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7890 08-14-2008 11:03 AM

Landscape Photos - Atmospheric Haze
I took hundreds of landscape photos on a recent trip to Yosemite National Park. In every image, there is a common issue with atmospheric haze. I'm sure you could find other problems, but the haze is what bugs me.

I guess the biggest mistake was no polarizer.

I've read every tutorial I can find, but can't get the results I'm looking for.
I've tried curves, levels, contrast, etc..
The only method that gets me close is individual R-G-B levels, gradient mask, and then color burn.
Known Techniques + Trial and Error = Time consuming.

Although I can get close to removing the problem, the results are disappointing. Furthermore, I second guess myself to the point of losing desire to correct these images. With so many pictures, I'll be retouching for weeks

Images are located at:

If any one of you have an alternative method for correction, I would love to hear about it.


DiamondsDr47 08-14-2008 11:49 AM

Re: Landscape Photos - Atmospheric Haze
Hi, for next time, filters definitely help and select right time of the day (early morning, or late afternoon) when the sun is “soft”.
Best regards,

DaveS 08-14-2008 12:39 PM

Re: Landscape Photos - Atmospheric Haze
1 Attachment(s)
Hi Greg,
had a quick play,
1 I duplicated the background and ran the high pass filter over it set to 3 and overlay
2 Copied the original image and did a calculations of the green channel and copied it to the the original again using overlay and masked the foreground.
if the image is too sharp you could always reduce the opacity of the high pass layer.


0lBaldy 08-14-2008 01:51 PM

Re: Landscape Photos - Atmospheric Haze
2 Attachment(s)
Greg, I did a levels then ran the "JtD Polarizer 2" action (from DPReview Actions v06a) discussed here and can be downloaded from here

~~Original~ ~~Polarized~

Verywierd 08-14-2008 02:35 PM

Re: Landscape Photos - Atmospheric Haze
1 Attachment(s)
With the objective of recovering the maximum detail out of the haze with the minimum effort, I did this:

1. Applied a "Local Equalization" filter - available free from here :

No adjustment or tuning. Just ran the filter and applied the result in Overlay blend mode 12% opacity.

2. Opened a Colour Balance layer and shifted the blue over to yellow until the maximum reduction in blue haze cast was removed. Did a quick paint over on the layer mask to bring the sky back from white/green.

3. Merged the layers and made a duplicate, and applied in Multiply blend mode (100%).

I did not do any clean up or anything else other than the above so that you could see the effect of only these steps.
Naturally, the final colour cast and the sky can be adjusted to taste.

Juergen D 08-14-2008 03:07 PM

Re: Landscape Photos - Atmospheric Haze
1 Attachment(s)
I used Adjust Sharpness in PSE5 (75%, 16px set to Remove Gaussian Blur), duplicated that layer and applied the same filter settings again. Reduced opacity to 30%.
Duplicated the first sharpened layer, set it to Overlay at 50% opacity.
Painted the upper third of the image on a 50% gray overlay layer on top with a soft brush at 33% and 20% opacity. I suppose a gradient would have done the same job.


Swampy 08-14-2008 03:30 PM

Re: Landscape Photos - Atmospheric Haze
1 Attachment(s)
I used OnOne Software's Color Tune then Unsharp mask.

GerryB 08-14-2008 03:40 PM

Re: Landscape Photos - Atmospheric Haze
1 Attachment(s)
Changed to Lab Mode.
Levels Adjustment Layer: 23, 213
Curves Adjustment Layer: Lightness 10, 90
a -80, +80
b -80, +80
Converted back to RGB Mode and saved.
I only spent 5 minutes or so on this. You could get better results by spending a little more time and tweaking the a and b channels a bit more.

Swampy 08-14-2008 03:50 PM

Re: Landscape Photos - Atmospheric Haze
There are so dang many way to achieve the same thing.. LOL

DiamondsDr47 08-14-2008 04:24 PM

Re: Landscape Photos - Atmospheric Haze
If you shot in jpeg mode lab mode, or if you have lightroom is a good choice.
Or if you have raw files then in raw editor you have a lot of room. Or if you
you familiar with luminosity masking
(, true there is a lot of ways...
Best regards,

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