The New Dehaze Slider in Lightroom CC (plus a workaround for Lightroom 6 users)

« HDR Merge in Lightroom: First Thoughts |  Managing and Backing Up Photos on the Road »


You have reached the archive of articles posted on my personal blog. This blog is no longer updated, but you can read my latest articles at my new website The Creative Photographer and find my photography ebooks at my new store.

Thanks for reading! Andrew.



lightroom-dehaze-slider


Adobe have just released an update to Lightroom CC. The update is relatively minor (you can read a full list of additions and bug fixes here), but includes a new feature that will be very useful for some – a Dehaze slider.

The purpose of the Dehaze slider is to remove atmospheric haze and flare. The technology behind it is quite clever, and my early tests show that it works remarkably well. It analyses how light is scattered by haze and counteracts that in a way that can’t be replicated by using Basic Panel sliders like Contrast and Clarity.

There are some examples below, but before we get to that it should be noted that this is the first point at which the features in Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6 deviate. Whereas with Lightroom 5 (and earlier versions) Adobe regularly released free updates with major new features, now the policy is that Lightroom 6 users have to wait until the next paid upgrade. Unless Adobe comes up with an alternative way of paying for updates, that’s likely to be Lightroom 7.

Why? It seems that Adobe are wary of falling foul of something called the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that prevents new functions being added to software that has been purchased under a perpetual license. It doesn’t make much sense to me (especially as the act was introduced back in 2002), but then I’m not a lawyer. Regardless, this is Adobe’s interpretation and the way it’s going to be done from now on.

The Dehaze Slider

The Dehaze slider is located at the bottom of the Effects panel in the Develop module. You can adjust it by moving the slider or, and this is the method I prefer, by pressing the ‘-‘ and ‘+’ keys on your keyboard. The keyboard shortcuts move the Dehaze slider in increments of five and let you rapidly move up and down the scale to find the best setting.

Photos become darker when you move the Dehaze slider right, and may need to be lightened with the Exposure slider.

lightroom-dehaze-slider

Here are some examples of the Dehaze slider in action. I had to dig back in the archives a bit to find photos with sufficient haze or flare to use as demos. The air in New Zealand is incredibly clear and I don’t think I have a single hazy photo taken here.

lightroom-dehaze-slider

lightroom-dehaze-slider

Above: I used Dehaze here to remove haze caused by flare (top: before, bottom: after).

Before: Dehaze 0, After: Dehaze +45.

[twentytwenty]

 lightroom-dehaze-slider

Above: In this example I did the opposite and decreased Dehaze to emphasise flare (top: before, bottom: after).

Before: Dehaze 0, After: Dehaze -15.

lightroom-dehaze-slider

 lightroom-dehaze-slider

Above: I used Dehaze here to remove atmospheric haze. The difference is subtle as there wasn’t a great deal of haze in the original (top: before, bottom: after).

Before: Dehaze 0, After: Dehaze +100.

lightroom-dehaze-slider

 lightroom-dehaze-slider

Above: Here I used a minus setting to increase the amount of atmospheric haze (top: before, bottom: after).

Before: Dehaze 0, After: Dehaze -20.

Dehaze for portraits

I also like Dehaze for portraits. It works well with both plus and minus settings, as the following examples show.

lightroom-dehaze-slider

 lightroom-dehaze-slider

Above: This portrait was shot through scratched glass, which scatters light in a similar way to atmospheric haze. The Dehaze slider came in useful here for adding contrast to the image (top: before, bottom: after).

Before: Dehaze 0, After: Dehaze +30.

lightroom-dehaze-slider

 lightroom-dehaze-slider

Above: You can also go the other way and add haze using a minus setting. It works well for light, airy portraits (top: before, bottom: after).

Before: Dehaze 0, After: Dehaze -10.

lightroom-dehaze-slider

 lightroom-dehaze-slider

Above: A subtle increase in Dehaze helped add contrast and apparent sharpness to this portrait (top: before, bottom: after).

Before: Dehaze 0, After: Dehaze +25.

lightroom-dehaze-slider

 lightroom-dehaze-slider

Above: You can use a subtle minus Dehaze setting to enhance portraits and create atmosphere by replicating the effect of flare and haze. This will work well with portraits taken in naturally hazy lighting conditions such as sunset (top: before, bottom: after).

Before: Dehaze 0, After: Dehaze -5.

I suspect that I’ll be finding more uses for this slider as time goes on.

What about that workaround?

Help is at hand for Lightroom 6 users, thanks to filmmaker, photographer and writer Stu Maschwitz. It turns out that the Dehaze function exists in Lightroom 6, even though there is no slider to activate it. The workaround is to use Develop Presets created in Lightroom CC that apply the Dehaze function. Stu created a set and has kindly made them available for free from his website Prolost.

 

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

2 Responses to “The New Dehaze Slider in Lightroom CC (plus a workaround for Lightroom 6 users)”

  1. Rick Mili says:

    Another common use for the dehaze could be to increase contrast in images shot through a plain glass window (e.g. birds outside your kitchen window) – making the best of a sub-optimal situation.

    Rick

« HDR Merge in Lightroom: First Thoughts |  Managing and Backing Up Photos on the Road »

Sign up for the free Mastering Lightroom email course