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Thread: Questions - filters & haze in landscapes

  1. #1

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    Questions - filters & haze in landscapes

    All,
    Have 2 questions...
    1. How do you eliminate or mitigate haze in landscapes? Currently use a UV/Haze filter, but results are unimpressive. Any Lightroom/Elements tricks?
    2. Is there a real difference to be found in the quality of filter glass? Have heard many differing opinions...
    Ok, that's more than 2 questions.
    Thanks,
    John

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by jww40 View Post
    Currently use a UV/Haze filter, but results are unimpressive
    Hi John,

    I wouldn't expect the UV/Haze filter to make a lot of difference.
    If not a wide angle lens, you might try a CPL (circ. polariser), it probably won't do much for haze either, but should reduce sheen off foliage and give more saturated colours, obviously rotate for best effect. But the next option is far, far more effective.

    Quote Originally Posted by jww40 View Post
    1a. Any Lightroom/Elements tricks?
    Yes, absolutely - it is called Local Contrast Enhancement (LCE), there is a CiC techniques page on it here. In a nutshell, use USM (Un Sharp Mask) on the picture and dial in (for starters) Amount=20%, Radius=60px and Threshold=0, leave latter at 0, but vary the other two up and down; e.g. 5 - 30% and 30 - 120px and see the effect. Unlike when you're using USM to sharpen (with a tiny Radius), you need to view whole image while adjusting these parameters for LCE. Some pictures are better at say 10% and 100px while others look better with 30% at 30px, it's subjective.

    Quote Originally Posted by jww40 View Post
    2. Is there a real difference to be found in the quality of filter glass?
    Yes, but it won't always be visible.
    Really cheap may not even use glass
    Beyond that, it is usually the multi-coating that sets different qualities apart.
    I use Hoya Pro-1 Digital, mid price range, but good quality.

    Cheers,

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Questions

    Nothing to add to Dave's comments

  4. #4
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Questions

    I haven't really read Dave's comment. I think I will more likely understand it later. Here's a good trick. Create two layers the first screen and the second multiply. See if it is any better.

  5. #5

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    Re: Questions

    Hi John,

    Haze (and fog) are essentially just a lack of contrast; increasing contrast using a contrast control goes a long way towards fixing the image IN THEORY, but in practice it's usually a train wreck ... so usually the most effective techniques are to raise the black clipping point (the "blacks" control in Adobe Camera RAW, or moving the left-hand pointer to the right on a levels layer) (sometimes the middle slider (midtones) on a levels layer will help too).

    There are also more advanced trick in LAB colour, but I won't go into those for now.

    The best solution is to avoid shooting in hazy conditions (if possible) ... UV / Hase filters won't make any difference (with digital all they're good for is front element protection) (and for protection they're an EXCELLENT idea). In terms of difference in quality, a lot depends on how much contrast is in the scene; the more contrast you have, the less the reflectance you want from the filter. Personally, I use Heliopan SH-PMC, but I'd suggest adopting a policy of a multi-coated filter as a "minimum standard".

    If you'd like to post one of your problem images I'd be happy to take a look at it for you.

  6. #6

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    Re: Questions

    Questions - filters & haze in landscapes
    Colin,
    Here's one I took today... Did some (Raw) exposure tweaking and black point adjustments in Lightroom, then sent to Elements (tiff) where I did level adjustments and sharpening. Color is a tad off, but will adjust when time allows. This isn't the worst image I've got, but I'd love to see more background detail and color. Thanks so much for helping out!
    Cheers!
    John
    D700 w/50mm f1.4, UV/Haze filter, 1/125 @ f16 handheld.

  7. #7

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    Re: Questions

    Dave,
    Will look at the CiC LCE page tonight. Thanks for the reply!
    John

  8. #8

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    Re: Questions

    Steve,
    Will try this one as soon as I figger' out how to do levels. Thanks so much for the help!
    John

  9. #9

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    Re: Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by jww40 View Post
    Questions - filters & haze in landscapes
    Colin,
    Here's one I took today... Did some (Raw) exposure tweaking and black point adjustments in Lightroom, then sent to Elements (tiff) where I did level adjustments and sharpening. Color is a tad off, but will adjust when time allows. This isn't the worst image I've got, but I'd love to see more background detail and color. Thanks so much for helping out!
    Cheers!
    John
    D700 w/50mm f1.4, UV/Haze filter, 1/125 @ f16 handheld.
    Hi John,

    I can't see the image. Looking at it's properties, it looks like you've specified a directory and not a full URL to an image (ie it needs to end with eg "abc123.jpg")

  10. #10

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    Re: Questions

    Colin,
    Sorry...
    Questions - filters & haze in landscapes
    Hope this works. Also, left it as Adobe RGB (What a Goober I can be!). This explains the color problem.
    For future reference, what size should the photos that you want to tinker with be? Can post original size jpg to flickr if you like...
    Thanks,
    John

  11. #11

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    Re: Questions

    Colin,
    Ok, that didn't work for me. This is the link to my Flickr page. http://www.flickr.com/photos/53870896@N07. If you have the time (or the patience), feel free to look around. The one I was trying to post is called "Bookliff Mtn Range looking south" and is in the Colorado collection. I apologize for the confusion! Will try to figure out the posting thing asap.
    Thanks.
    John

    Questions - filters & haze in landscapes
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 21st September 2010 at 12:29 AM. Reason: add image inline

  12. #12
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Questions

    Hi John,

    In Australia we call this aerial perspective. The eucalyptus oil in the gum trees evaporates and causes such a haze to all vista type shots. We tend to work with it and use its changing colour as a form or diminishing perspective to give depth to such a shot.

    Colin is correct about using contrast to fix it as best you can. I have on occasions used layers in PS – copy the background layer and then change the blend mode to Soft Light and then play with the opacity slider to adjust the effect. Global contrast enhancement will also work.

    I did have a look at your Colorado images and it is present in the background of many of those shots as well.

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