Images often need a contrast boost to give them a little more life and intensity. It's a perfectly ordinary technique we've been using for years. Tone curve tools or simple contrast sliders are used to push the bright and dark values in the picture further apart to increase their separation (and, ideally, without 'clipping' extreme shadow or highlight detail. But this is a … [Read more...] about Dehaze vs Contrast, two ways to boost images
Dehaze (and similar tools)
This is a relatively new tool in Lightroom and it's starting to appear in other programs too (ClearView in DxO PhotoLab). What the Dehaze effect does is to split the image up into different tonal areas – such as the sky and the foreground in a landscape photo – and then maximise the contrast within these areas.
The effect is strongest in areas which are quite pale and washed out, such as weak skies or distant hazy horizons. But although it's called 'Dehaze', these are simply the circumstances where this tool is likely to be most effective – there's nothing in its design that specifically targets hazy backdrops in landscape photos. Indeed, the Dehaze tool equally effective on pale, flat areas in any photograph.
If you turn it right up to maximum the effect can be spectacular but also rather artificial-looking, verging on a kind of HDR look. Used in moderation, though, it can give wishy-washy images a real boost without giving away the fact that the picture has been manipulated.
With Lightroom Classic CC/Lightroom 6, Adobe introduced a new Lightroom Dehaze tool. This is designed to boost contrast in hazy-looking images, usually landscapes, where distant objects look washed out. Actually, though, it works in all sort of pictures – but how? Essentially, Lightroom Dehaze is a kind of localised contrast tool, boosting contrast in areas the look flat, … [Read more...] about The Lightroom Dehaze tool explained