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Adobe Debuts A New Lightroom Feature | The ‘Dehaze’ Slider

By Kishore Sawh on May 28th 2015

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Haze removed on the right

I always raise an eyebrow when I hear photographers complain about Adobe’s Creative Cloud pricing structure. Sure, in a sense, it’s nice to ‘own’ a version of the applications, but when that was the only option, there were constant outcries at the purchase price and rampant piracy. This new structure makes these programs more readily affordable to everyone, and in a day and age where technology is developing at the speed of thought, makes it, so we always have the most advanced version.

It would be one thing if Adobe promised the world and delivered the equivalent of some little island of volcanic residue in the middle of French Polynesia, but they haven’t; they keep delivering the goods with frequent useful updates. One update debuted last fall seems about to drop for Lightroom, and it’s the addition of a ‘Dehaze’ slider. Simply put, it will allow you to remove haze from your images with all the effort of a minute finger movement.

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The slider, however, defaults at naught, which means not only can you remove haze, but you can add it as well, certainly adding to your creative arsenal. How this differs from the Clarity or Contrast sliders is yet to be discussed, but it certainly seems to be more like a ‘Fade’ slider than Clarity, and seems to beef up colors that tend to be subdued due to haze or mist, or refracted light.

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[REWIND: Update Sees Adobe Camera RAW Performance Boost & Lightroom CC Features]

Adding that faded or matte look to your images in Lightroom isn’t all that difficult to begin with, all it really takes is a simple curves adjustment. If you’d like, I’ll be happy to create a demo for you, but this seems to be able to give somewhat of a similar effect, and it couldn’t be easier.

The video is simply a teaser video debuting the new tool, so there isn’t much more to deduce from it, other than it looks rather finished, and that we can likely expect it in a soon-to-come Lightroom update Hopefully, there will be more where this came from.

About

Kishore is, among other things, the Editor-In-Chief at SLR Lounge. A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

46 Comments

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  1. Timothy Linn

    I write this comment assuming that this new feature will be available to CC users but not perpetual licensees. If so, this is complete BS. I understand that new features like this are the argument for CC but here’s the thing: The LR5>LR6 upgrade is absolutely minimal. I’m seeing NO speed improvements at all in the areas that are the most problematic. Now, less than 2 months after the LR6 debut and less than 2 weeks after I pay for an upgrade they add pre-existing functionality to CC that should have been in both versions from the release date. Seems like a big “F You” to legitimate customers who purchased LR6. It would be different if six months had passed but it’s barely been 6 weeks.

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  2. Jim Abels

    It should add an additional adjustment useful for dealing with sky glow during Milky Way photography in light polluted areas such as New Jersey. It’s a huge issue in my state.

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  3. Tosh Cuellar

    very cool, was just wishing for something similar after shooting some landscapes in the PNW the last few weeks

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  4. seoras logan

    First; this haze slider I guess is a clever use of a combination of existing sliders that are being applied in the background. Contrast, clarity, tone curve, etc. Plus ….
    The one I don’t think people have mentioned here yet is use of the Blue Primary Saturation in the Camera Calibration panel. There was a better tutorial somewhere but I can’t find it, this link will give you the idea though: https://fstoppers.com/landscapes/give-your-colors-nice-kick-lightroom-trick-38646 Works really well for landscapes.

    Secondly; Personally I think adobes rental scheme sucks. Many say, ‘oh its only xxx a year’. Add those years up folks and if you for some reason stop paying, your sunk.

    If like me you primarily use LR and only need basic PS type work (object removal, replacement etc.) then Pixlemator is fine or the new kid on the block thats looking very promising and more powerful Affinity Photo* beta, a possible PS challenger. In Beta its free and I gather once out will be £40.

    Sorry Mac only though; https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/photo/

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  5. Sedric Beasley

    Seems like this thread has become ad debate about the subscription vs standalone vs etc. One size shoe doesn’t fit everyone.

