How to Use Multiple Exposures in Photoshop to Reduce Noise While Retaining Detail

Have you ever had trouble with too much noise in one of your images? Maybe the shooting conditions forced you to shoot at an ISO that pushed the limits of your camera a little too much. One way to limit this problem is to shoot multiple exposures with the same settings, and then, use post-production to combine the images and reduce the noise. In this tutorial, Travel Photographer Jimmy Mclnyre shows you how to do just that.

In the tutorial, Mclntyre shows you how to take multiple exposures/layers and auto-align them in Photoshop. He continues to explain how to create a smart object and then soften the noise using the "mean stack" mode found under the smart objects tab. By doing this, Photoshop will find the mean value of each pixel. Mclntyre continues to explain that because the noise moves in each image, there is a better chance of finding the mean value of each pixel with the least amount of noise. To see the process step by step, check out the video. Give it a try and feel free to let us know how it works for you. If you're interested in checking out Mclntyre's work, or learning more tips and tricks, head over to his website: Through Strange Lenses.

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While this isn't a new technique, the video tutorial was at least the most concise I've seen which makes it far more valuable than the ones showing the exact same technique in a 20 minute video. :)

Pete W's picture

The above is a well respected technique that is also used amongst Astro-photographers to enhance the amount of light (star-light) while reducing sensor-noise in a given image. A common application used for this would be "DeepSkyStacker (Google it!)" DeepSkyStacker gives us the ability to easily stack quite a few images. Two images being a bare minim to as many as you like, you are only limited by the amount of "computer" you can bring to task.

I've also been a FAN and have been subscribe to Jimmy Mclnyre's Youtube Channel for quite sometime, definitely quality content for the photo-editing aficionado ...

Ed B.'s picture

Worth a try, don't you think?

Brad M's picture

I've seen this technique before, but the example used the 'Median' vs 'Mean' for pixel value. Is there a reason to use Mean over Median or the other way around?