Clarity, Dehaze, and Texture: Mastering These Lightroom Tools

Mastering the nuances of photo editing can transform an average image into an extraordinary one. In photography, the ability to subtly manipulate elements like clarity, dehaze, and texture is fundamental to enhancing image quality and bringing a creative vision to life.

Coming to you from Colin Smith of photoshopCAFE, this enlightening video takes a look at the differences and applications of clarity, dehaze, and texture adjustments in Lightroom and Camera Raw. The tutorial begins with a foundational explanation of these tools, crucial for understanding how they influence an image. Clarity, for instance, focuses on the contrast in midtones, giving an illusion of sharper edges, while dehaze cuts through atmospheric haze, boosting contrast and color in low-frequency areas. Texture, the newest of these tools, sharpens mid-frequency details without affecting the colors. These distinctions can often be subtle, but understanding them is crucial. 

The practical application of these tools is demonstrated using brushes on a single image, showcasing how each adjustment uniquely contributes to the final outcome. The video reveals that while clarity can highlight details in midtone areas, such as a dress or landscape, it should be used cautiously on skin tones. Dehaze effectively enhances low-frequency areas, like skies or foggy backgrounds, but may require saturation adjustments to maintain color balance. Texture, being ideal for sharpening mid-frequency details, excels in areas like roads or the dirt in a landscape, enhancing the image's overall crispness. There's a lot of nuance, but once you get them down, these three tools are quite useful. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Smith.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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1 Comment

Nothing personal Alex, but what good is an “article” that basically says ‘go watch this video’?