Dealing with Haze

May 30, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Photographers often hate haze. Photoshop and other editing software have dehaze filters to help photographers with this problem. The reason why we often dislike haze is that it washes out our images and just kills contrast. However, you may have read in one of my previous blogs that haze is not always to be disliked. At times we need to use haze to our advantage, even embrace it. It can add mood and mystique.

The sun was getting ready to set. The light was still strong and lighting up the haze. In this particular image, I worked on the haze a bit. Firstly, I removed the haze from the bottom front section of the image. I want contrast and clarity there. Secondly, I added even a bit more haze to the top back section to enhance the haze already there. Creating areas of no haze and combining it with another area of haze can be very pleasing. Forget about all or nothing approaches. Part clear and part hazy images work well.

          When conditions do not look favorable don't give up. Start by asking yourself, what can be made of this image in post? Is the haze stronger in some areas and weaker in others? Can I weaken or totally remove the weaker haze while strengthening the stronger haze?

          Here are some tips for working with haze in post-processing:

  • Remember that the dehaze slider can also go the other way to add haze.

  • Play with the color temperature of the haze section only. If the sun is warm, then make the added haze warm. You may even want to warm up all the haze (natural occurring and added haze). When a colder mood is called for by the image then cool the haze down.

  • Haze typically gets stronger further away from us. So, remove the haze closer to you.

  • Give the haze a bit of a glow.

  • If the light is strong behind the haze you may want to add a bit of Orton effect (see one of my previous blogs).

          Now, don't allow haze to scare you off. Work with it and see if you can use it to create a nice image.


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