Image noise can make photographs and scanned images flecked, grainy, and hard to edit with. In this ultimate guide, learn more about the different types of image noise and how to correct for it both while you take photos and during editing.
Image noise is a defect in images such as photographs and scanned images. The "noise" is small dots or pixels of miscolored or overly bright colors overlaid on an image. Image noise is generally caused by electronic noise, or electronic interference that stops the sensor from fully recognizing every detail of an image. Film can also pick up traces of image noise.
Image noise varies in intensity from occasional specks of interference that allow the vast majority of the image to be perceived to image noise that completely overwhelms the image and allows for little to no information transfer. However, this severity of image noise is usually reserved for astronomical images.
While image noise is typically regarded as a defect that photographers and graphic designers want to remove, that's not always the case. Some types of noise are enjoyed because of the retro or artistic appeal they add to the photo; artificial filters of image noise can also be purposefully layered onto an otherwise clean image. However, even in case where graphic designers want picturesque image noise, the original noise might first be removed for more image control.
Some of the most common types of image noise include:
There are lots of different tools available for photographers and graphic designers to remove noise from their images.
One of the most popular tools is a smoothing filter. This tool averages or "smooths" pixel intensity across adjacent pixels to remove specks that have strongly contrasting intensity. However, this effectively blurs the image on a small level, obscuring some fine details and intensity contrast that should exist. Modern tools can better recognize when strong contrasts should occur in order to both preserve the original image and correct defects. High-quality graphic design programs will offer noise reduction tools you can fine-tune and control.
You can also reduce the risk of noise before the image is taken in the first place. To do that, photographers can:
Our CorelDRAW Graphic Suite comes with the PHOTO-PAINT image editing software and is equipped with the tools and controls for all of your graphic design projects. Download our software today to start removing noise from your photographs and scanned images.
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