Adjusting Safari Image using Lightroom's Dehaze Tool
Last year Adobe released a new version of Lightroom CC which contains their newest adjustment tool: The DeHaze slider. It is found in the FX menu of the Development module (way down toward the bottom of the list).
You must have the CC version of Lightroom to use it, but if you have Photoshop, there is a way to access the tool and take it further using a few medium/advanced PS techniques. (see at the end of this article for details). Also this tool works on the entire image - in Photoshop you can target the area where the effect takes place.
The purpose of the Dehaze slider is to either add or remove atmospheric haze from a photo. The obvious use is for adjusting landscape images, but I have found it useful with safari images where there was quite a bit of dust in the air and even for some underwater images where the water was not clear. (the underwater equivalent of dust)
For me, it is a tool that combines Contrast, color saturation, and midtone sharpening into a single tool. Using a combination of tools it is possible to achieve similar results to the Dehaze slider, but if time is an issue, you can get great improvements with just one adjustment. Investing a bit more time you can build on the improvements Dehaze adds to your images by combining it with further adjustment tools.
Using Dehaze on a dusty image
Here is an example of how I used Dehaze for an image that was not a landscape.The drought has made everything very dusty and it really effects this image taken in the mid morning light.
With just one adjustment, the colors pop and the contrast is greatly improved.
Now I experiment with doing some Exposure adjustments first before applying the Dehaze.
My method for this is to temporarily Desaturate the image so I can analyze it without the distraction of color. More details in the full article
I used the Tone Curve tool (you can also use the 4 sliders under Exposure) to add contrast by darkening the Shadows and Darks and lightening the Lights. I left the Highlights as they were since there is a bit of bright light in the mane and sky. I then restored the color to see the following improvement.
Now I add the Dehaze adjustment - a little bit less than I used when it was my only adjustment.
Dehaze has taken the image a step better than exposure adjustments alone.
The new Dehaze tool is now one of my goto tools for quick improvements to a raw image. I also include it among other adjustment tools when I am doing detailed adjsutments to an image either in Lightroom or Photoshop
Read More of this article and see more examples in the full article on my blog