Lightroom Denoise: The Secret to Clean Photos at (Almost) Any ISO (VIDEO)

Many photographers avoid high ISO settings because of the realistic fear that ugly noise artifacts will pollute their images. But there are consequences to be paid for taking that approach, including the necessity of carrying a tripod to avoid blurry photos.

But there's another option available for achieving clean images at higher ISO settings while lightening your load; namely Lightroom's game-changing Denoise tool. In this nine-minute video with instructor Jord Hammond, you'll learn when and how to use this revolutionary tool to banish noise once and for all.

Hammond is a full-time travel photographer based in picturesque Bali, Indonesia who often shoots under low-light conditions. In this episode you'll discover why Lightroom's Denoise tool is hailed as one of the most significant updates to the software in recent times, and "how it almost entirely eliminates the concern of shooting at high ISO levels."

Your editing sequence is important when employing this tool, and Hammond recommends using Lightroom's Denoise after you've made basic adjustments to an image and before making selective enhancements. His reason is this: "All of these edits and adjustments are going to transfer over to the file that's been through the Denoise process."

Hammond pulls up a high ISO photo captured at night—a situation under which noise typically rears its ugly head. He then applies a few basic adjustments that include dropping color temperature for a slightly cooler look, raising overall exposure while reducing highlights, and cutting contrast to reveal more detail in the shadows.

Other preliminary enhancements involve softening the intensity of both Whites and Blacks, increasing Texture and Vibrance, and reducing Clarity. The next step is simple color grading and Hammond quickly walks you through his step-by-step process.

The foregoing adjustments are actually far more time-consuming than the simple Denoise process that completes the effective transformation, and Hammond demonstrates exactly how its done. If you examine his before/after images, the significant improvement is easy to discern.

You can find many more straightforward lessons like this one by paying a visit to Hammond's instructional YouTube channel.

Don't miss the tutorial we posted earlier from another image-editing expert and learn why he says that "Stack and Subtract is Lightroom's best masking technique" before explaining how to use it for beautiful landscape photographs with perfect tones.