Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

December 5, 2007

Skies tooo blue

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 6:03 pm

While working on yesterday’s Photo of the Day, I again am having issues with the Blue clear skies we have here in Southern California. Specifically, I have a little too much ‘noise’ becoming apparent in the blue sky of my image after my applying my Black and White mojo. 

The noise in the sky (my version of lizard skin) does not appear to me to be an issue with the original color file that I can see, but the color may mask part of the noise, since it is prodominately the blue sky, with blue being the ‘noisy’ color channel.

My first reaction was to buy a software Photoshop plug-in to fix, e.g. Noise Nija, although I really do not have direct experience with any of the noise reduction solutions.  So if that is my fix, I guess I need to start reading some noise reduction software reviews, so any help out there?

But before I make that purchase, I also need to do some tweaking with Photoshop CS3 and see what’s under the hood that might be a fix.  So back to my ‘manual’ to find out what is suggested. Again, any one with some suggestions on using CS3 to reduce that ‘Blue Sky’ noise?


  1. I noticed the same problem some time ago when I picked up the long forgotten pola-filter. Hadn’t use that one since the fim days. Since I didn’t want to spend hours, days, or weeks learning how to remove noise with the rather crude tools in photoshop, I just bought myself a version of Noise Ninja. I think it’s worth every penny. It takes a little practice to get the hang of it, but once you understand the procedure (which is well described), it is really fast and efficient. I always stamp alle the layers into a new NN layer, on which I run the plugin. If I end up being a bit too agressive, I just turn down the opacity slider.

    Comment by Kjell — December 5, 2007 @ 7:43 pm

  2. I use Neat Image and find it very useful for removing noise, especially if you get the right profiles for your camera. Alternately, what I do sometimes is actually ‘paint’ over the noise, particularly if it is in the sky and there are few clouds. I create a new layer, sample the color near the horizon and sample the color near the top of the photo, then I apply a gradient from horizon to top. If it looks a little overdone, I, like Kjell, reduce the opacity. You can also sample and paint, of course, using the brush tool, but for large areas like the sky, I prefer to use the gradient tool.

    Comment by paul — December 6, 2007 @ 12:44 pm

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