When shooting slower speed film it produces grain, unlike shooting at a high ISO which produces noise. A friend of mine is a photographer in Florida and she shoots black and white film, which looks very artistic with the grain. Noise looks like this:
100% crop of a photo shot at ISO 1600, SS 1/160, f3.5
Besides baby boy’s beautiful blue eyes, the picture is pretty ugly with the noise. This is what it looks like as a whole in a small size:
A way to help save a picture with lots of noise is to use a noiseware program. The one I use is a community version (i.e. FREE) of Imagenomic Noiseware. I have heard good things about Kodak Gem, as well. Although this is a great tool to help save photos, don’t overuse it. It can make skin look plasticy. Here’s my little Ken barbie doll:
You can change the setting to make custom settings, where you still reduce the noise but don’t make it too plasticy looking.
It still looks a little plasticy, but better than the noisy origins.
Take a look at this little program. See what it can do to help save some of those noisy pictures you may have tossed to the side because they looked unsaveable. It’s free…you can’t get better than FREE!