How to Reduce Noise in Adobe Camera RAW (ACR)If you’ve got an image that feels a little too noisy or grainy, and you’d like to fix it, you’ve come to the right place. This tutorial will explain step-by-step how to reduce noise in Adobe Camera RAW using the Luminance Slider.
First, open your image in ACR.
If you shoot in RAW format, attempting to open your image should pull it into Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) automatically.
JPEG shooters, you can open an image into ACR by going to Filter > Camera RAW Filter in Photoshop CC.
If you’re working in an earlier version of Photoshop, you can go to File > Open As instead. When the ‘Open As’ box pops up, find the image you wish to open and click it once to select it. Then, find the drop down menu at the bottom of the panel and change the File Type from ‘JPEG’ to ‘Camera Raw’ and hit ‘Open’.
Step 1. Select the ‘Detail’ Tab
Once your image is open in ACR, you’ll want to open the Detail tab in the panel on the right side of your screen. (In earlier versions of ACR, the Detail tab had an icon that looked like two triangles, one dark and one light.)
With the detail tab open, you should now see the ‘Noise Reduction’ slider. (Previously, this slider was called ‘Luminance,’ so if you see that instead of ‘Noise Reduction’ you can use it just the same.)
Step 2. Zoom In
To properly see the noise in your image as you work, you’ll need to zoom into 100% or more. To do this, click the percentage number in the bottom left hand corner of your screen and select the number you’d like to use to zoom. You could also select the Zoom tool (magnifying glass) from the right hand side of your screen if you prefer.
Here I chose to zoom into 200%. Zooming in allows you to see minute details in your image so that you can see exactly what the sliders are doing to your photo in the next step.
Step 3. Increase the Noise Reduction (or Luminance) Slider
After you’ve zoomed in to 100% or more, slowly drag the Noise Reduction slider to the right and watch as the noise or grain in your image is smoothed out.
You can select the Hand tool on the right hand side of your screen so that you can pan around the image and check your results. (Tip: If your image has lots of colorful grain or weird coloration when you zoom in close, you may want to increase the value of the ‘Color Noise Reduction’ slider as well.)
Once you’ve smoothed and reduced the grain to your liking, you’re finished! You can open your image into Photoshop to finish processing it as normal.
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