DxO ClearView technology

DxO ClearView

Cut through haze, mist, and smog with one simple step

Atmospheric conditions such as haze, mist, fog, or even smoke and smog can reduce the transparency of the air, robbing your photographs of contrast and detail. Cloudy water can have the same effect, with images ending up looking weak and washed out.

Several Nik Collection plug-ins now feature DxO ClearView, a tool to reduce haze and recover contrast and detail with one simple slider.

What are haze, mist, fog, and smog?

Haze is caused by fine particles — typically from dust, smoke, or other dry particles — suspended in the lower atmosphere which disperse light before it reaches your camera.

Mist is similar to haze but is caused by the diffusion of water particles. If visibility is reduced to half a mile or less, it is then referred to as fog.

Smog — a portmanteau of “smoke” and “fog” — is air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels.

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How do they obscure the atmosphere?

Assuming that the light source in your photograph is the sun, the haziness of your photograph can have two causes.

Firstly, light from the sun that is reflected by your subject into your camera’s lens is absorbed or scattered by the particles in the air that are sitting between you and your subject, making the subject appear fainter.

Secondly, light from the sun can hit the particles and bounce directly into your lens, again making dark areas appear lighter and with less contrast than in reality.

DxO ClearView

How do you remove haze?

DxO ClearView

In theory, to remove haze you would need to know the distance between the camera and each subject, the amount of diffracted light, and the properties of the light source.

However, this amount of information is impossible to gather. Instead, assumptions are made about what the photo would look like if the haze were not there. The dark areas should be present, but in photographic terms, at least one of the RGB color channels is not “correct”.

The haze removal process has to bring the R, G, and B values back to zero in order to compensate for the diffusion of the light. The signal must then be amplified to account for the loss of light from the subject.


Clearview uses these principles and can remove haze with a single click

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