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How to remove banding

Banding is when there aren’t enough data available between tones /colors, what unable to create a smooth transition.

This commonly happens when you apply too much adjustment to a gradation. Banding usually appears on the sky, especially for a B&W photo like below.

Although Banding can be a bit less obvious, but you can still notice it on the sky.

Compared to a normal Landscape photo, B&W photos required more “push” to add more contrast and darken the sky.

Banding on your photos can be very annoying, but to fix it, it is pretty simple.

To fix the Banding, what you need to do is simply add Noise to your photo. Surprising, right? Usually, we tend to Reduce Noise.

Using Photoshop, go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise, and then for the Amount value, enter 1. You can increase the value if you need to add more Noise to remove the Banding.

Now you should be able to see that the Banding on your photo is gone now.

Click okay to apply the adjustment. That’s all to remove the Banding, isn’t that simple?

Here’re some tips on using this method to remove the Banding.

One, you should only add Noise to your photo at the very last step of your editing. Same for Noise Reduction.

This is because after you remove the Banding, any further adjustment to the photo may reproduce the Banding.

Two, instead of adding Noise to the whole photo, you can add a Layer Mask to the layer. Then, using a Black color brush to mask out the subject, restrict the adjustment only to the sky, which is where the Banding occurs. This help to keep your photo “clean”. 😉

Here’s how the Layer Mask looked like.

That’s all for this blog post, I hope you enjoy it.

If you want to learn more from me, you can check out my TWO DAYS ONLINE LONG EXPOSURE BW WORKSHOP.

Please feel free to share this post if you enjoy reading it! :)

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