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Airplane Pictures

"Avoiding the Haze"

Airplane Pictures

Question from Pete about airplane pictures -

I would love your thoughts on how to improve photos taken from a plane window through the haze shooting at the ground.

I use Photoshop Elements.  I have several shots that I can put on a site if you need something to work from. I can clean up shots taken of clouds etc but down through the haze is the problem.


Answer -

Hello Pete,

Thanks for contacting better-photographs.com.

This is a tricky one and, as I am sure you will know, if there is haze then the camera will "see" it.

First things first - never use a polarizing filter when shooting through an aeroplane window. The material used in the window also has a polarizing quality which will combine with a camera filter and almost certainly ruin the photograph. I have found a UV filter to be the best for this type of shot.

Shooting towards the sun (even if it is behind a cloud) will also increase the apparent haze of the earth's atmosphere. Try to have it behind you or at least to the side - this isn't always possible of course but it well help a lot. That said, sometimes haze can add an ethereal look to an image.

When using Photoshop Elements, try adjusting the levels first then increase the contrast and saturation a little.

Finally, if there is flare - which is often caused by stray light from the window sides or the camera lens, then it's only cloning that will solve it - if you want to.

All the best,


NOTE (Added August 2015) - The latest versions of Photoshop, Camera RAW and Lightroom have a de-haze function which works well but always strive to reduce haze in the camera before post-processing.

Airplane Pictures

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