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6 Steps to Create a Haze Effect in Photos
Lighting, Techinique

I was recently asked how I achieve haze in my photos. Creating a haze effect in your photos is probably easier than you think :O) Don’t forget to remove any lens guard you may have since one of it’s job is to prevent haze.

1. Find the sun. Unfortunately, it would be really hard to achieve haze in your photo without some great sun.

2. Position your subject in front of the sun. You want the sun to be in or near by your shot.

3. Shield your lens with your hand. You want to cover your lens like you are shielding your eyes from the sun. Just use your hand and place it on the side of your lens so that the sun isn’t pouring in.

4. Meter off your subject while your hand is shielding the sun. Trust this metering once you have removed your hand.

5. Focus on your subject. Sometimes it is hard to lock focus once you have removed your hand.

6. Remove your hand and let the light spill in.

**If for whatever reason you have more haze in your picture than you would like, you can correct it in post-processing by adding more “black” to your photo. Thank you to Laurie for teaching me that valuable trick!

Go out and have fun with the sun :O)

  • April
    March 7, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Lovely!! I think the haze effect is so pretty and fun.

  • March 7, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Great tips – I can’t wait to play around with them.

  • March 7, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Haha! Thanks for the shout out! :) We are all in this learning together! One way to add some haze in PS is to do a solid color fill layer in a light tone (white, off white, pale yellow, etc) and then change that layer to screen. I’m sure there are other ways also…but I found that out by accident. :)

  • March 7, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    Same might have a play around today. I live in WA Australia :-)

  • March 7, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    I love that you posted this, because my SOOC shot for shoot and edit is a haze shot of Bennett. I will be posting the SOOC shot tomorrow and the edited version on Thursday. So it’s funny, because my “What I Learned” was going to be haze and backlighting.

    I am in my final week of Natural Light and it has been great. I am bummed that I have not got to do Silhouette shots yet, bc the hubster has been out of town. Hopefully, I will get them down tomorrow, so I can turn them in by Tuesday.

  • March 8, 2011 at 11:34 PM

    can’t wait to enter the top 5!!! thanks for all the work you put into this website –
    i look forward to your post’s everyday!

    • March 9, 2011 at 1:39 PM

      Thanks so much Elizabeth, that means a lot coming from you :O)

  • March 9, 2011 at 3:00 AM

    nice I like this, I am going to try it when we get some sun around these parts. ;)

  • March 11, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    What a great and simple technique! I can’t wait to try it. :D

  • kathy
    August 1, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    If you were shooting a sunrise shot, would you need something to protect the lens? because of course you would be pointing the lens right at the sun.

  • Brenda Gallant
    January 24, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Thank you so much for all your great tips ! Photography is the best thing I have discovered in years.. but also very frustrating at times …Just when i think i get it …I DONT !….so so Much to learn and practice so thanks again your site is of great help ! :)

    • Courtney
      January 29, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      I agree!! Photography is fantastic…you just can never learn it all :) Don’t get frustrated :)

  • August 8, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    I can’t wait to try this. Thank you so much!

  • vero
    November 25, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Thank you very much, I really appreciate all the information you share!

  • Silvina
    May 21, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    Thank you! will try this on the weekend if the sun shows up :)

  • TS
    May 21, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    What does meter off mean? And how do I do that?

  • May 21, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    Thanks for the tips – I didn’t realize it was so easy, if I get haze it’s usually by mistake- lol!

  • Cami
    July 31, 2014 at 5:16 PM

    These are so beautiful! Would you mind sharing what ISO/f stop and shutter speed you were shooting at in these photos? And with what lens? Thank you!

    • August 8, 2014 at 3:26 PM

      Hey Cami,
      I don’t know the settings off hand. However, I believe they were all taken with my 50mm 1.8 or Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8.

  • Cami
    July 31, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    Oops I sent that too soon sorry. I just wanted to say as well that I really love your website and have learned so much from it…and I’m an Air Force wife as well :) Thanks for sharing your knowledge with others and building such a great resource.

  • Mike
    August 15, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    Hi Courtney,
    Love your website, have picked up many things that will and are helping my pixel shooting. I have a request for you, could you please add what f/stop, speed, and ISO you to any photo that you put up on your site.
    I look at some of these photos and think, wow, wonder what the settings were for this picture. I read someone asked you this question and you mentioned your 24-70 and 50 were used but you don’t remember which for which photo.
    I’m sure this will help many of us… thanks


    • August 18, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      Hey Mike, I’ll keep that in mind. This post is over 3.5 years old though so I won’t be updating it with the settings. Also, due to the amount of time it takes to put the posts together, I don’t always have time to go back and add settings.

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