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    • Thomas Horton

      It is a passionate topic for many people. And there are some who frankly don’t believe that giving the customer a choice is a good thing and that everything should be via subscription.

      RAW vs JPEG? small stuff
      Crop vs FF? Old news
      Canon vs Nikon? Who cares any more

      but…

      Adobe subscription vs standalone? That’s where photographers roll up their internet forum sleeves and start fightin’. LoL

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Adobe subscription vs standalone? That’s where photographers roll up their internet forum sleeves and start fightin’.

      Imagine if you bought a camera and CaNikon forced you to pay them $120/year to keep the firmware working. That’s why people are so ‘passionate’ about it. You’re no longer buying a product you’re leasing a service.

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    • Matthew Saville

      I don’t think that analogy works very well, J. Dennis Thomas.

      Buying a physical product was never the case with buying a stand-alone version of software on a DVD. Just because you bought a physical DVD, you still never actually “owned” the software. In fact the EULA’s very clearly spelled that out each and every time you installed software from a physical disc. You don’t own the software, you are merely paying for the right to use it.

      Thus, the current offering is just a modernization of the software licensing business model. You’re paying to use software, but in a different manner. (Albeit in a manner that now has an expiration date, which does suck)

      Yes, they will make more money from you if you were the type of person who never bought every single update. However the minute you bought a new camera, that option goes out the window, and that’s not entirely Adobe’s fault, that’s mostly Canon and Nikon’s fault. Go figure. The hardware you bought (and physically own) is partly what has “forced” this new business model on Adobe. Whoops.

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    • Tom Lange

      The way I look at it, to purchase standalone Photoshop costs about the same as a few years of an Adobe CC subscription. For $10 a month I get both Photoshop and Lightroom, and although I hardly use Photoshop anymore because LR does pretty much everything I need, I do use PS now and then and it would be a pain not to have it available when I need a specific tool.

      The subscription allows you to get the software onto your computer and get working without having to spend hundreds of dollars up front. That is critical to a lot of people. You may have that money sitting around but I sure didn’t. $10 later I’m editing away happily. I don’t store my files on the cloud and I don’t need to be connected to the internet to use either of these programs. You can do your once every few years upgrade and I’ll get regular updates and we’ll both spend about the same money.

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  6. Robert Eilers

    In the day and age of Adobes pricing structure it also means that the 50 dollar photographer can now fool clients even more, at least before only serious photographers, or pirates, could have photoshop.

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    • John Cavan

      Not sure about that argument. The way it’s worded it implies that at one point you needed to be a serious photographer to pay the hefty price for photoshop so that you could fool clients. Being fooled by a pro or being fooled by a 50 dollar photographer still means that you’re being fooled…

      Or do you mean, as a function of having photoshop, the 50 dollar photographer can get close enough to a real pro that the lay person can’t tell? If that’s true, the industry is well, and truly, farked… Simply put, then, why pay a premium for the pro if you can’t actually tell?

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    • Ren Guest

      “Serious” photographers? Come on. Elitist much? Robert, hate to tell you this, but Photoshop was (and probably still is) the most pirated bit of software ever because of it’s outrageous price and you could guarantee that there are/were just as many pros using a cracked version as there are/were legitimate licensed copies.

      Also, mate, you can’t make a silk purse out of a pigs ear. You have nothing to fear from hack photographers unless your own skills are wanting. No amount of photoshop can fix crap images.

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  7. Austin Swenson

    I look forward to using this feature on photos, could be awesome… But then again, I can also see how people are going to overuse it and then it’s gonna flood every photo album for a year… Either way, still a cool effect that saves time

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Just like everyone used that damn clarity slider at 1000% on every portrait when it was introduced. Everyone will use it to make VSCOscam “faded” film looks.

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    • Robert Eilers

      Truth is that the concept of beauty is in the eye of the beholder has been replaced with beauty is in the eye of whatever new gadget or trick gets the job done.

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    • Graham Curran

      People follow what is fashionable, new features get overused but new poses in wedding photography also end up as clichés.

