I am stacking a still scene I took with my Canon EOS 6D in Photoshop to reduce noise. I've opened up raw files and stacked them with a smart object/median filter. However I've noticed something odd at the final result: there is some black square-ish pattern all over the image. Have a look at this 100% crop from the final result:

enter image description here

While the effect is not very strong, it is easily noticeable. I do image stacks and this is the first time I've ever seen such effect. Why does it happen and how do I get rid of it?

UPDATE: Here is an "increased-contrast" version of the same image, just to make the grid more clear:

enter image description here

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't see what you describe. Do you mean the Hermann grid illusion? \$\endgroup\$
    – Aganju
    Jul 24, 2016 at 13:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Aganju nope it's not illusion. the grid is clearly there. I've updated the question with a higher contrast version. it's much easier to see now. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 24, 2016 at 20:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think this is called fixed-pattern noise. It is a consequence of how your sensor came out of manufacturing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nayuki
    Jul 25, 2016 at 21:37

1 Answer 1


It is a specific noise produced by the sensor.

Some models has a better low light performance and noise than others.

I have the feeling you are using canon. Some sensors has this pattern when boosting the dark shadows. For esample take a look at this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68Y5kCf9AVQ

At the end depends on the model and generation of the sensor. It could be an issue if you are pushing a lot the editing of the image, for example underexposing photos and correcting them again in post.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh I see. so are there any workarounds on this? or will I just accept it as it is? it's not really THAT important anyway, I just wondered the reason behind it. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 25, 2016 at 17:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CanPoyrazoğlu The algorithm used for image stacking doesn't look optimized to deal with this problem to me. When working with raw files to do the stacking, it should be quite easy to eliminate the fixed pattern noise. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 26, 2016 at 18:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CountIblis I was actually working with raw files \$\endgroup\$ Jul 27, 2016 at 14:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @CanPoyrazoğlu Yes, but it's not clear how photoshop is handling these raw files. Given a reasonable number of raw files in the stack, you can reduce quite some number of problems by exploiting the small misalignments. Not just the (pattern noise), but also demosaicing artifacts, if the noise isn't all that large then one can enhance the resolution etc. etc. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 27, 2016 at 20:36

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