When it comes to processing your digital images, there are so many tools available to you and sometimes the process can seem a bit convoluted. Personally, I like to use a mix of both Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop to make the most out of my images. Perhaps I'll throw Capture One in the mix one of these days, but for now all of my postproduction work is done using Adobe software. This brief tutorial goes over one of the lesser-known tools that exists both in Lightroom and Photoshop, the Dehaze tool.
Adobe introduced the Dehaze tool in a CC software update in 2015. As the name denotes, the Dehaze control allows uses to adjust how fog, haze, and mist appears in their images. The slider control allows you to either reduce the amount of haze, or increase it, depending on which way you slide the controller. I'll be honest with you, I didn't use it all that much until about a year after it had been incorporated into the software. I started messing around with it just for fun, mostly to see what it was capable of doing, and I discovered that this tool is effective for so much more than simply adjusting whatever haze might show up in your images.
Because of it's unique ability to adjust image tonailty while impressively preserving colors and details without completely crushing your shadow areas, the Dehaze tool has become one of my go-to resources for adjusting image contrast and detail in my post-processing workflow. I don't often use the control to adjust any actual haze within my images simply because it's pretty rare for me to have a lot of haze in my shots out here in the desert. Instead I have found that this tool, when used correctly, can be incredibly useful when it comes to bringing out details in lighter and slightly overexposed areas within my images. At least for my work, Dehaze has been particularly useful in bringing out more details from my skies and distant horizon lines.
In the simple before and after comparison above, the only difference between the two shots is that the Dehaze tool was used selectively to process the “After” image. You can see how much more of the sky came out in the edit simply by selectively applying the Dehaze adjustment. The shot in this example is the one that you can watch me process in the quick tutorial video linked above. In the video, I go through how I use the Dehaze tool in both Lightroom and in Photoshop. For my own images, I find myself using this tool all the time and in each of the programs. I have even used the adjustment tool from time to time when I'm processing portraits because of its unique control over image tones. I love how quick and powerful this tool is and the ease of use makes for better images with less computer time. Make sure to comment below if you found this helpful or if you have found other uses for the Dehaze tool that I haven't highlighted.