If, like me, you don’t subscribe to Adobe’s software model and use their products standalone, than the most useful plugin in years is unavailable to you. And, that’s dehazing. Like it sounds, the dehaze slider minimizes haze, fog, and in an example from a shoot this winter, sharpens up single track in the snow.
— byron@bikehugger (@bikehugger) February 22, 2016
Adobe isn’t saying how their software magic works, but it seems to algorithmically separate surface detail from shapes, and estimate depth based on coloration consistent with atmospheric haze (or something like that).
Thanks to the good people at Prolost, you can use the Dehaze effects in Lightroom, even without a Creative Cloud subscription. As their blog post insists, you’ll want to read the manual on how best to apply it: global, gradient, or radial. The best part is the presets are free.
Another option for correcting haze is from DXO and was introduced in version 10. DXO ClearView, “Allows you to strongly diminish or outright eliminate haze, with spectacular results in terms of how details and colors appear in your images.”
See the before and after screenshots—DXO isn’t exaggerating the correction and it’s more pronounced than the Prolost effects; also, adjustable. If you shoot under gray skies like those here in Seattle or smog on the street, it’s probably worth the purchase.