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Give photos a general quick and easy lift with Dehaze

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I use Dehaze in LIghtroom and Photoshop a lot and here’s why

When Adobe added the Dehaze tool to Photoshop and Lightroom last year I was very impressed with how it cut through the murk in some of my shots that were taken under less than ideal conditions. This is certainly a tool that lives up to its name. Then I realized, after some experimentation, that this was more than niche tool. I now routinely use it as an option for quickly adding life to some of my photos or as a finishing touch after taking time over other adjustments.

Dehaze is basically a sophisticated contrast tool. It’s designed to boost the contrast in detail, or microcontrast. But what I have found is that if you want magically lift your photo, even if it’s not misty or hazey, the Dehaze tool can do this easily and with the minimum of effort. You normally need to compensate by upping the brightness as Dehaze will darken some photos. But if you are in a hurry Dehaze and Brightness may be the only adjustments you need.

This gallery of Lightroom edit views starts by showing a more conventional multiple step workflow and the quicker and simpler alternative two-step use of just Dehaze and Exposure:

 

And below, how the image started as an unadjusted RAW file and how it turned out with just the Dehaze and Exposure adjustments:

 

RAW file version without adjustments.
RAW file version without adjustments.

 

After just using Dehaze and Exposure.
After just using Dehaze and Exposure.

I’m certainly not claiming that this is a perfect result. In my particular example you might feel the result is on the warm side. I would debate with you that this is acceptable for the image location and subject (in rural Thailand). But it took me about 10 seconds to achieve instead of, maybe, a minimum of a couple of minutes of adjustments using the Shadows, Blacks, Highlights, Contrast, Clarity and Brightness tools which I would normally use. When dealing with a lot of images I can save a lot of time this way.


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