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Thread: Help With Haze

  1. #1
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Help With Haze

    Here are two images taken recently on the North Cascades Hwy in Washington State. They were taken within several hours of each other on a fairly bright day and show quite a bit of haze, or so it seems to me; despite the use of a polarizing filter. If I'm thinking about it - as I'm standing there looking - I can see the haze all right but if I'm not thinking about it I'm not conscious of it and just see a beautiful image with my eyes. It's not really apparent on the camera's LCD screen but it's very overwhelming as soon as the image shows up on the computer monitor. Then I spend all kinds of time trying various stunts to mitigate it, hence the variations in the sky and other things between the two images.

    I know this is a common problem but I would like to have a better solution to it, besides just shooting earlier or later. For these landscape images, would a longer lens help (#1 is heavily cropped)? GND filter? Thanks for some guidance!

    Help With Haze


    Help With Haze

  2. #2
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    Re: Help With Haze

    Lon, a polarizer helps some. I sometimes forget to use it but for landscapes it helps greatly and you also benefit from a richer blue sky.

  3. #3

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    Re: Help With Haze

    AFAIK the polariser will help to a limited extent. Post processing is quick and easy however. A few quick adjustments (more time = better adjustments)
    Curves is one option, blending modes is another to increase contrast.
    I used softlight to increase contrast (copy layer, select softlight blending mode, V quick).
    Is this what you want?
    Graham
    Help With Haze
    and
    Help With Haze

    Modifying only the mountains and sky
    Help With Haze

    And finally giving the sky some clouds
    Help With Haze

  4. #4
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    Re: Help With Haze

    The usual method is to use a multiply layer; I had a more elaborate go using a vivid layer but I'm sure you can do better.

    Help With Haze

  5. #5
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Re: Help With Haze

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamH View Post
    AFAIK the polariser will help to a limited extent. Post processing is quick and easy however. A few quick adjustments (more time = better adjustments)
    Curves is one option, blending modes is another to increase contrast.
    I used softlight to increase contrast (copy layer, select softlight blending mode, V quick).
    Is this what you want?
    Graham
    Absolutely, Graham - thanks! Will give it a go myself soon but gotta get some grub now. Cheers.

  6. #6
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Re: Help With Haze

    I had a quick do-over with the soft light, and like the results a lot (see the two images below). I did try the multiply too but - personal taste I guess - the SL strikes me a little better.

    I'm still wondering if a GND filter would help here as well??

    Thanks very much for the help!

    Help With Haze

    Help With Haze

  7. #7

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    Re: Help With Haze

    Thanks Lon for raising this issue. Has been bugging me as well.

  8. #8
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Re: Help With Haze

    You're very welcome, Bobo. If I find some more 'tricks' I'll add to the thread.

  9. #9

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    Re: Help With Haze

    Thanks Lon, that would be nice.

  10. #10

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    Re: Help With Haze

    It seems to me, Lon, that your white balance has been thrown of by the haze.

    I've just done a very quick basic edit.

    Help With Haze

    Just a Levels adjustment by sliding the midtones to the right on the red and blue channels. Then a Curves Adjustment Layer with the blend mode set to Luminosity, I thought Normal was adding a little too much Saturation.

    The Curves adjustment slightly increased the highlights, but less on the red channel.

    A little bit more time would produce a slightly improved effort. And there are a few more complicated methods which could be tried.

  11. #11
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Re: Help With Haze

    Thank you Geoff. Your edit shows there is still work to do on this image. It's now very apparent that the soft light layer that I added - though helping with the haze - has greatly over-accentuated the violet that I added to the sky originally (probably was overdone there as well ... ). To be honest - again this is just personal taste - I would want to warm up your edit although I'm sure many others would be good with it. You're right that it's a tough image and needs some time and TLC. Next, I'll start with my last edit and take a layer mask to the sky in the soft light layer to tone down the violet, then see if the white balance still looks off; and who knows what after that. But not yet! Right now I'm much too comfortable watching the golf channel in the recliner with my laptop, where my working files are not stored. I really appreciate your input!

    Are we having fun yet?
    Last edited by Lon Howard; 5th November 2011 at 03:43 AM.

  12. #12

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    Re: Help With Haze

    Help With Haze

    De-emphasized the foreground trees. Added a little density to the sky, then used several layers of warming overlays in the haze area, but have to say this is a good exercise if trying tomake a silk purse out of a sow's ear...fun but not particularly succesful.

