Haze is found in many shots ranging from portraits, to vintage, to fashion... I have only seen expensive actions packages for Photoshop so far that offer the ability to do it in post, and everyone else is pretty tight about sharing their post processing techniques. Is there any way to add a haze effect in post processing on the cheap?


Did you mean something like this?

November sun

This is a JPEG straight out of camera (resized and sharpened). To get such haze, light source (in this case, sun) was positioned so it was just off the edge - so the haze is just a result of light falling into lens.

  • The subject of this portrait looks awfully... leafy. :)
    – mattdm
    Dec 12 '11 at 14:02

It depends on what you mean by "haze". You will get something one might call "haze" by using a very soft lens, including possibly a zone plate (which uses diffraction rather than refractive glass lenses). Shooting directly into bright light, particularly with older lenses, will produce a "veiled", low-constrast look which could also by thought of as hazy.

Or, you could approximate a similar effect in post-processing. As Stan Rogers rightly says about my demonstration there, I didn't make the effect very strong. If you take the same steps and turn the dials up to 11, so to speak, you will get a more dramatic effect.


Do some searching with Google for Photoshop Tutorials on what effects you are looking for. Here are some that I found that may help:

Realistic Portrait Retouching - This site in general has many tutorials for Photoshop which are overall very good quality. (Note: Some tutorials are premium but many are free)

4 Easy Techniques To Make Your Pictures Pop

Lighting Effects

Photoshop Tips

Hope some of these help.


Try duplicating the main layer. To the duplicate layer:

1) Desaturate by about 50% 2) Apply a gaussian blur (20-30 pixels or so) 3) Set blending mode to Screen 4) Reduce opacity as needed

This will give you a haze or glow effect. If you want a real vintage effect you might desaturate the final image a bit more. Don't know if this is the effect you're after, but hopefully it's a good starting point.

I think a lot of fashion photographers use old vintage lenses that produce a lot of flare, reducing contrast and desaturating the image a bit.

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