Today’s Question: Is it possible to selectively “paint” in the Dehaze effect in a layer in Photoshop? It’s a wonderful, useful, and effective tool but it is – to my knowledge – a universal adjustment that cannot be applied to very specific areas in Camera Raw.
Tim’s Quick Answer: Actually, with the latest updates to Camera Raw and Lightroom Classic, you can include Dehaze (as well as Clarity and Texture) as adjustments for a targeted adjustment using the masking feature.
More Detail: Prior to the recent update, you could still use a workaround to apply Dehaze as a targeted adjustment in Photoshop. The process would involve applying the Camera Raw filter to a duplicate image layer, and then using a layer mask to constrain that adjustment to only the area of the image you wanted affected.
However, with the latest updates you don’t need to go to that trouble. You can simply use the Dehaze adjustment with a targeted adjustment, such as with the Brush masking option. The Dehaze adjustment is found along with Clarity and Texture in the Effects section of the adjustments available for targeted adjustments with the masking feature in both Camera Raw and Lightroom Classic.
So, you could for example add a new mask with the Brush option, then increase the value for Dehaze and paint that adjustment into the desired areas of the image. This enables you to focus the Dehaze adjustment on the specific areas of the image that need it, without altering the contrast and color of other areas of the image that don’t need the haze reduction effect.