How do you handle long exposure noise?

Here’s another photo from yesterday’s sunset at Sublime point:

Sublime Point Sunset B&W

20 sec at f16, ISO 200
Edited in Lightroom, Siver Efex Pro and Dfine

I like the look of this photo, but when I blow it up to 100% it is a mess! The long exposure and original under exposure has created heaps of noise (grainy dots) that seem distracting (at least when viewed at 100%). I used Nik Software’s Dfine anti-noise software, and although it did take out much of the noise, it did also blur a lot of the details giving the photo that watercolour look.

If you’ve encountered this, how do you deal with it? Have you ever had things printed that look like they have much noise? I guess at some point I should do some test prints to see how much the noise or watercolour quality impact how the print turns out.

I’d love to hear anyone’s experiences with this!



2 Comments on “How do you handle long exposure noise?”

  1. bananabatman says:

    I have sometimes (quite often really) suffered noise problems, mainly caused by my inexperience in digital photography. I have learned how to overcome it in a number of ways over the years and now find that if I always try to shoot RAW, and then do the RAW conversion using DxO Pro (far better than Lightroom for me), this yields very good results. It has been a long story, too much for this reply, so maybe I should post something sometime.

  2. Matt Korinek says:

    Yeah, that would be awesome! If you do make that post, make sure you post a link here, or let me know and I will link to you! I was also shooting raw, but I still found that getting rid of the noise seemed to affect the picture too much. I probably just have to learn more about the settings and change them “to taste” rather than relying on presets. I’ve had noise before that I don’t find too distracting, but this time it was too much I thought!

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