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  8. Matthew Saville

    BTW yup I was just going to say, this smells of Adobe delivering on their promise of rewarding CC subscribers on a continual basis, and not just haphazardly tossing us a few scraps once every couple years to keep us from leaving.

    I’m a huge critic of Adobe’s bugshooting capabilities when it comes to major releases running smoothly, and I think they should always strive to make each big upgrade as pleasant as possible, but I have to say, by and large I am impressed at how they have managed to stay at the forefront of processing RAW images to the fullest possible extent.

    I can only hope that their next efforts will be focused on improving camera specific profiles, and achieving colors and tones that more closely represent what I see in-camera when I say, for example use “Vivid” picture control to capture incredible yellow-orange-red fall colors with my Nikon NEF files. :-)

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    • Thomas Horton

      Adobe has to release small “improvements” to justify the subscription schema. I anticipate seeing many more of these micro-updates coming more often.

      Then after a year or two, all the small updates will be bundled into a larger update that would be then sold to the stand-alone customers.

      It will be up to the individual photographer whether these small improvements are worth the subscription price.

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    • Dave Haynie

      Small incremental feature creep could actually lead to more reliable software.

      In the traditional development model, dubbed “Waterfall”, the developer has a feature list for any given release, and they work on it until that feature list is complete. In theory, that means you get to conceive all of the features as a unified and complete whole. But in practice, it means that you releases way past the scheduled date, and they’re buggy.

      Many software teams use a newer methodoloy called Agile development. This means that the release date is king. You take every major feature you’re thinking about, make that a real goal, and prioritize it among all goals. You work in fairly short “sprints” in which every engineer is part of a single goal (usually), and they have to implement and really test (in theory) that piece before moving on to the next. When the release date is close, new things are added, or not, based on their state at that time.

      In short, this kind of development is exactly the kind of thing that you want for a subscription service. This is what most web applications have done for ages. You won’t worry about which version of Facebook or flickr or SLR Lounge you’re using, you just use it… and occasionally notice new features, improvements, annoying bad ideas, etc. Formalized agile software development goes back to around 2001.

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  9. norman tesch

    i live up here in the boonies. i prefer to purchase the stand alone. i have been in hotels here that say they have wifi but , not really. and if your on the road looking for the nearest mcdonnalds to do some work isent a good plan

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    • Richard Olender

      I don’t believe you need wifi to use the cloud. From what I have read you only need to connect once every 90 days

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    • Ren Guest

      Yeah… you really need to read the information about the subscription rather than repeat what a few individuals You do not need to be connected constantly. You only need connection periodically. The software is on your computer, not on the cloud, and if you save your working files locally (which you would if you’re on the road) then you don’t have to access anything via the cloud anyway. That’s how I work and it’s easy. Plus having fully registered and updated software on a regular basis is awesome. $10AUD a month (what I pay) is well worth it – but then I mostly use Photoshop rather than Lightroom.

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    • Ren Guest

      I’ve been afraid of using LR for the longest time – weird considering I’m a PS junkie. I think I am going to need to play with some software because this looks pretty cool.

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    • Robert Eilers

      At least they keep new features rolling in instead of having a subscription model on a stagnant product.

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  10. Matthew Saville

    Hmm, so somewhere between clarity and contrast. Now we can un-instagram our photos? :-P

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    • Barry Cunningham

      Uninstagramming them ought to give you the same effect as converting the originals to minimum quality JPEGs.

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  11. Stan Rogers

    Basically, it adjusts contrast based on the local contrast (or lack of same) that’s already there. I suppose that makes it similar to the Vibrance-versus-Saturation thing. Like most things in most programs, though, I’m more interested in what happens when you use it in a manner *not* intended by the maker. That’s almost always more interesting than the intended use.

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  12. Kevin Cucci

    Last I checked Adobe wasn’t forcing anyone into the cloud, there are plenty of options to purchase the stand alone … Also there is a deal for $7.99/month right now. mathmatically, I don’t see how you could find a better deal.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      A better deal is to not have to pay for an upgrade you don’t need. Spreading it out over a longer period of time to make it look cheaper is just a marketing tactic. I don’t need LR6 so I just saved $120. I could buy some cheap glass for my Df or something else tangible that LRCC isn’t giving me.

