The power of De­haze

Use Light­room CC’S pow­er­ful new De­haze slider to en­hance de­tail in misty, washed-out scenes

Digital Photo (UK) - - CONTENTS - TECH­NIQUE & PIC BY BEN DAVIS

Light­room CC’S pow­er­ful new De­haze slider will trans­form your misty im­ages in min­utes..

• Soft­ware Pho­to­shop CC or Light­room CC • Im­age type A misty, foggy or hazy shot with washed-out de­tail

Amisty scene is al­ways a de­light to shoot as there’s at­mos­phere in abun­dance, how­ever the lack of con­trast makes for a flat-look­ing im­age when viewed straight out of the cam­era. Light­room CC – and the lat­est ver­sion of Adobe Cam­era Raw in Pho­to­shop – now of­fers users the De­haze slider. You’ll find it in the Ef­fects tab if you want to make global ad­just­ments, or it can be used with the Grad­u­ated fil­ter, Ad­just­ment brush and Ra­dial fil­ter if you want to make lo­cal ad­just­ments. It works by al­ter­ing the con­trast in hazy, washed-out ar­eas of an im­age. You can use it to re­duce the cap­tured mist to bring back de­tail, or you can in­crease the mist ef­fect to en­hance the at­mos­phere, al­low­ing you to get ex­tra cre­ative with your pro­cess­ing.

1 Im­port a RAW file into Light­room and ap­ply Lens Cor­rec­tions To start you need to Im­port a RAW file into Light­room. You’ll find the pic China River.dng in the Start Im­ages folder. Just click Im­port at the bot­tom left of the Li­brary mod­ule, nav­i­gate to the Source of the file, choose Copy and pick a Des­ti­na­tion for where you want the RAW file to be saved. Click Im­port at the bot­tom right to add the file to the Light­room Li­brary. Once in, hit De­velop to en­ter the edit­ing mod­ule and open the Lens Cor­rec­tions tab. Tick En­able Pro­file Cor­rec­tions and Re­move Chro­matic Aber­ra­tion to fix lens dis­tor­tion. Un­der Pro­file check the Nikon 18-200mm f3.5-5.6g ED VRII lens is se­lected. 2 Con­trol colour and tones in the Ba­sic tab Open the Ba­sic tab and be­gin by in­creas­ing the Temp slider to 5,200 to make the im­age warmer. Push the High­lights slider to +100 to make these tones brighter as at this start point the dy­namic range of the im­age is very com­pressed. In­crease the Whites slider to +60 to lift the white point and pull Blacks to -60 to add depth to the darker tones. Be­low within the Pres­ence slid­ers, set Clar­ity to -25 to re­duce mi­cro­con­trast add to the soft feel of the im­age. Push the Vi­brance slider to

+40 to add in­ten­sity to the more muted colours in the im­age. 3 Use the Grad­u­ated fil­ter to ap­ply De­haze Se­lect the Grad­u­ated fil­ter by click­ing on it (or press M for a short­cut) and dou­ble-click Ef­fect to re­set all the tool slid­ers. Set Temp to 12, Con­trast to 20, High­lights to 50, Shad­ows to

-50, Clar­ity to 35, De­haze to 35, Sat­u­ra­tion to 10 and Noise to 50. Click and drag the Grad­u­ated fil­ter across the im­age from the top to­wards the bot­tom, with the feather area fad­ing over the river. Click New and dou­ble-click Ef­fect to clear the slid­ers. Set High­lights to -100, Shad­ows to -70, Whites to 10 and

De­haze to -20. Pull a Grad­u­ated fil­ter from the bot­tom over the river area, feath­er­ing out as it reaches the tree­line. Click Done to exit the tool. 4 Cus­tomise con­trast in the Tone Curve tab Open the Tone Curve tab and click the icon at the bot­tom right which lets you man­u­ally ad­just the Point Curve. Se­lect the tool at the top left of the tab which lets you ad­just the Point Curve by drag­ging in the photo. Hover your mouse over a darker area of fo­liage, then click and drag down to darken these tones: you’ll see a Con­trol Point added to the curve in the shad­ows. Now hold your mouse over a much lighter area of the fo­liage, then click and drag up to lighten these tones: again, you’ll see an­other Con­trol Point added to the curve. To lift the black point, pull the very start of the Point Curve up just a frac­tion. To make the whites a lit­tle brighter, pull the far end of the Point Curve slightly to the left.

5 Re­move dust and dis­trac­tions with the Spot Re­moval tool

Se­lect the Spot Re­moval tool from the tool­bar (press Q for a short­cut) and set the brush to Heal. Ad­just the Size of the tool to suit the ob­ject you wish to re­move from the im­age with the scroll-wheel of your mouse. Set Feather to around 35 and Opac­ity to 100. Click the tool over any sen­sor dust spots and Light­room will au­to­mat­i­cally se­lect a sam­ple area to copy pix­els from. If it hasn’t cho­sen a suit­able area you can man­u­ally drag the sam­ple area to a new po­si­tion. To re­move longer ob­jects like the over­head wires, you can click and drag the tool to se­lect a larger area. When com­pleted, click Done to fin­ish.

6 Con­trol the colours in the Ad­just­ment tab

Click on the HSL/COLOR/B&W tab, choose Color and click All. Un­der Yel­low, set the Hue to +40 to give the yel­low pix­els more of a green tint and set Lu­mi­nance to +40 to make them brighter. Un­der Green, set Lu­mi­nance to +40 to make the greens lighter. To make us­ing the Spot Re­moval tool eas­ier, set Tool Over­lay to Se­lected to hide all of the pre­vi­ous pins, which can prove a lit­tle dis­tract­ing.

7 Set Sharp­en­ing and Noise Re­duc­tion slid­ers

Open the De­tail tab and use the Tar­get tool to zoom into an area of de­tail, like the man on the boat. Un­der Sharp­en­ing, set the Amount slider to 100, leave Ra­dius and De­tail in their de­fault po­si­tions, and set

Mask­ing to 80. Hold Alt as you move the Mask­ing slider to see an edge mask so you know pre­cisely where is be­ing sharp­ened: set it so only the edges of no­table de­tail has sharp­en­ing ap­plied. Un­der Noise Re­duc­tion, set the Lu­mi­nance slider to 30 to cut back on any grain in the im­age.

8 Ex­port your pic

To fin­ish edit­ing, you need to Ex­port your im­age from Light­room. This cre­ates a new ver­sion else­where with all the ad­just­ments locked in, leav­ing the orig­i­nal RAW file un­touched, so you can al­ways make as many ed­its as you like. Sim­ply click File’ex­port and se­lect an Ex­port Lo­ca­tion, such as your Desk­top. Un­der File Nam­ing se­lect Cus­tom Name and type a name you’d like to give your new file. Un­der File Set­tings choose JPEG and set Qual­ity to 80, then click Ex­port to fin­ish.

The start im­age, found on the CD, suf­fers from washed-out de­tail, a lack of con­trast and colour, and lots of dis­tract­ing sen­sor dust spots.

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