Dealing with Glare and Haze When Shooting Digital Photos

By Robert Correll

If you love photographing water, you know that it’s prone to glare through the afternoon and into the early evening. When photographing objects in the distance, you also have to combat haze.

The image shows the problem glare and haze present. The photographer took this photo of Detroit from Belle Isle, which sits in the middle of Detroit River just to the east of the downtown area. He had to face west to capture this photo, toward the direction of the sun, which is just above the frame. It was late afternoon, so the sun was still pretty high.

slrphoto-glare
Use all the techniques you can to fight glare and haze.

From a technical perspective, you can try to combat glare by using a circular polarizing filter on your lens. Dial it to cut out unwanted reflections off the water and make your skies and clouds look better. You can try using a UV or Haze filter to cut through the haze. The UV filters themselves do work, but your results may not be discernable. This is because digital SLRs and coated lenses are already pretty resistant to UV light. For what it’s worth, the photographer did have a Sigma DG UV filter on the lens.

You can also try to process the haze out of the photo using Adobe Lightroom or another application. Lightroom, as well as Adobe Camera Raw, has a Dehaze setting that is promising.