Using A.I. To De-Noise and Mask An Extremely Dark Photo With Lightroom

Josh Rose
6 min readMay 4, 2023

Most scenarios in photography aren’t so severe that noise is really a horrendous issue. For the most part, we hover somewhere under 2,000 ISO and the noise is mostly only noticeable to those of us who are looking for it. Most casual observers of a photo shot at even 3,000 ISO won’t lose their minds over the noise. And most wildlife photographers, who really rely on high ISOs in order to keep high shutter speeds in dark situations know all about this.

The de-noising technologies within Lightroom have been more than sufficient for most of us. But I have one really big exception: dance performance photography.

Stage performance use beautiful, but often very dim light. Normally in the 5–10% of power range of what they are capable of. So, even in a normal lighting scenario inside on stage, I’m already pushing the limits of my settings. And the lighting design of a choreography is ever-changing, creating a wide variety of light scenarios, some of which are almost entirely enveloped in darkness.

My usual settings approach for performances is to stay at a fastest aperture of f/3.5 for sharpness and to keep a dancer’s body in focus. I also prefer faster shutter speeds when shooting dance, for the most part, for obvious reasons. However, in many light setups, those settings often…

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Josh Rose

Filmmaker, photographer, artist and writer. Writing about creator life and observations on culture. Tips very very much appreciated: https://ko-fi.com/joshsrose