19 Jun Reduce Shadow Noise in Lightroom

Source: Thomas Fitzgerald Photography

Sometimes you can come across an image where the shadows are quite noisy, but there are still details in the mid tones or highlights that you don’t want to soften by applying too much overall noise reduction. You can actually just apply noise reduction to the shadows of an image in Lightroom by using a luminance mask. In this video I show you how to do this.

For those who prefer written instructions, here’s a brief overview…

It used to be the case that in order to selectively apply noise reduction based on the luminance in an image, you would have to send your image to Photoshop, but a few versions back Adobe added luminance masking to the selective editing tools.

So to start with, you need to use one of the selective editing tools to apply an overall mask to the image, and then you can use the luminance mask to limit it to the shadow areas.

The simplest thing to do is use the brush tool. You can actually apply a brushed mask to the entire image, if you need to, but in the example I used, because there is a large area of sky I just brushed over the buildings and the ground. Once you do this, you can now apply a luminance mask.

To use a luminance mask, from the Range Mask pop-up at the bottom of the selective editing panel, select “Luminance”. This will give you the luminance mask option.

Now drag the right widget

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