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Archive 2012 · How to process haze?
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p.1 #1 · How to process haze?


I have a lot of pictures taken in a misty fog/haze that looked spectacular in real lif but appear as white splotches in Photoshop. Sometimes this is due to exposure and/or white balance but many of the images contain the picture I want if I can coax them out.

For example, there's an image of a rainforest valley with tall hills on each side. Those hils should be dark & contrasty up close and "foggier" in the distance. My images should show 5-7 levels of progressive fog thickness.

Are there specific techniques for pulling this out of an image?


Dec 27, 2012 at 05:47 PM
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p.1 #2 · How to process haze?

I've always found Curves to make the most difference. Here are some examples, using simple adjustments like curves, shadow/highlight tool, and saturation. No masks or anything like that.

The Central Park and hockey shots were hazy due to the window/glass I was shooting through. The sail boat was thick fog on Boston Harbor.


Dec 27, 2012 at 06:40 PM
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p.1 #3 · How to process haze?

If there is any heat haze involving lots of small distortions then you cannot fix that.

Dec 28, 2012 at 03:07 AM
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p.1 #4 · How to process haze?


Yeah levels always helps with my unerwater pictures. Pretty sure that's the same as Curves but perhaps with less precise control?

With my current pictures, however, I don't want to eliminate haze because it's what makes the pictures work. Instead I need to make each gradation more distinct and unique.

Dec 28, 2012 at 08:19 AM
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p.1 #5 · How to process haze?

Curves offer more precision than Levels.

There are lots of techniques for editing haze; essentially you want to adjust the midtone contrast of the photo. So you can use techniques like High Radius Low Amount (HIRALOAM) sharpening or the Clarity slider in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom.

Dec 28, 2012 at 12:21 PM

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p.1 #6 · How to process haze?

Great examples!

I could use a bit more explanation on this as I have some photos recently taken in the fog that I'd like to bring out a little more.

Before/After comparisons are great but I'm looking for some curves/level diagram captures or additional explanations of setting changes...

Dec 28, 2012 at 07:07 PM
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p.1 #7 · How to process haze?

Also working your cyan and blue sliders with the selective color tool in PS let you control how much / little you want fog and haze to influence your image.

Since the tools have been spelled out, the best thing to do is follow up with experimenting to see what works for you.

Dec 28, 2012 at 07:19 PM
roland hale
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p.1 #8 · How to process haze?

cmd+shft+l (auto levels) usually blasts right through haze, or at least shows you what can be done. I'll usually do it as a quick test, undo, and manually adjust with curves.

Jan 04, 2013 at 10:12 AM
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p.1 #9 · How to process haze?

First of all you want to take your black level to an acceptable black. Haze has the tendency to wash out the image, so the first thing is to balance the blacks.

Once this is done, you need to adjust the contrast/midtones, so that you can recover the gradients details in the areas between the white and black zones.
Usually you have to fine tune the blacks again after this step.

After that, you have to correct the color cast, which is usually on the blue channel. You want to take down the blues untill they don't represent a cast anymore, this depends a lot on your image, and there are cases when is a bit hard, especially if you were shooting very far snowy mountains.

All these things just require a single curve adjustment.
Levels are the same thing but you can't really adjust on a per-channel base and other than in a linear way.
Curves give you much more control.

A UV Haze filter helps a bit with that.


Jan 04, 2013 at 05:52 PM

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