EDIT SKILLS: DEHAZE FOR CON­TRAST

THE DEHAZE TOOL DOES MORE THAN RE­MOVE FOG; IT CAN BRING FLAT SKIES TO LIFE, AS JOR­DAN BUT­TERS RE­VEALS…

Digital SLR Photography - - Contents -

Here’s how to use the Dehaze tool for more than just cut­ting through the mist – con­trol con­trast with ease

THE PRI­MARY FUNC­TION of Adobe’s Dehaze tool, as in­tro­duced to Pho­to­shop CC, Light­room CC and Pho­to­shop El­e­ments 14 in 2015, is to cut through haze, fog and mist in im­ages. If you’ve an ear­lier ver­sion of Pho­to­shop or Light­room, then sadly the Dehaze tool isn’t avail­able, how­ever there are some good fil­ters and plug- ins avail­able on­line that mimic the ef­fect.

The Dehaze tool works by as­sess­ing the con­trast in an im­age and ap­ply­ing cor­rec­tions based on a phys­i­cal model of how light is trans­mit­ted, there­fore its ef­fect dif­fers from im­age to im­age. As well as re­mov­ing haze and mist, it can also be used to bump up con­trast in im­ages that aren’t af­fected by tra­di­tional at­mo­spheric haze, for ex­am­ple scenes con­tain­ing smoke, or even im­ages of the night sky. And, as you’ll see be­low, Dehaze is also a fan­tas­tic tool in Light­room for mak­ing flat skies in your land­scape im­ages re­ally pop.

3 SE­LEC­TIVE

DEHAZE With the global ef­fect in place, now ap­ply the Dehaze tool se­lec­tively – this can be done us­ing ei­ther the Brush or the Grad­u­ated Fil­ter tools; I’m go­ing with the lat­ter to fo­cus on the sky. Se­lect the Grad­u­ated Fil­ter tool at the top and, in the Ef­fect menu, se­lect Dehaze. Click and drag on your im­age to set the fil­ter po­si­tion be­fore us­ing the up­per and lower lines to set the fil­ter grad­u­a­tion.

2 ADD

DEHAZE If you just ap­ply the Dehaze to the sky alone, then it can look jar­ring with the rest of the im­age un­touched, there­fore I like to ap­ply a sub­tle Dehaze to the whole im­age be­fore adding fur­ther Dehaze to the sky. Scroll down to the Ef­fects panel and you’ll find the Dehaze slider. In­crease the slider grad­u­ally. You won’t need much at all – go too far and its ef­fect on the land might be too pro­nounced.

4 TWEAK

SET­TINGS The de­fault set­ting for Dehaze is 25, which is of­ten just right, how­ever it’s im­age de­pen­dent. In­crease the Dehaze slider for a more dra­matic sky, or de­crease it for a sub­tle ef­fect. Dehaze can in­tro­duce an un­nat­u­ral blue tint when ap­plied too much, but you can com­bat this by de­creas­ing the fil­ter’s Sat­u­ra­tion slider, or by in­creas­ing the colour tem­per­a­ture us­ing the Temp slider.

1 BA­SIC

AD­JUST­MENTS As I have here, start off by mak­ing your usual ad­just­ments. I’ve bumped up the Ex­po­sure, added a small Tone Curve to add con­trast, changed the White Bal­ance and ap­plied Lens Cor­rec­tions to fix dis­tor­tion. The sky still looks a bit flat; at this point you might want to reach straight for the Grad­u­ated Fil­ter tool and ap­ply neg­a­tive Ex­po­sure to the sky, but it’s worth try­ing the Dehaze tool first.

ORIG­I­NAL IM­AGE

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