The original image [ISO => 400, F11, 1/320 seconds, -1/3 EV] looks washed out, may be because of bright day light overhead. In GIMP, if I apply Tools => Color Tools => Levels => Auto, the picture improves quite a bit. What sort of post-processing, either in Photoshop or Gimp or any other image processing tool, can I do to improve the washed out image even more?





  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The answer depends on if you have a raw file of the image. There may be e.g. some detail in the sky that may be recoverable from the raw data. And some detail in the washed-out region may be recoverable from raw as well, since it is not smoothed by the application of a gamma curve. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chris
    Jun 17, 2016 at 7:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Like @Chris said -- do you have the raw file? Answers will vary depending on that crucial piece of information \$\endgroup\$ Jun 17, 2016 at 12:45
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Hasn't this same exact image been used to ask the same question before? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jun 17, 2016 at 13:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelClark: do you mean this photo.stackexchange.com/questions/75100/… ? :-D \$\endgroup\$
    – motoDrizzt
    Jun 17, 2016 at 19:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yep. That's the one. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jun 17, 2016 at 19:50

4 Answers 4


Recent Adobe Lightroom (& Camera RAW) versions have a feature called "dehaze", which is designed specifically for this sort of thing. It's a little more advanced than just levels adjustment. I've had mixed success with it - sometimes it looks good, sometimes the resulting image has excessively muddy shadows. I believe it works a bit like auto levels but doesn't treat the whole image the same. So in your case it would affect the mountains more strongly than the foreground that already has more contrast.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay. I will give it a try. \$\endgroup\$
    – sherlock
    Jun 17, 2016 at 8:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, the haze removal tool in Affinity Photo. Big improvement, usually. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jamie Cox
    Jun 17, 2016 at 13:55

Try Dehaze in LR or ACR. If that does not work for you, try experimenting with vibrancy/warmer white balance/clarity applied gradually over the area with the haze.

The tool names probably differ in non-Adobe products...

  • \$\begingroup\$ Uhmm.. What's ACR? I assume LR is Lightroom but I can't figure out ACR. \$\endgroup\$
    – Roflo
    Jun 17, 2016 at 18:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Adobe Camera Raw @Roflo \$\endgroup\$
    – MirekE
    Jun 17, 2016 at 19:17

Adjusting contrast would be solution got retain the washed out area of this image Levels,curves brightness and contrast options will be useful to achieve the end result


Add a sky. I just quickly tried with Paint.Net (not the most advanced tool ever) and current sky is selected perfectly by the wand mode. Then steal a nice looking sky from another of your shot, put into a layer behind, and blend.

Really quick editing on the already processed jpg, sky kindly provided from the city of Amsterdam: Really quick editing on the already processed jpg, sky kindly provided from the city of Amsterdam

  • \$\begingroup\$ P.S. notice from the above photo that the color are now all wrong. You must do it on the original image, choose a sky with a color better matching the tone of the image, then level everything \$\endgroup\$
    – motoDrizzt
    Jun 17, 2016 at 10:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Most people won't notice that the colors are all wrong, usually the colors are not accurate anyway even if the picture had no issues to begin with. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 17, 2016 at 17:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Frankly, the sky seems to me to be the least of the worries, and now looks quite artificial. It's the haze over the land that's really the issue. This image looks like I've got some goop on one of my contacts that's clouding my vision, or there's some fog on my sun glasses, but someone spray painted the sky in. \$\endgroup\$
    – FreeMan
    Jun 30, 2016 at 13:48

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