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  13. Liam Doran

    Wow this could be very handy!

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  14. Tom Johnson

    Sorry, the Creative Cloud structure does suck. Lightroom is great, but I don’t believe a subscription service is the answer. Its especially hard to justify when you’re not making money from your photography. I want the option to buy the software once and then determine which add-ons would be worth purchasing separately.

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    • Ben Perrin

      Just because it sucks for you doesn’t mean it sucks for others. Less than $10 a month for PS and Lightroom isn’t a bad deal imho but luckily you still have Lightroom available as a standalone product. I think it’s hard to justify if you are using entry level gear but if you are using the equivalent of a D810 with expensive glass then it shouldn’t be an issue. Also there’s free software alternatives readily available.

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    • John Cavan

      Well, Lightroom is available in a purchase model and so you have that option, but it likely also means that you’re waiting a while to get some features that the CC users will get.

      To be honest, I was much the same when it came to the idea of the CC model, especially since I’m also an amateur shooter, but I started comparing the cost of this monthly to some of the other things I pay for and use far less (such as TV services and my home phone). I spend more on coffee in a few days than the cost of this subscription. That kind of put it in perspective for me…

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    • John Cavan

      When this feature comes out, I have a few landscapes I want to revisit… I did a reasonably decent job of it using the levels sliders on the 3 channels, but I’ll be curious to see if this does it better or not.

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    • Richard Olender

      I agree with you but look at it this way….at 10$ a month or 120$ a year, its pretty much the same as buying the latest version every year

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      I’m a 100% pro and I refuse to use the subscription model. As RICHARD OLENDER points out it’s $120/year. I’ve just finished my trial for LR6. No updates that made any appreciable difference to me. So I saved $120 by sticking with LR5. When LR7 comes out I can test that out and decide if I want to update then. Sorry, but a “dehazing/hazing” slider isn’t going to convince me that LR6 is a necessity worth paying for.

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    • John Cavan

      @Richard – The $120/year also gives you Photoshop, something oft overlooked. I can’t speak for many others, but I’ve been using it since the 90’s and the combination of the two packages is a very compelling argument for me. If it was just Lightroom alone, sure, I might agree, but it’s not.

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    • John Cavan

      @J. Dennis – Sure, I can buy your argument if all you use from the suite is Lightroom. Lightroom was always massively cheaper than the other big members of the Adobe suite, but if you use Photoshop as well, then the $10/month isn’t all that outrageous when it’s all said and done.

      In any event, if all you do use is Lightroom, then Adobe has offered it stand-alone and the traditional “is it worth it” review is relevant before deciding on an upgrade. I, for one, do find it faster than the previous version, something I tend to like when editing the monsters out of the D800.

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    • Ben Perrin

      If all I was using was lightroom then I wouldn’t pay for the subscription model either. Simply not worth it.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      I don’t find it any faster, perhaps I need a computer upgrade. As far as Photoshop goes I only use it for extensive retouching which is rarely. I have no need for all the other bells and whistles. PS CS5 still works fine for me.

      My Leica shoots DNG so I don’t need to worry about LR not having support. I’m extremely happy with my D700/Df/D4 combo so I won’t be buying anything that needs new RAW support.

      I never said that my path was for EVERYONE, but $120 saved is good for me.

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    • John Cavan

      Well, assuming you don’t end up paying that as premium when there is something compelling and you’re a few revs behind. In any event, $120 is less than what I was paying for one month of cable and I use it more, so the math adds up for me.

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    • Nick Buchholz

      Although this article was not about the CC model, I’ll throw in my two cents.
      I’m a fan of the CC model as it is right now. The only fear I have is that once we’re all “hooked” the prices will go up. I am jealous when reading you all pay $10. We are paying $15/mt in Switzerland.
      It’s a supply/demand market and I’m convinced Adobe will raise the price as soon as CC is established in the mainstream market and test how high they can go without losing too many customers. How many of you would still be raving about it when it was $15/mt like here. …or 20, or 25?

