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Old May 29, 2006, 12:09 AM   #1
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All landscape scenes of greenery or even rock formations come up hazy, as if there's a fog.* It can't be accounted for by reflections from water vapor or a body of water.Here is the original of a pic taken in the Tuscany hills:
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Old May 29, 2006, 12:16 AM   #2
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And here is the version of the file after boosting contrast and color temperature in iPhoto.* Also had to resize the photo get under the 250KB limit for file sizes posted on this forum.
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Old May 29, 2006, 3:57 AM   #3
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So, you couldn't see any haze with your eyes when you took these pix? How far from the nearest city did you usually go when you were shooting these scenes? Where I live, you can be quite a ways from the nearest urban center and still see haze hanging on the mountains either from blowing dust or plain ol' pollution. A polarizer might have helped.

I got a less hazy-looking result on this pic by making about three layer copies in the multiply blend mode in PS7, then masking out the effect in the forground where I didn't want it and then applying unsharp mask with a large radius and a small amount. Often that helps make a scene look less hazy. All that gave me blue trees way off in the background and I was too lazy to try to alter the color.

Grant
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Old May 29, 2006, 4:35 AM   #4
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How did you resize the pictures? When resizing, you want to specify the size in pixels--for a board like this about 800 pixels wide. Then when you save that version, you save it with an appropriate degree of compression to reduce the file size to below the limit (250k or whatever). The photos you posted are too small to do much with. But Grant is basically right. Using USM with a wide radius (40-50 pixels) and small amount (varies, 15-30%) and usually 0 threshold, does a world of good for haze. Here are a couple of shots that illustrate the effect:
First, the initial shot:




Next, after using wide USM:

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Old May 29, 2006, 9:11 AM   #5
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I haven't played around too much with editing tools.* We're talking iPhoto and the Mail reader to resize the photos to some presets.* I haven't thought of investing in Photoshop or any high-end software.Would 35mm slides scanned in yield better results?* Are scanners better than CCDs?No I didn't see any kind of haze with my eyes but I'm wearing polarizing sunglasses, which may tend to highten contrast and saturate colors more, especially the reds.* That is what I notice with H2O Revos.This pic is taken in San Gimignano, a popular hill town between Florence and Siena.* It's a small town but during spring and summer days, you get hundreds of tour buses and cars coming in to this otherwise rural area.* So I'm sure there's smog but nothing that you see with the naked eye like you do over many big US cities.The difference between the bright, vibrant colors you see and the faded, hazy pics you get here are pretty stark.* Maybe I dig out the old SLR and try taking some pics next time to compare against digital.
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Old May 30, 2006, 12:48 AM   #6
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I saw the latest version of Paint Shop Pro on Ebay with a "buy now" for less than $30. You should invest in a good image editor and PSP is excellent for that price. I've used Photoshop forever but you can do most things just as well with PSP.

My sunglasses are Nikon Titaniums and they do an excellent job in front of my camera lens for my pocket cameras. I just tilt my head until I get the maximum effect and hold the sunglasses in front of the lens at the same angle. The Nikon lenses are advertised as a completely color neutral gray, but the auto WB on my old camera did a fine job with my old brown Polaroid lenses to bring the color back to normal.

Polarization doesn't help much for haze though. Haze isn't usually polarized and polarization only blocks polarized light. My guess is that your sunglasses are a color that helps reduce haze more than the polarization helping.

Slides would probably show the haze too. You need a good slide scanner or a top of the line flatbed to get good results. The haze isn't an artifact produced by the sensor though.

I did this with Photoshop. I made it a little larger – there is no reason to make it that small. Of course an upsample gives crappy quality but your post is almost a thumbnail. In fact Irfanview will make thumbnails that size.

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Old May 30, 2006, 8:09 AM   #7
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That looks like perfectly normal haze, high humidity, heavy pollution day... its normal around here about 30-40% of the time when looking over long distances. Especially when looking into the sun like that.

Airports keep track of visibility in miles (for pilots), and many times the visiblity is very low without there being any clouds.

Quickest solution is wide low-power unsharp mask and tweak the levels (standard post processing stuff).
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