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Lightroom Tutorial: Discovering Haze/Dehaze Feature

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Compared to previous versions, Lightroom 6 (or Lightroom CC) has several new features that can make wonders with your travel photos. One of them is Haze/Dehaze. As the name suggests, it removes or adds haze to an image, and it can be used both for its direct purpose or creatively. So let's explore the possibilities of Haze/Dehaze, discover how it works and what is the difference between Dehaze and other editing options.

In Lightroom CC, Haze/Dehaze is a newly added slider to the Effects panel. It's a simple slider that goes from -100 for adding lots of haze to +100 for completely removing it.

Dehaze 03

The photo below was taken in Midlands, England, on a sunny but very hazy afternoon in mid-March. By simply dragging the slider to the right, I got a much clearer, brighter and appealing photo:

Let's have a look at a different photo taken in Porto, Portugal. A huge wild ivy covering old ruins as a dark green carpet caught my eye as I was walking on the famous Dom Luis I bridge, so I took a few shots of it. To keep the dark subject dark, I used exposure compensation to darken the image by -1/3 or -2/3. However, the resulting image straight out of camera still looked somewhat washed out, so I applied Dehaze to it in Lightroom:

Note that Dehaze works differently than Clarity or Contrast: while Clarity adds more definition to the image, it tends to make the colours more pale. Adding Contrast, on the other hand, does a pretty good job at a first glance, however, it's not quite the same as Dehaze (compare the houses on the left).

So let's go back to the first version using Dehaze feature. This time, however, I noticed that simply applying Dehaze worked well for the right green part of the image, but made the left part with houses in it too contrasted and unnatural. I therefore decided to apply it partially by adding two Graduated filters: one covering the ivy on the right with Dehaze +96,

Dehaze 08

and another one covering the houses on the left with a much lower Dehaze +21,

Dehaze 09

thus producing a more balanced and natural look.

Note that Dehaze may often darken the image, so I also added some Whites (+36), a little Clarity (+9) and finally some Vibrance (+25). Here's the final result compared to the original out-of-camera photo:

The Dehaze feature may not only enhance the washed out images, but also give a good punch of colour to photos taken on a clear day:

Another way to use Haze/Dehaze creatively is to actually add haze to the photo for a particular dreamy feel:

Note that if you add Haze, the hues in the photo will also change, and this may also work as a creative effect:

So have you tried the Haze/Dehaze feature yet? Give it a go and share your photos with us!

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About the Author

Nadia Gric

Nadia Gric

Nadia is passionate about the visual aspect of life and the personalities she meets along the way. Living in the heart of Paris, Nadia never stops exploring the City of Light through her camera and readily shares her knowledge and love for photography.