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Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:09 pm
Please take a look at this photo.
Now, I am familiar with and make use of the dehaze tool of Lightroom, so I know this pic can be improved in post processing.
My question, however, is ... Is there anything I can do in the field in terms of lenses, filters, whatever, to get rid of the haze?
Or is haze something I have lo live with until I get home and post process the photo?
It's just a sample and the location is unimportant. What matters here is that haze ruins an otherwise nice pic.
Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:48 pm
Do you have Lightroom already? If so, use dehaze (like you said). It's SO powerful, and can easily solve the minor haze in that shot.
I don't know of any actual filters or lenses that would handle that, so I'd recommend sticking with Lightroom.
Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:32 am
Other than waiting until light changes (and I know we both travel alot and probably don't very often have that luxury) the other thing that can help is a UV filter. Filters are a mixed bag. I generally dislike them and the only one I have ever used regularly is a polarizer (and very ocassionally, a ND filter). In my mind ANYTHING you place in front of your (likely very high quality) lens, will compromise that lens' quality. So it is a tradeoff and you have to make the judgment in each situation, I think.
But UV (sometimes called "haze") filters do work - or at least help some. The key is that you will need a very high quality filter (not the cheap ones the camera stores try to sell you every time you buy a lens). Something like B&W, Lee, or the pro-category Hoya. Hoya has a Hi_resolution one, for example. I have read the the very high resolution and the filtering systems in digital cameras make the effectiveness of a filter lower, so I would definitely opt for the higher end filter, if you try it.
I have only recently begun to use the Dehaze feature (I use ACR, but it is the same "engine" as Light Room). I like it, but I have also learned that it can sometimes have strange effects on the color and hues in the image. It also usually means you need to make a corresponding shadows adjustment and sometimes an exposure adjustment, and often even a blacks adjustment. I have found it is often the best to just use the brush to make just targeted dehaze adjustments.
Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:22 pm
Thank you, Britchess and Andy.
Andy: You are so right. I have good lenses and dislike the side effects of filters. I have a Hoya filter, but I am not sure if it's high end; I will check, but even if it is not, the difference, I fear, will be minimal. The photo above is taken with the right filter and as you can see the end result is pretty dismal. Sadly, waiting for light conditions to improve is not an option for me; I hit the road for a full day and have so many places to cover that I am always pushed for time... arrive, set the tripod, spend a few minutes taking photos and away we go. If I lived close to the places I visit it'd be easy, but it is not my case. I use Lightroom's dehaze tool and agree it's very good, but like you I find it isn't a matter of just applying it. Normally there's more work required. Besides, my real problem is not that. What I struggle with is that if the day is hazy I return home with a ton of hazy photos. Post processing hundreds and hundreds (thousands after the full trip) of photos is not my idea of fun, so I end up selecting just the very best of them and work on those. The rest stay as taken: hazy.