Removing haze from images with Unsharp Mask

This is a handy tip for removing (or lessening) haze from an image using the unsharp mask filter found in most image editing programs. Normally that filter is used for sharpening an image, but it has more uses…

Here’s an image of the Chrysler Building in New York (taken from the Empire State Building if you’re curious). It was a hazy day when I took the picture so the image low contrast:

Chrysler Building - before unsharp mask

This haze can be fixed using the Unsharp mask filter. The dialog looks like this in Photoshop Elements 5:

Unsharp Mask dialog in Photoshop Elements 5

I use the following values:

  1. Amount: 40
  2. Radius: 150
  3. Threshold: 0

The resulting image is much better:

Chrysler Building - after unsharp mask

As hazy images are almost inevitable when shooting outside with long distances, I thought this might make a good tip. BTW, I first saw it in a Swedish Photo mag called “DigitalFoto för alla”.


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