Sunday, March 29, 2015

Hazy Days of Summer

We soon learn as photographers that there are ‘sweet times’ to capture our landscapes , eg around sunrise and sunset, but not midday. Or, if you have an IR converted camera, then midday will also be a sweet spot, ie more IR photons from the Sun.

But what if you are in place at the ‘wrong time’, eg at midday, and you just can’t wait until the the Sun sets. In this case, you may well have to contend with atmospheric haze (for example see In addition you will also have enhanced UV to contend with.

Reducing haze through the use of UV filters is not really needed now, since our digital cameras sensors are not sensitive to UV light like film was. The use of a polarizing filter may cut haze, but only under the right lighting conditions.

So the ‘best’ way to reduce the impact of haze is via post processing.

It is speculated that the next release of Photoshop may well have a ‘de-hazing’ capability:

For those who can’t wait for the next Photoshop release, there are Plug-ins, eg NeutralHazer from Kolor:

Another tool, and one I use, is the Clear View technology built into DxO Optics Pro 10. As an example of what this can achieve, here is a ‘classical’ Sunny-16 shot, ie 1/100s at ISO-100 at F/16.

The RAW was processed in DxO Optics Pro 10 and, as can be seen, the Clear View technology has helped to bring out some ‘hidden’ details in the sky.

Sunny-16 RAW Capture
DxO Optics Pro 10 Clear View Version
In future posts I hope to compare the DxO Optics technology with that of Photoshop, once Adobe release their magic in the next release.

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