Haze Removal

this page has been migrated to our new wiki site

Tutorial: Removing haze

This tutorial was last tested for the Gimp 2.2.13

The basis of this technique was taken from the Gimp Guru here.


Various man made and natural factors contribute to a photo having "haze", these include water vapor, smoke and pollution, etc. Digital cameras can also contribute to the problem by not capturing the full dynamic range.

The first image here is the cropped original, the second one has had this technique applied.

365231047_c91c51abaa.jpg 368000747_8efefcf612.jpg
Original Altered

I will be using the original photo on the left than can be downloaded here.




  1. The first step is to improve the compressed dynamic range of the image.
  2. Go to <Image> / Layer / Colors / Levels (or select the Levels tool and click on the image)
  3. Adjust the lower limit to 50.
    • As you can see with a 100% crop of the original beside the same photo with just the levels adjustment it is an improvement but more can still be done.
  4. Go to <Image> -> Filters -> Enhance -> Unsharp mask
  5. The settings I use as a starting point are:
    • Radius = 60
    • Amount = 0.40
    • Threshold = 0
  6. Depending on the size of your photo The GIMP and the grunt your computer has under the hood, may take a while to process the image. You can watch the progress bar at the bottom, I would suggest waiting until that has finished. I have had some weird effects when I ran out of patience and applied other adjustments before that was finished.
  7. The settings you use on your photo will vary, the Radius should be between 50 and 100. The Amount parameter I would always have between 0.35 and 0.50
  8. As you can see the results can be quite good, compare the 100% crop of the levels only and the one of having the Unsharp mask applied to it. As you can see the image on the right has more details in the guys face and the wave area as well as the colours having a lot more punch.
367989525_1766b2f993_o.jpg 367989808_5813f211e9_o.jpg
Levels only adjustment at 100% crop Both levels and Haze removal at 100% crop
Back to the GIMP resources page
Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.