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Blur Color Noise In Photoshop

5) Noise in image

1. Duplicate the Background layer and turn the new layer’s Blend Mode to Color.

2. Blur the layer (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur).

Examine images at 100% magnification while you’re determining settings to apply. Only this screen magnification will accurately display granular detail.

Using this technique, only the color of an image is blurred, not its luminance, so image sharpness won’t be compromised. Be careful not to use the blur filter too aggressively. This may result in contours with reduced saturation and possibly fields of color with lower saturation and hue variety. If you can’t go far enough without encountering these side effects or if larger blocks of color noise persist (possibly from Bayer pattern demosaicing or JPEG artifacting), then use third-party software for noise reduction.

6) Color noise reduced
(note luminance noise persists)

7) Color noise reduced too aggressively (contours desaturated)

8) Color noise reduced too aggressively (saturation reduced overall)

John Paul Caponigro, author ofAdobe Photoshop Master Class and theDVD series R/Evolution, is an internationally renowned fine artist, an authority on digital printing, and a respected lecturer and workshop leader. Get over 100 free downloads and his e-newsletter Insights free at

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