Adobe Lightroom got an interesting addition earlier this year. This feature, technically, is not entirely new. It got added as a new global adjustment tool sometime back in the month of June. However, it is certainly new in terms of local adjustment possibilities. The name of the feature is Dehaze and those of you who bought the standalone product will unfortunately not be able to use it. This feature only got added to Lightroom CC 2015, Camera RAW and Photoshop CC 2015 versions.

The feature works like this –

Many a times when shooting on a bright day you may have noticed that the images turn out a bit unsaturated. We refer to this as lack of contrast. This happens due to atmospheric conditions and how light travelling through air gets scattered. Normally, when shooting in bright sunlit conditions we use circular polarizers to cut through haze, but that results in some loss of light. Additionally, a C-PL will not work on overcast days.

This new Dehaze feature in Lightroom reduces haze by calculating how much light is getting scattered and then correcting it (or adding it) as you drag the slider right (or left as the case may be). The feature can be accessed from the Develop module and is located under the Effects Panel. It works on all images regardless of whether it was shot on a bright sunlit or overcast day.

original image with haze

Original image with haze

 

Images with haze will be ‘dahazed’ and those without haze, to begin with, tend to get interesting effects when you work the slider. Take an image which has a visible amount of haze in the image (like the sample above). Now drag the Dehaze slider to the right. You will notice that as you move the slider right the image becomes more and more clear. It is easy to go overboard with the effect, just like the clarity slider. It is thus imperative that you keep an eye on the before and after results to fine tune it. As you can see below with the slider dragged to +50 the image already looks a whole lot better.

Dehaze applied to +50

Dehaze applied to +50

 

In the opposite situation you could do negative dehaze. In other words add a bit of haze for a specific effect. All you have to do is drag the slider to the left.

Haze added -50

Haze added -50

 

Local adjustments

Earlier the Dehaze feature was available solely as a global adjustment. It means you could only apply the effect to adjust the whole of an image. But what if you needed to work only on specific areas of an image and not the whole image? In the recent update Adobe has taken care of this issue by incorporating the Dehaze feature for local adjustments as well as.

Local adjustment using the Graduated Filter tool

Local adjustment using the Graduated Filter tool

 

For local adjustments you can use either of the local adjustment tools such as the Graduated Filter or the Adjustment Brush tool. Select the local adjustment tool you want. Set the amount of Dehaze you need. Now use the tool on the areas which you wish to Dehaze. It is possible that you might have to use combinations of several local adjustment tools to get the effect right (much like everything else in Lightroom / Photoshop).

I’ll leave you with the final image rendered after a few more tweaks.

final image with Haze removed

Here’s the final image with Haze removed – Photo by Rajib Mukherjee

 

Isn’t this a very easy and effective method to remove haze from your images?

Rajib Mukherjee

Rajib Mukherjee

Rajib’s love for the road is second only to his love for photography. Wanderlust at heart and a shutterbug who loves to document his travels via his lenses; his two passions compliment each other perfectly. He has been writing for over 6 years now, which unsurprisingly, revolve mostly around his two favourite pursuits.
Rajib Mukherjee