Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cutting through coastal haze

The Port of Los Angeles / Long Beach is the largest and busiest port in the U.S., handling about 45% of all containers incoming into Customs and Border Protection. The Port area is also known for being socked in with haze, both from water vapor and from smog. Getting good images of this area can be tough.

For our purposes, smog and vapor act like a simple colour cast. This cast can be removed with a Curves adjustment layer quite easily. Notice also, that the haze contributes to an overall softness within the image.

In our first photo, there is an overall grey cast to the sky and the foreground is out of focus. We can begin to address these problems systematically within our work flow. The result is a clearer picture, one with a bit more snap.

It is often helpful to view the before and after images side-by-side. In this way, you can see if all of the images problems have been solved. You can use Arrange to help. Window>Arrange>Tile Vertically or Tile Horizontally (depending on the image's dimensions).

Protecting our borders and ports is a tough job. With a little help from your Forensic Photoshop work flow, things can get a little easier.

Soft, with a bit of haze.

The colours are back and the image is much sharper.

Later this week, we'll take an in-depth look at Curves.


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