Always looking to explore my options, I tried a different technique for removing noise from my images. I have often used NIK Dfine 2 to remove noise and have generally been pleased with the results. For the first image below, I noticed significant banding in the sky. The banding is a result of all the light flares coming from the street lights directly across from where I was standing. I did not see the banding in camera, so was a bit unhappy to see them when scanning images to process. I recalled hearing that Topaz Labs DeNoise 5 does a great job of removing banding. Since I have never used the program before, I decided if it can improve this image… I am in. Here are the before and after images. I must say, I was impressed by how well DeNoise 5 did. I will admit, I ran it 3 times, each time adjusting for remaining banding, in the various channels. It took time and a few passes, but I am amazed at how DeNoise 5 cleaned up the image.
After my banding experiment, I decided to use DeNoise 5 on an image with noise, but no banding, to see how well DeNoise would perform. This image was taken inside the U.S. Capitol, in low light, with fairly high ISO. Again, I must say, DeNoise 5 does a really good job and did not overly soften the image. Here are the before and after images.
DeNoise 5 has made a convert out of me. If you are interested in exploring DeNoise 5 and other Topaz Labs plugins, click here or on the link in the blog Sidebar.