Create stunning astro shots with Dehaze
Get to know this exciting feature in Lightroom CC to make your night skies gleam
Astrophotography isn’t easy at the best of times and it certainly doesn’t come without a number of complications. You may find yourself outdoors looking up at a cloudless night’s sky, so you prepare for what could be a great night shooting. But, as luck would have it, your view is being hampered by a hazy atmosphere or surrounding lights from neighbouring buildings or street lamps.
Putting all these obstacles aside, the good news is that Lightroom CC has an adjustment that will solve all your astrophotography woes. Called Dehaze, it does just that. By reducing the amount of haze that appears in the atmosphere, details in the sky and surrounding areas can appear much more defined and contrast is bumped up to reduce the intruding light sources. This just so happens to be the perfect solution for fixing astro shots that lack detail in what is a captivating star trail. Follow our simple steps to put it to the test.
1 Import your hazy image Import your hazy image into Lightroom CC’s interface using Import, or simply drag and drop it on top of Lightroom. You’ll be taken back to the Library module to view all imported images.
2 Find Dehaze Along the top, move into the Develop Module to access the editing features. Locate the second drop-down panel named Effects. Inside is the new Dehaze adjustment just under Grain.
3 Get rid of haze As soon as you boost up the Amount slider your hazy image will become punchier in tone and colour. A high setting of +50 or above is desirable in most cases – for astro shots +100 is fitting.
4 Experiment As with all adjustments, there are two ways to take Dehaze. Going to the other end of the Dehaze slider and you are essentially adding haze to your image. The results aren’t always perfect.
5 Take it further With the Dehaze slider set to +100, go to the Tone Curve adjustments and set Highlights to +50, Lights to -25, Darks to -20 and Shadows to -80. The aim is to brighten the star streaks and darken the sky.
6 Increase Clarity If your stars are looking lost in the dark sky, locate the Clarity slider under the Basic tab. Increasing this slider will not only add impact to the black regions, but also help to define star trails.
7 Reduce noise If your image is showing signs of noise as a result of these changes, go to the Detail options and locate Noise Reduction. Increase the Luminance slider as well as the Color slider until noise is reduced.
8 Adjust colour and Export To reduce any over-powering blue tones, reduce the Blue slider inside HSL>Luminance. Save your edited astro shot by going back to the Library module and clicking Export.