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    • Graham Curran

      I am generally against subscription models as they often seem to be ways of sucking more money out of the consumer. However, CC does seem like fair value – even at European prices where the U.S. $10 translates to ~£14 – buying PS and LR separately is a large upfront outlay and is equivalent to about 4 years of subscription but gives extras like LR mobile as well as frequent updates as new features are introduced. PS is one of the most pirated programs out there and I’m sure the CC model will encourage more people to use it in a legal manner.

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    • Dave Haynie

      I had to soul-search on this recently myself.

      And actually, as a non-pro (most of the time, anyway), I balked at the $10/month/application pricing. But Photoshop and Lightroom — the two Adobe apps I actually use — for $10/month. That’s a really good deal.

      My main complaints with their move to subscription are twofold. First of all is the “can’t ever quit” problem — if you quit, the applications don’t die entirely, but they do go into a low-function mode, and at least for some media, you may lose your ability to edit. Though I think Lightroom retains the ability to export to other formats if it becomes unsubscribed — that alone gets any saved PSD files into another format. Even layers, as long as layered TIFF export is supported.

      Second problem is more the philosophy of this. There’s a really good chance that Adobe moved to this model because they weren’t seeing enough upgrades. But it certainly does also increase the chance that more users will jump on-board, given the low entry cost. The reason you don’t get an upgrade from existing user is simple: you didn’t offer enough value.

      Once I’m paying every month just to keep what I have, there’s much less of an onus on the subscribed product to keep me really, really happy. They never have to make me as excited as they’d need to sell me a new version of the owned product. They don’t even really need to keep me happy, as long as they keep me not-so-unhappy that I leave.

      Ok, so now think of all of your subscriptions: magazines, cable TV, premium TV, internet, cellular, etc. Do any of these really ever make you as happy as, say, buying a hot new software tool, a new lens, etc? Chances are big that the answer isn’t just “no”, but maybe something like “I’m always annoyed with them”. If you look up user satification indices, it’s nearly always subscription services, cable TV and phone in particular, that’s at the bottom of the list.

      That’s not an accident. They find, via market analysis, that profits are optimized when you’re loosing a small percentage of users. Those are the hard-to-please users, and you’d have to spend more money making them happy than replacing them with a new subscriber. Now, think about all of the ads you see for subscription services: cable TV, cellular, insurance, etc. They spend a fortune on new customer acquisition, and that’s still cheaper than simply making a product less people hated.

      Adobe shows no current signs of doing this. And I did sign on for Photo CC, it just seemed such a no-brainer for the value. But I didn’t remove Photoshop CS6, either. It’s possible Adobe will be all sunshine and basically teach the industry how to do this right — wouldn’t that be great? But It’s also quite possible they’ll gradually get bad, spend even more on new customer acquisition and less on keeping we subscribers, etc.

      Particularly since the barrier to leaving is large. I can at least still buy stand-alone Lightroom. But not Photoshop. So if I walk away, what unknown problems will I have, what must-have features go away, etc? There’s nothing really that replaces either of these closely. When I dumped Dish Network for DirecTV, I got a better service. When I dropped Hughesnet for Wildblue, I got a better service. Both were really close replacements. But there’s nothing for most of the Adobe CC tools, and even for what exists, it looks like lots of already-done work could be lost. So basicall, they can drive me past the point at which I would have kicked the TV or Internet services to the curb, and I’ll still pay. And a professional probably doesn’t even have that as a choice to entertain — a simple cost of doing business, forever. But if you ultimately make more money with than without, that’s a good expense anyway, even if the ultimate cost is more. And of course, many businesses prefer the montly payment anyway — same reason a business will lease a car rather than buy it, even if that means paying $400/month pretty much forever.

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  15. Brandon Dewey

    very cool

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