- Mar 15, 2023
Adobe has updated its Lightroom software by using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to remove multicolored speckles of image noise that plague digital photos taken in dim conditions. The AI model was trained to clean up photos, and the Denoise feature is built straight into Lightroom. The feature is useful enough to make photographers feel more comfortable shooting at high ISO and to give them more latitude in editing. The denoise tool creates a new DNG image and works only on raw images, with JPEG support in the works. The Denoise tool is available in Lightroom and Lightroom Classic.
Other companies, like Microsoft and Google, are also embracing AI to improve their software and services. Microsoft is improving its tools for searching with Bing, writing with Word, and drafting emails with Gmail. Meanwhile, through its Night Sight feature, Google uses AI to reduce noise in low-light photos taken with its Pixel phones. Other software programs like Topaz DeNoise and Photo AI from Topaz Labs have also attracted a following among photographers.
AI technology refers to systems that are trained to recognize patterns in complex real-world data. For Adobe's denoise tool, they created pairs of millions of photos consisting of a low-noise original and a version with artificial noise added. The artificial noise was generated based on real-world noise profiles from actual cameras. Through this method, the AI model learned to denoise real photos in a natural yet detailed manner.
However, there are limitations to the denoise tool. It works only on raw images and doesn't yet support all cameras. Additionally, the denoise tool creates a new DNG image, which is not reversible like most of what you can do with Lightroom's nondestructive editing process.
Despite its limitations, the denoise tool is still useful for photographers who want to achieve their creative vision. It can help salvage photos that would otherwise be unusable due to image noise, giving photographers more latitude in editing their photos. Lightroom's denoise feature is built straight into the software and is available in Lightroom and Lightroom Classic.
In addition to the denoise tool, Lightroom's latest update includes other new features, such as the ability to edit selected areas of a photo with Lightroom's tone curve tool and AI-powered selection tools that can detect facial hair and clothing. Three new adaptive presets have also been added, including tools for whitening teeth, making clothes more colorful, and darkening beards.
Finally, Lightroom now supports a preview version to test the Content Authenticity Initiative's ability to record editing changes within photo metadata called content credentials. The technology is designed to help bring more transparency and trust in a world of doctored and now AI-synthesized photos. Lightroom's new AI-powered masking tools, which let you select photo regions like skies or a subject's face, now work on the web-based version of Lightroom as well.
In conclusion, Adobe's Denoise tool is a notable example of how AI can improve older software and services. While it has limitations, the denoise tool can salvage photos that would otherwise be unusable due to image noise, giving photographers more latitude in editing their photos. Lightroom's latest update also includes other new features that make it easier for photographers to edit photos like a pro and achieve their creative vision.