For the Treasure Hunt theme #15 this month (November) we are going to do something in the realms of proper, real and genuine (whichever way you want to look at it!) Post Processing- We are going to remove, or at least reduce the noise from our images! To this end we need to make sure we have a nasty noisy image (if you have one already that you’ve not been able to bin then that’s the one we’ll try and rescue!), and the best way to get noise is to really stretch your sensor so start off by using a camera with the smallest sensor. This is most likely going to be your cell/mobile/smart phone, if it has a built in camera, otherwise your cheapest P&S (as if we all have loads of ‘em!) and oddly enough the more pixels the better! If you possess an all singing and dancing pro spec jobby well, don’t panic, we can still make it noisy! Just follow these rules;
1. Adjust your camera settings. Set the iso to its highest sensitivity! This might only be 800 or 1600 or it could be all the way up to 250000.
2. Use your ‘Digital’ Zoom. All this does is use a smaller ‘crop’ of the sensor thus exaggerating your noise levels.


Now you’ve got your pic you should be able to see little squares of colour (tending to reds and greens) appearing in the shadows and some lovely blocky lines. The colour is of course colour noise and the grainy stuff is called luminance.
Now to get rid;
None of the apps that most of you favour, picmonkey, ribbit etc, have the facilities to remove Noise, Pixlr has a Denoise button but it does not appear to be very effective. So the comfort zone has been thrown out the window! However, it’s worth remembering that a little time spent biting this particular bullet could make a huge difference to your images
For those of you with Photoshop (Elements, lightroom or CS), Aperture, Gimp or Paintshop pro Have tools already at your disposal.
Those of you that avoid using or don’t have Photoshop, etc, you need to download a trial version of some really wonderful apps, you may even want to purchase one when you see what they can do! The two apps I am familiar with are ‘Noise Ninja’ and ‘Neat Image’

Read this excellent tutorial here for more information and details on how to go about using these de-noise edits and programmes:- photographylife.com/photo-noise-reduction-tutorial

Note! After Nigel sent me this challenge and I had seen the tutorial I thought I better "bite the bullet" and see how difficult it was! I downloaded a free "demo" version of "Neat Image" and tried it out. Obviously it is not as powerful and they have not provided the facility to select areas for denoising in this demo version, but I was astounded at how easy it was to use and how vastly it improved noisy images. I get a lot of noise as soon as I use my zoom lens to do close-ups of distant objects where I want nice DoF or bokeh! So if you do nothing else, do try this free editing programme and give this Challenge a good try. Play, experiment with different settings on the sliders and have fun.

Then submit a diptych of your pre-denoised shot and your post-denoised shot!