By Michael Zeigler and Todd Winner
Adobe recently rolled out their 2015 update to the Creative Cloud suite of products. Amongst a myriad of enhancements and performance boosts is the Dehaze effect. Also included in Photoshop, the Dehaze feature in Lightroom lets you eliminate fog and haze from your images … and it even works for underwater images! In addition, you can also add haze for an artistic effect.
We took a few images and tested out this new feature in Lightroom CC. The results are impressive, and we will most likely be adding this tool to our workflow with some images. Just like all of the other great tools in Lightroom however, it is really easy to over do it. A little goes a long way!
The series of images below show an extended before and after processing with the new Dehaze feature in Adobe Lightroom CC.
You can see more contrast, increased clarity, and a bit of vibrance added to the image on the right using just the Dehaze slider.
Although the image on the left (above) is acceptable in my opinion, the image on the right with a little Dehaze added really enhances the sea lions, and makes them “pop” a bit more.
For my examples I was really interested to see what could be done using only the Dehaze effect. I have pushed the effect so you can clearly see a before and after. This is not how I would normally edit an image in Lightroom but I think it gives you a very good idea of what the effect is capable of. All of the images are straight out of the camera and the only adjustment is the Dehaze effect.
The Dehaze effect seems to add a combination of contrast, color, and sharpening. I would not normally adjust an image using only one slider but the effect is quite dramatic. Be careful if your image includes bright highlights like sunbursts, It can add a lot of banding around those areas in the image.
For images that already have a fair amount of contrast the effect is less dramatic but it still adds a nice pop. One nice feature is that it seems to add much less noise than when you crank the clarity slider up.
Again I wouldn’t normally make all of my final adjustments using only one slider but I wanted to see what it could do for this image. It certainly makes the school of fish stand out but it also adds too much contrast to the final image. Using the Dehaze effect with a lighter touch and in combination with the other adjustments in Lightroom will certainly yield some amazing results.
Michael Zeigler is a contributor, instructor, and trip leader for Samy’s Underwater Photo & Video, as well as an AAUS Scientific Diver. More of Michael’s underwater photography can be seen at www.seainfocus.com. For the latest information on workshops and trips, sign up for our newsletter.
Todd Winner is a contributor, instructor, and trip leader for Samy’s Underwater Photo & Video and has over 20 years of experience in underwater still and broadcast video. To see more of Todd’s work please go to www.toddwinner.com. For the latest information on workshops and trips, sign up for our newsletter.