Want to remove noise in a high ISO photo while preserving the details and textures in your shot? Here’s a simple photography and Photoshop technique that lets you easily do that.
The above is a 3-minute video tutorial by travel photographer Jimmy McIntyre.
To use the technique, you’ll need to shoot multiple shots of exactly the same scene with the same camera settings (McIntyre’s example uses 4 photos). Since the noise is randomly distributed in each of the photos, you can reduce the noise by figuring out average values between the shots.
McIntyre stacks 4 exposures of the same scene, Auto-Aligns them, and then turns them into a Smart Object (Layer->Smart Objects->Convert to Smart Object). Once that’s done, all that’s left is to change the Stack Mode of that Smart Object to “Mean” (Layer->Smart Objects->Stack Mode->Mean).
Voila! Photoshop is able to greatly reduce the noise in your shot by averaging the pixel values, and details are still preserved in the resulting image.