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Heide Pinkall

How to get rid of grain in photos that are taken in very low light?

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Hi folks,

I need some technical help. I took photos of noctilucent clouds and the comet Neowise over my home town. The light conditions were very bad. I had to use ISO 1250 and long time exposure to see anything on the picutres. It was about 03.00 a.m.. Especially the comet could not be seen with human eyes but only by overexposing the sky. And there was a lot of haze over the city that has unfortunately been illuminated by the street lights. So I also had to play around with the contrasts in post processing.
Now I have a lot of problems with grain. I tried several programmes like Sharpen Projects 2, Denoise Projects 2, Photoshop CS6 and Capture One Express 20. The grain remained in most parts of the photos. Now I made a second layer with some Gaussian blur and put it behind the original photo. The I erased all the grainy parts carefully by hand with a small brush. Last but not least I reduced the size of the picture, but I still suspect that the photos will be rejected for "grain"...
So... does anybody have any ideas how to get rid of the grain? And are there any more problems that could be fixed somehow?
I would be very thankful for your help and advice!
The attached photo of the noctilucent clouds is stacked by 3 different pictures with different exposure conditions. They had been taken wit Sony A7R4 and 24-70mm Zeiss lens.
I really like to improve it - not only for Shutterstock purposes but because it was a facinating phenomenon.
Thanks in advance 🙂



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I've took many shots that are accepted with a Nikon D3100 and Sigma 18-200 lens. Vibration Reduction OFF, High ISO Noise Reduction OFF, Noise Reduction OFF and ISO 400. I shoot both on my Nikon D90 & Nikon D3100 with 400 ISO regardless of the type of lens and conditions. It adds nice details, lowers the waiting on long exposure shots. And I always shoot RAW. Didn't had any rejection issues. 





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