How to Dehaze in Lightroom 5

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As a photographer, one of the few things you’ll have to contend with is dealing with hazy photos. Luckily, Lightroom 5 has effective methods to easily dehaze any image. If you have hazy photos, this article examines effective steps on how to Dehaze in Lightroom 5.

How to Dehaze in Lightroom 5

The easiest method is to import the hazed photo into Lightroom 5. First, locate and click on the “Develop” tab. Then, manually adjust the slider for Exposure, Clarity, Whites, Blacks, and contrast to reduce the haze or completely dehaze the photo.

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When photos are taken indoors or outdoors and have a light source behind the primary focus object, haze is almost inevitable. Amazingly, Lightroom has one of the best dehaze tools for adjusting or removing haze from photos. However, unlike in Lightroom Classic CC, there’s no dehaze slider in Lightroom 5.

Lightroom 5 also has several features to help eliminate haze in your photos with zero hassle. Below, we’ve discussed three practical ways to dehaze images in Lightroom 5.

Adjusting Tone Curve

For Lightroom beginners, the Tone Curve is often seen as a complicated tool. On the contrary, it offers one of the quickest editing features for dehazing a photo. The Tone Curve is an excellent alternative to the dehaze tool in Lightroom 5.

Hazed photos can be dehazed by adjusting the intensity of the light and dark areas of the photo. If you’re a beginner, using a linear point curve is advisable to give you more editing control. You can adjust Highlights, Lights, Darks, and Shadows on the Tone Curve menu.

  1. Begin by locating the midpoint of the linear curve.
  2. Slightly drag this midpoint down and note the dehazing effect.
  3. You can pick two other points at equal distances from the midpoint and try to decrease the haze in other areas of the photo.
  4. All adjustments can be undone easily. Make adjustments until you get the perfect haze or totally dehaze the photo.

Using Dehaze Preset

The first two methods would require manual adjustment of image effects and options. However, using dehaze presets is an amazing alternative if you don’t want to manually dehaze your photos in Lightroom 5. Luckily, dehaze presets are available to download for free.

As with most things, dehaze presets have their advantages and drawbacks. A major advantage is that it allows photographers to dehaze multiple photos quickly. However, these presets do not always work the same way for all photos and may require the use of other manual dehaze methods.

You may have to adjust some of the effects when the dehaze preset does not eliminate the haze as you may need it. Move each slider as gently as possible, making sure to balance out complimentary effects.

Adjusting Effects in Basic Panel

The basic panel can be found in the Develop Module of Lightroom 5. This method focuses on adjusting effects like Exposure, Contrast, Whites, Blacks, and Clarity. For better dehazing results, it’s best to work with the RAW format of the photo than in its JPEG format.

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To begin, here are the steps to using this method:

  1. Import the hazed photo into Lightroom 5. This can be done by following the promptings after clicking the Import icon.
  2. Navigate to the “Develop” tab on the top right area of the screen. You can also use the shortcut key by pressing D on the keyboard.
  3. With the Basic Panel on the right-hand side of the screen, the focus will be on the effects of Tone and Presence options.
  4. Adjust the drop-down options by moving each slider to increase and decrease the effects.

For a better understanding of what each of these effects represents, let’s examine each of them.

  • Exposure: This is the first option under the Tone category. It is adjusted to decrease or increase the overall brightness of the photo. Since you’re looking to dehaze the photo, slightly decrease the slider to reduce its brightness.
  • Clarity: Under the Presence category, adjust the slider to increase the photo’s clarity. Since haze reduces the outline of objects in the photo, increasing the clarity effect makes the outlines clearer and sharper.
  • Whites and Blacks: Both effects work together to dehaze and make the photo clearer. Increase the Whites effect to make the unclear areas more visible. Conversely, decrease the Blacks slider to bring out object details.
  • Contrast: Ideally, this should be about the last effect to adjust. When other effects have been suitably adjusted, gently increase the slider until the photo’s haze is completely removed. The photo’s object would have its shadows and highlights more distinct.

Other Setting to Adjust When You Dehaze in Lightroom 5

When manually eliminating haze in Lightroom 5, the photo quality is often tampered with. Two primary effects of taking note of after making necessary dehaze adjustments are photo Sharpness and Noise. The same applies even when working with dehaze presets.

The Sharpness effect can be found under the Details panel in the Develop Module. The Sharpness features help define the photo object’s outline and details. To add this effect, gently move the slider to the right to increase the photo’s sharpness.

As stated, another noticeable change to the photo quality is noise. Depending on the intensity of dehazing done, you may be left with undesirable image noise. Carefully adjust the Noise slider appropriately to reduce the effect as much as you can.

What Are the Benefits of Dehazing Photos in Lightroom 5?

If you have ever had to contend with unexpected haze in your photos, it’s easy to appreciate the benefits of a dehazing tool. Although Lightroom 5 may not have the standard dehaze feature, these are some of the benefits of getting dehazing in Lightroom 5.

Remove Fog From Photos

Apart from haze, Lightroom 5 can help to remove fog in the foreground of any photo. During early morning shoots or in the winter months, it’s common to have fogs over your camera’s lens. Adjusting the effects in the basic panel can help improve the details of objects covered by the fog.

Eliminate Photo Glare

Glare is caused when photos are taken through windows or glass. Even without a dehaze tool feature, photo glare can easily be removed with a tone curve or by adjusting the effects on the basic panel.

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Improve Photo Contrast

It’s easy to adjust the contrast of both colored and monochrome photos on Lightroom 5. The contrast tool is usually one of the features adjusted to dehaze photos in Lightroom 5. By increasing or decreasing the photo’s contrast, the photo quality can be enhanced.

Related Questions

Below, we’ve answered some other questions that you might have concerning this topic:

What Does It Mean to Dehaze a Photo?

Simply put, to dehaze a photo is to remove the haze in it. This is done by increasing the photo’s contrast and adjusting its saturation. However, it is important that the process is done properly to avoid unnecessary noise and over-editing of the photo.

What Version of Lightroom Has the Dehaze Tool?

The version of Lightroom that has the dehaze tool is the Lightroom CC and it is a major feature of this version of Lightroom. However, this feature is yet to be added to the current version of Lightroom 5.


When a light source is behind the object of focus in a photo, there’s bound to be a haze effect. Dehazing the photo makes it clearer and sharper to use. Although the Dehaze tool is unavailable in Lightroom 5, we’ve discussed several alternate ways to dehaze such photos.