I have a picture containing lot of noise (see example below). Using photoshop CS5, is there any way to remove/or minimize these artefacts ?

enter image description here

I know this is possible in sound editors (like Goldwave) : you select a small sample of the sound containing only noise, and then apply a "noise reduction" effect, it will remove anything in the sound that contains same frequencies as sample selected. It is not perfect since its also remove some other usefull information in the sound but results are generally very good.

I am looking for the same functionality but for pictures. It should allow me to select some region in picture containing mostly noise (a black / very dark area) and then based on this region, the plugin effect should remove any noise on the picture with same frequencies/pattern.

I think some cameras have same possibility : you take a picture of a black background (thus containing only noise), then real pictures. using the picture containing only noise, the camera automatically remove artefacts in real pictures.

If not possible in Photoshop CS5, any other tool doing that would also be nice.

Note : i know about Filter > Noise > Reduce noise but it is not what i want.

EDIT : thanks all for your suggestions, after searching a lot, i have found one tool that does it : NeatImage. This was perfectly what I was looking for and made miracles. During some googling sessions I have also try some other and find Noise Ninja and Noiseware to be nice tools. I will try some of your suggestions when i will have time.

7 Answers 7


Would this be better?

Channel blur

What I did, was actually adding a Curves adjustment layer and then edited curve for each individual colour channel.

This could also be a starting point to add other obivous elements to the image itself, to correct it as much as possible (like those different tint bars at top)...

Channel blur with bars


So if you're after one step process, then I suggest Curves adjustment layer that reduces much of the noise in your image. but you have to be aware that it cancels all that noise basically because background is significantly darker (noise too) than content. InDesign's icon falls into the same hue range, that's why it's cancelled out along with noise.

  • You could probably get around this by copying the InDesign icon to a new layer before making your curves adjustments on the original layer (and you could play with using regular Reduce Noise on the icon layer).
    – huzzah
    Apr 20, 2012 at 14:12
  • 1
    @huzzah: Instead of copying you could easily use layer masks here and have separate noise-cancelling adjustment layers for individual mask. Dec 30, 2013 at 8:13

There's no functional equivalent to audio noise sampling/reduction in Photoshop. The best approach to this kind of problem is not to use Photoshop itself, but Camera Raw.

Select the image in Bridge and use the keyboard shortcut Cmd/Ctl-R to open the jpeg in Camera Raw. Now you have a wealth of noise reduction (including color noise) tools available to you. You're not going to get a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but you'll be able to get rid of a great deal of the noise, including the color noise, and bring a much-cleaned-up image into Photoshop for more work. CS6 has even better Camera Raw noise reduction, so you might want to download the public beta and give that a whirl.

Once in Photoshop, you may find that a HIRALOAM (HIgh RAdius, LOw AMount -- a term coined, as far as I know, by Dan Margulis, and discussed extensively in his book "Professional Photoshop") sharpen will help punch up the text. It is the best technique to use when sharpening images with high amounts of noise. Dan also wrote the book, literally, on the Lab color space. Both books highly recommended.


Garbage in, garbage out.

There's no technique I'm aware of to remove that much noise. And especially no technique which is automated.

Your'e best bet would be to convert the image to L*A*B mode and work on the channels to remove noise. Overall though, that's a HUGE mountain to climb based on your posted sample.

If it were me, I'd reshoot with better lighting and a better camera.

  • 1
    I think it's more feasible than you think. The key point is that the noise displays different characteristics to the "signal". This isn't the same problem as trying to fill in missing data in the original image.
    – e100
    Apr 18, 2012 at 12:04

create clipping mask (channel Mixer)

output channel red, red=-200% other all 0,,,, output channel green, green=-200% other all 0,,,, output channel blue, blue=-200% other all 0,,,,

then give channel mixer clipping to Overlay and Opacity 71%



This is a helpful link that I found this morning.

  • 1
    Hey there, welcome to our site. Link-only answers such as yours are helpful in the short term, but we can't depend on external sites to last forever. If you could edit your answer to include some of the helpful information from that link, your answer would be improved greatly
    – JohnB
    Apr 1, 2014 at 15:53

You can also try

Filter > Noise > Median
  • Hi there. We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. This one is valid, but keep in mind for the following :)
    – Yisela
    Apr 14, 2014 at 2:39

you can gaussian blur the image, though it doesnt remove grains , it will look like a less grained one.

  • 1
    And how is that to do? Can you please explain? Welcome to GD.SE!
    – Mensch
    Dec 17, 2015 at 8:10

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