Only Three Sliders

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry 3 Comments

Yesterday I posted this image on my Instagram feed and Facebook page.

Gerry van der Walt - Lightroom - Wildlife Photography

With it I asked which three Lightroom sliders I used to get the RAW file on the right to look like the image on the right.  Until now, and there were a lot of comments posted, no one has called the correct combination.

The Dehaze slider is one of the latest additions that Adobe has introduced to Lightroom and ACR.  The slider “is based on a physical model that tries to estimate the amount of light transmission and how it varies across the picture,” Adobe writes.

Gerry van der Walt - Lightroom - Wildlife Photography

In normal english this means that the slider is designed remove fog, haze or in this example, dust from an image.  The slider, which can be found under the Effects panel in Lightroom, can be moved in both directions meaning you can either increase or remove the fog and haze in an image.

So, back to the three sliders I used on the example image above.

This was the original file.

Gerry van der Walt - Lightroom - Wildlife Photography

Step 1

I moved the Dehaze slider to +75.

Gerry van der Walt - Lightroom - Wildlife Photography

Step 2

The Dehaze slider had ‘removed’ some of the dust in the image making the edges along the subjects more defined and also made the image darker which changed the colour tone in the frame.

Looking at the image I wanted the image to be brighter in both the light and dark parts of the image so I pushed the Exposure slide up by +0.85.

Gerry van der Walt - Lightroom - Wildlife Photography

For those of you that asked about the Black and White sliders – I decided to go with Exposure first as the the entire image still seemed too dark and I wanted to get to a more neutral place before setting my Black and White points.

From a workflow point of view this decision would probably be part of me getting my frame ready for processing which was Step 1 as discussed in this video.

Step 3

Looking at the image I felt that I still wanted the subjects to pop a little more so I decided to use the Clarity slider and move it up to +46.

Remember that the Clarity slider does not add sharpness to an image but increases the contrast around the edges in the frame which is what I was after.

Gerry van der Walt - Lightroom - Wildlife Photography

That’s a pretty impressive result for just three sliders don’t you think?

Gerry van der Walt - Lightroom - Wildlife Photography

The important thing to take from this is that it is important to know what you want to achieve with your processing and not just go and sit down and just simply swing random sliders side to side – I know a lot of people choose this route as they just don’t know better – and hope you get lucky but normally it’s not the case.

I’ve always said that the more you know the better it gets and the same goes for your post processing software.   Later this week I will post a video and do a full edit on this image and then talk through the thought pattern I follow when processing my images.

I truly believe there is way more value in understanding why you are doing something in Lightroom rather than just using a recipe driven workflow and this is something I always focus on during workshops and safaris.

Yes, by all means take tips and tricks from my posts and videos but work on understanding what you are doing rather than just applying them blindly to your own images.

So, few things to remember:

  • The Dehaze slider will ‘remove’ fog, haze and dust from an image but also shifts the colour tones.
  • The Clarity slider increases contrast around the edges of the frame and will also affect the tonal values if you go quite aggressive.
  • Figure out what you want from an image before you start your editing.
  • Learn techniques and understand why rather than just process with other people’s recipes.

Keep an eye open for the video post later this week and if you have any questions or specific things you would like me to focus on in future posts and tutorials leave me a comment below.

Until next time.


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About the Author

Gerry van der Walt

I am a private and specialist photographic safari guide, public speaker, co founder of Wild Eye and wildlife photographer. Visit my website at or follow my journey on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter a look forward to changing the way you see the world.  I also host a Wildlife Photography Podcast and I Vlog!

Comments 3

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  1. Subi

    Hi Gerry

    I remember the picture and never knew the “Dehaze” slider….. Will try on my pics too…

    Thanks for the article…


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