Fix Grainy Photos with/without Photoshop
Heavy noise or grain can destroy a photo you just shoot. You might be seeking a tutorial to remove the grain from your photos and make your photos sharper. Then you have got to the right place because this article will share with you detailed guides on how to fix grainy photos with or without Photoshop. Besides useful tutorials, it will also introduce other relative things like how to avoid grainy photos or what causes grainy photos, which you may be interested in.
Part 1: What is grain & noise?
Grain or noise is the term that refers to a certain type of visual distortion in digital photographs. It is the grainy stuff you see over the photo, and it can look like specks of discolored pixels when it’s really bad. Here’s an example of a photo with grain, zoomed in to a section so you can see the grain more clearly.
Part2: What causes grainy photos?
The reason can be concluded as the high ISO setting. A higher ISO setting means your camera’s sensor is more responsive to light, so it needs less light to reach the sensor to create a well-exposed photograph. But at the same time, as the light sensitivity increases, the digital noise will increase, too. This happens when you shoot photos at night or in low-light conditions without using a flash. Normally speaking, the higher ISO setting, your photos will be more grainy.
However, sometimes you will find that the ISO is low, but the photo still gets grainy. This is because you don’t set camera exposure right. A photo taken with underexposure and a relatively low ISO can even create more noise than a picture shot with a high ISO but correctly exposed.
Part3: How to fix grainy photos without Photoshop?
Since AI technology becomes more and more mature, it has been applied in the field of photo editing. AI-powered photo enhancing or denoising tools are very common now. And here the AI tool we recommend is AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI. Unlike most noise reduction tools which will cause detail loss, AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI uses deep learning models to remove the grain from your photos while recovering the necessary details of the photo to make your photo as natural as if it isn’t processed. What’s more, with the powerful AI tech, the whole process is 100% automatic which requires no fine-tuned work or photo editing skills.
Features of AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI
Photo Enhancer AI
Automatically remove noise/grain from images
Upscale the image resolution without losing quality
Make the blurred, low-quality photos to high-definition
Immediately improve your portrait photography
Quickly colorize the old black&white images
Remove the background from images with one-touch
Steps to fix grainy photos with AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI:
Download and install.
You can click on the above download button to get the tool on your computer. AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI supports both Windows and Mac computers. You can click here to check detailed information about the system and hardware requirements of AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI.
Import the grainy photo(s).
Once finish the installation, you can launch the program and get into the main interface of the program. Click on the "Browse" button to import the grainy photos from your computer in batches, or simply drag and drop the photo to the window directly. There will be snapshots of all the imported photos displayed at the bottom of the main interface.
Choose the AI Feature.
AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI offers 5 options of AI Feature: AI Upscaler, AI Denoiser, AI Color Calibration, AI BG Removal and AI Colorizer to meet users’ different demands for photos. All features process automatically and intelligently. Here we want to fix the grainy photos, so we choose the “AI Denoiser” feature to remove the noise.
Preview the effect.
You can check the effect before saving the denoised photo to your computer. Choose a photo you want to preview the effect by clicking the snapshot at the bottom of the main interface. Then click on the eye icon in the upper right corner and the program will begin processing. When it finishes, you can drag the white line to see the contrast.
Save photos to the computer.
If you are satisfied with the effect, you can click on the “Save All” button to save the photos to your computer. Once photos have been saved, a window will pop up to remind you of the result. You can click on “Open Output Directory” to open the default output folder to check the photos. You can also tap on the Menu button > Settings to change the output path.
Part4: How to fix grainy photos with Photoshop?
Photoshop as a well-known photo editing software is also a good tool to fix grainy photos. Let’s keep reading the step-by-step guide of it.
Steps to fix grainy photos with Photoshop:
Open the grainy photo you want to fix in Photoshop. Here we use the same photo as an example.
Click on “Filter” in the upper menu bar and choose “Camera Raw Filter”.
In the Camera Raw window, set the zoom to 100% and then click the small square icon at the bottom of the panel to enable the “before and after view” mode. So you can see the contrast and adjust the parameters more conveniently.
Click on “Detail” on the right side of the panel. You will see several options. And we need to operate the last two options.
Move the “Noise Reduction” and “Color Noise Reduction” slider to the right until you think the noise is gone. Don’t set the number too high or else the photo will look unnatural.
Under the “Noise Reduction” option, there are “Detail” and “Contrast” sliders. When you remove the noise, some details will be removed, too. So you can move the “Detail” slider to the right a bit to fix it. But don’t increase it too much because it might bring noise back. You can also move the “Contrast” slider to the right to raise the contrast of the photo.
Under the “Noise Reduction” option, there are “Detail” and “Smoothness” sliders. Use the “Detail” slider to bring back the color details, and use the “Smoothness” slider to soften the color transition in the color noise areas.
You need to move these sliders until you find the most suitable and most satisfactory effect. There are no perfect parameters for every grainy photo. You need to balance the photo details against the noise. Lastly, let’s check the final result:
Part5: How to avoid grainy photos?
You can always remove the noise from the image in the post-production, but if you can avoid grainy photos from the first place, a lot of trouble can be saved.
Shoot at a low ISO setting.
As the high ISO setting is the main reason that produces the noise, the most obvious method is to shoot the photo at a low ISO setting.
If you have to take photos at a high ISO setting, you can slightly overexpose to reduce the grain in the photo. But please remember that too much is as bad as too little, as too much overexposure will bring other problems like obliterating detail.
Introduce a new light source.
If the original environment doesn’t have enough light and makes the photo grainy, you can introduce a new light source like a lamp or flash to brighten the photo. Then the shadow and noise can be reduced to some extent.
Use in-camera noise reduction.
Some cameras have in-camera noise reduction settings like Long Exposure Noise Reduction (LENR) or High ISO Noise Reduction. You can turn them on to reduce the long exposure noise. Please also note that the LENR will take more camera time.
Change to a good quality camera.
Tried everything but still get the grainy or bad-quality photos? Maybe there is a problem with your camera. If your camera is too old or your camera’s sensor is small, then it can’t be able to shoot high-quality photos in low light. Perhaps it’s time for you to buy a new camera with larger and more responsive sensors.
Although noise is not always a problem and sometimes a little noise can give your photos a vintage look, too much will ruin photos’ whole quality and make your photos harsh. You can avoid grainy photos using some in-camera tricks or fix them with post-processing using an AI tool or Photoshop. Photoshop is a good tool if you are patient to adjust the parameters until the photo gets the best effects. However, if you want to do the batch process and save time, AI tool is the better choice. AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI as an AI-powered photo enhancing tool can remove noise from photos automatically while restoring detail without any fine-tuning. Want to fix the grainy photos easily and efficiently? Just download and try AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI for free now!