he new Lightroom is out, and I have been playing with the highly anticipated dehaze tool all week... It has blown my mind.
Like everyone else, I was curious to see the much anticipated dehaze tool in action (Adobe was promoting it out the wazoo). I updated my CC and started playing with it with some old images I had. I used images that weren't necessarily hazy, but I wanted to see it work. It looked like it was messing with the highlights and some saturation, but it wasn't that impressive.
Until I tried it with some seriously hazed images. If you don't know what that means, it's basically anything that will make your photo unclear; harsh sun, fog, light snow, etc. I went out and purposefully took some shots during a humid muggy day with lots of air moisture, and some more during a very hot day with harsh sun. Get ready for the results to blow your mind like they did mine...
Click the left/right arrows to see the before and after images.
This first shot is a simple landscape shot taken on a sunny day. I was shooting into the sun, so the shot was very flat and unflattering (no detail, no blue sky, no contrast, etc.)
Again, another shot in harsh light.
Here's a different type of image. It was absolutely destroyed by the moisture on this humid day coming from the river. The after image may not be ideal, but it is a miracle after taking the original...
I can keep going and going with more examples, but I think you get the idea. Amazing, right? Simply amazing. This single tool can take a lost and hopeless image to something that is usable, and sometimes even great. This tool has the ability to save an image with a simple drag of the mouse.
The downside: laziness. I have found that it is very, VERY easy to get lazy and overuse this tool. When you aren't happy with an image, just use that dehaze tool, right? Wrong. This tool should be used with caution. Remember its title. DEHAZE. Not "magically fix a bad photo." I made this mistake early on and started to use it for every photo I didn't like. Well, since it bumps up the saturation significantly and messes with the highlights, you could easily ruin a decent shot.
How it should be used: If you notice an image is a bit flat and lacking in overall dynamic reach, give the dehaze tool a quick tug and see if it helps. If you aren't happy, go back to what you usually do. Edit the photo the hard way. This tool may save some images, but it can only do so much to a select few circumstances.
Clever tip: know it or not, this tool can be used to RE-haze photos. Don't call me crazy yet. Everyone nowadays loves the orange/sun glare/hazy look to their portraits. After hazing the photo up a bit, doing some dodging and adding some orange, the dehaze tool can create really cool effects (Photoshop can do this as well, much easier).