Noise is good
Well, to a certain extent. Image noise provides a certain flair and style reminiscent of traditional film photography. However, too much noise ruins a picture. Noise at acceptable or minimal levels provides clarity and details to an image. You all know the symptoms of a noisy image, they are grainy, sandy, pixelated and with speckles. Also, you all know that noise is produced by bumping up the ISO setting in our camera, which we do during low light situations or taking night time shots. But do you know that small sensors usually found in point-and-shoots and compacts produce more noise than larger sensors found in DSLRs? And that these DSLRs even at higher ISO levels are virtually noise free? This is technical stuff best explained in layman’s terms through this article What Is…Noise? from Photoxels.com. The article explains what image noise is all about, what causes it, how to minimize it in-cam or eliminate it through editing softwares, why smaller sensors create more noise than larger sensors, and many more interesting info on the subject. And do browse through the comments and inputs of readers (some of them are engineers) who share enlightening information. Early on in my photographic journey, there was a time I deliberately upped the ISO settings on my camera to produce “noisy” image. I thought I found the images stylish and harking back to the old camera film days. Until someone told me head on that the images were boring. Arghh! Nuff with noise! Well from that point onwards I made sure my images were noise-free either through camera settings or with dedicated image editing softwares called “denoisers.” Yet there are times we go back to this “noisy” environment just for the heck of it, to satisfy photographic cravings such as the picture above. Applying some manageable noise levels, the details are clear enough including the scratches on the pot (at the left of the pic) and the design on the tiled background. With an image like this, noise is good.