I hope I don’t have this problem again now that I made the switch to now shoot in RAW. But I know I’m not the only once to make this mistake, so I wanted to share how to eliminate the grain and reduce noise in photoshop when you have a JPEG image!
Up until the Tinker Bell and Periwinkle photo shoot, I shot in jpeg. I had a problem with shooting in RAW. It filled up my memory card way too fast, and it slowed down my camera. Like so slow that I would miss precious faces that my kids were making simply because my camera shutter wouldn’t close. So even after I finally discovered how to shoot in RAW (not going to lie, it took me years!) I still shot in JPEG.
While this photoshoot produced, by far, my favorite photos ever… They could have been even better if I shot in RAW! I didn’t dwell on it and instead found a way to fix my little underexposed JPEG images to the best of my ability.
How to reduce noise in Photoshop, even in a JPEG image:
As you can see, once I brightened the photo, it created this grain throughout. The photo on the right has a bunch of grain, noise, or little dots all over, particularly on the skin, that takes away from the quality of the photo.
Before you do anything, duplicate the original image layer. When you edit the image directly, it’s best to do it on a copy of the layer that way it’s not permanent till you save it!
To duplicate the image, make sure you have the original layer highlighted. Got to:
Layer -> Duplicate Layer
From there, edit the duplicate layer. If you ever go too far, you can always delete the layer and start over.
I actually chose to edit my image first and reduce noise in Photoshop second. To do that, my layers looked like the image above.
As you can see, I have my editing layers stacked above my duplicate layer. Now I can reduce the noise in photoshop and see how my image will look as a finished product. To reduce the noise, go to:
Filter -> Noise -> Reduce Noise
A screen will pop up that looks like the one below.
This image was so grainy I actually ended up reducing the noise 3 times! I know this is not ideal, but my options were limited. To do this, I duplicate the new layer and applied the reduce noise filter again. I repeated till the image layer list looked like this:
I would have been able to both fix the exposure and reduce noise in Photoshop had I preserved more of the details of the file by shooting in RAW, but since I shot in JPEG I was more limited. It was definitely worth it to save the photo.