  13. #13

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    Re: Help With Haze

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Howard View Post
    Here are two images taken recently on the North Cascades Hwy in Washington State. They were taken within several hours of each other on a fairly bright day and show quite a bit of haze, or so it seems to me; despite the use of a polarizing filter. If I'm thinking about it - as I'm standing there looking - I can see the haze all right but if I'm not thinking about it I'm not conscious of it and just see a beautiful image with my eyes. It's not really apparent on the camera's LCD screen but it's very overwhelming as soon as the image shows up on the computer monitor. Then I spend all kinds of time trying various stunts to mitigate it, hence the variations in the sky and other things between the two images.

    I know this is a common problem but I would like to have a better solution to it, besides just shooting earlier or later. For these landscape images, would a longer lens help (#1 is heavily cropped)? GND filter? Thanks for some guidance!

    Help With Haze


    Help With Haze
    in image #2, do i see power lines at the 1st river bend just above the white sand strip? otherwise its a nice vista image with the exception of the overhead tree limb & the yellowish green bushes on the left middle side which tend to "choke" down the view, at least for me.

  14. #14
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Re: Help With Haze

    I apologize for not getting back to Chris and robert, I am really getting disorganized. These are my final edits. I like the idea of making the sky denser, Chris; but I stopped a little short of where you went with it because with both images, it seemed that if I went the extra mile to eliminate the haze, the image ended up looking over-processed. Once a sows ear, always a sows ear to some extent, it seems ... take a better picture in the first place (I'll have to remember that )!

    I am curious about the method you used for making the sky more dense ... I tried several and ended up with sandstone texture.

    Thanks for your observation, robert. These are just road trip snapshots so the wires didn't bother me. I could've eliminated the yellow trees on the left but would've lost much of the mountains (there were where they were and I didn't have boots ... ) - and I actually liked the peek-a-boo framing effect the overhead branch provided (to each his own).

    All in all, I think there was progress made and I learned a lot, so thanks again to all.



    Help With Haze

    Help With Haze

  15. #15

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    Re: Help With Haze

    Hi Lon,

    Haze is simply a loss of contrast (and often a colour shift towards blue), so it's a relatively easy matter to fix those things with a selection or two, and then simple levels and HSB layers (or even a burn tool set to shadows for tricky areas like around the trees.

    I'm not sure just how you'd like them, but I've done a quick/dirty edit here off of your first photo just to show what I mean.

    Help With Haze

  16. #16
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Re: Help With Haze

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Lon,

    Haze is simply a loss of contrast (and often a colour shift towards blue), so it's a relatively easy matter to fix those things with a selection or two, and then simple levels and HSB layers (or even a burn tool set to shadows for tricky areas like around the trees.

    I'm not sure just how you'd like them, but I've done a quick/dirty edit here off of your first photo just to show what I mean.

    Help With Haze
    That was quick all right, Colin; but definitely NOT dirty. Thanks! I'll see what I can come up with.

  17. #17

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    Re: Help With Haze

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Howard View Post
    That was quick all right, Colin; but definitely NOT dirty. Thanks! I'll see what I can come up with.
    No worries Ron,

    Normally with an image like that (that has mixed levels of contrast), I'd raise the black clipping point in ACR to kill the first of it (looking at the image globally for evidence of a "grey mist" over it), and then to deal to any localised areas of poor contrast, simply tap it with the burn tool set to shadows @ about 4% (rinse and repeat as necessary). It's pretty effective when you have haze and glare, but the "trick" is to not over do it (less can be more up to a certain point).

  18. #18
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Re: Help With Haze

    Thanks for the tip, Colin. Here's my first Q & D try, with selections, levels & HSB. Not sure how it'll look online compared with how it looks in PS, so here goes:

    Help With Haze

  19. #19

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    Re: Help With Haze

    Hi Lon,

    Looks OK, although still very blue through the middle. Usually desaturating areas like that a little helps to a point, but past that point it starts to go too gray scale. Personally, I'd just select it - add a HSB layer - and then desaturate the blues to taste.

  20. #20
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Re: Help With Haze

    Thanks again, Colin. I've discovered that I have trouble identifying color casts, until someone else points them out. At least now I can see a better way to handle haze, and I'll have to solve the color cast issue on my own somehow. Here's what I did by selecting all but he sky and desaturating the blues (also had to darken them some to maintain contrast). Still doesn't compare to yours but I'll tweak it some more. Cheers!

    Help With Haze

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