There has been a lot of talk about Adobe’s Photoshop CS5 since it was announced a few weeks ago, but not much talk about Adobe’s Lightroom. I don’t believe that there will ever be a lot of big changes in Lightroom any time they upgrade the program. When they started out designing Lightroom, they talked to photographers asking them what they wanted, and with that designed a great image workflow program. Each upgrade they’ve done so far has made great improvements to the program and a better experience for photographers using it. With Lightroom Beta three one of the things I really like about it is what they’ve done is with noise reduction.
Here are some photographs I took at Photoshop World’s keynote. If you’ve never been to a Photoshop World keynote experience, and that’s the only way to explain, it’s an experience, they always come up with a theme for the whole convention. As you can see from the photograph this year was KISS, but they renamed the group NAPP. In this photograph of creative director Felix Nelson, shot at ISO of 1600 and hand held, you can see that there is some noise in the photograph. Using Lightroom’s noise adjustment sliders you can see that it really reduces the amount of noise so that you don’t even need to use a third-party program. I did add a little Sharpening to the photo in Lightroom just to take care of normal camera softness.
There are two ways that Lightroom works to get rid of noise, color and luminance. Both of these corrections have another slider, which adds back detail to the image, since when you use noise reduction it tends to soften the photograph. Simple adjustments in Lightroom will save you a lot of time in Photoshop cleaning up your images and trying to get rid of noise through other means. I think a lot of third-party vendors are going to lose some business with how well this works with both Lightroom and Camera RAW.