce noise in Photoshop and improve the overall quality of your images. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most effective methods for reducing noise in Photoshop, from simple adjustments to more advanced techniques. Whether you’re a professional photographer or a beginner, these tips will help you achieve clearer, sharper images with minimal noise.

Video 1 | How to shoot in the dark. Reduce noise effectively by Koldunov Brothers


Koldunov Brothers have released a super short tutorial demonstrating precisely what to do and the kind of results you can expect.

This tip will work with any camera. To drive that point home, the first camera used to demo the technique in this video was that of an iPad at ISO 800. Here are the simple steps to drastically reduce noise in an image:

  1. Take about ten shots in rapid succession. Your camera doesn’t need to be on a tripod.
  2. Open Photoshop.
  3. Via the File menu, navigate to File > Scripts > Load Files Into Stack.
  4. In the dialog box that appears, use the “browse” button to locate all your files. Check the boxes for “Attempt To Automatically Align Source Images” and “Create Smart Object After Loading Layers.”  Then press “OK.”
  5. All your images will load into a multi-layer Photoshop document with each shot you took comprising a layer. Use the Layer Menu to navigate to Layer > Smart Objects > Stack Mode > Median.
  6. Now your image is magically much, much less noisy.

A similar technique is used for mobile photography in the Cortex Cam app. If you’d like to achieve low-noise results from low light mobile shots without having to export to a computer and run them through Photoshop, Cortex Cam is an easy way to do just that. You can check out our review of the app here to learn more.

Video 2 | Noise Reduction in Photoshop by Adobe

There are many ways to reduce noise in post when you’ve perhaps shot an image with too high of an ISO in a low light situation. With cameras going up to the hundred thousand ISOs these days, grainy images may some day become almost obsolete. Even though my Canon 5d Mark II has some expanded range high ISOs, I don’t like to take it too much further past 3200 ISO hand held.

Though we cannot remove noise completely from an image, in the cases of too much noise (or grain), you can use Lightroom, which Pye explains in this detailed post here, third party plugins or Photoshop to help minimize the grain and bring back some of the image quality. In the 4 minute Photoshop Playbook video below, Bryan O’Neil Hughes explains a few ways you can effectively reduce noise.