Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"Hazing" an image in Photoshop

I constantly have a camera with me, and when I am not taking photographs directly, I often pick up details and backgrounds I can use to combine with other images later in Photoshop. Yesterday I spotted some sheer window curtains and photographed them out of focus with my X-T1 and the new 18-55mm f/2.8 I have been testing -- an occasion when the f/2.8 came in handy at full zoom extension to blur the curtains.

Here is a small sample of some of the blurred images I captured of the sheer curtains:

The image on the right is closest to the actual color. I enhanced the color on the left image and changed it in ACR for the middle image.

I use this type of background image in a technique I call "hazing". In Photoshop I place an image of this type as a layer over a straight photograph, and then change the Blending Mode of the layer, usually to Hard Light, but sometimes to Multiply, Overlay, Screen, or Soft Light.

Below is a selection of the original images I wanted to "haze".

Nothing wrong with the original images, but adding the haze re-purposes them for designers to use as more of a neutral background. 

All of the images below used the hazing layer added in Hard Light mode. This can mute the overall color and over-lighten the image. To counter act this I move the image into the LAB color space and enhance the colors, then, after reconverting the image to RGB, I add a curve or levels layer to boost the contrast.

This photo was done using one of the warmed up blurs plus an additional sepia-colored adjustment filter layer.

Same technique used here, but I wanted to achieve a Pointillist painting technique to it so at the end I duplicated the image as an additional layer, added some uniform, monochrome noise to it, and added opacity to the layer to tone its effect down a bit. 

The Hazing technique comes in handy on a photo outing to the zoo, which can be problematic because of all the distracting environment elements that have to be avoided. 

1 comment :

  1. Great technique Tom, works especially well on the vintage golf equipment shot!