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Thread: underwater images

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    Account Closed reaction's Avatar
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    underwater images

    I just did some snorkelling, and got some underwater images with a TS2. Many of them are 'hazy' and blue, due to the distance in the water to the coral. The ones where I dived down close are fine.

    Any tips on how to process these to get the color back, etc? Using PS, or LR, or ?

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    Member James T's Avatar
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    Post up some examples for people to work with. Will be much easier to give advice then.

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    I'm not a big underwater photographer but I seem to recall that this happens because the water filters out certain wavelengths of light (red perhaps?). I think the only surefire way to fix it is to shoot with a strobe light, or to get up really close to the subject.

    In saying that though, I have had some success playing around with colour saturation adjustments ie. boosting the colours that have been watered down.

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    here's one
    it's about 1.5-2m away from me.
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    Hey their, with underwater photography the trick is to get as close as you can to the subject so you get the minimal amount of water between the lens and the subject. What Andrew has said about colours being filtered out is correct and red is the first to go so if you are shooting in raw you can boost the red in white balance to bring back some colour. If you cant shoot in raw then doing a manual white balance while in the water will help a lot. Lastly if you Snorkel down to the subject and shoot horizontal or slightly in an upward position you will get a better result.

    P.s make sure you keep getting in the water and practising as their is so many interesting things down their.

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    yes, I tried diving down and got some better ones, but it's hard to keep stable, I keep floating back up right away!

    too bad there aren't any reefs here in Sydney, I'm afraid I won't get another chance at this for many years...

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    Yeah, water filters out the longer wavelength light (i.e. red) and hence underwater shots tend to look blue, and the deeper you go the more blue they look as more of the longer wavelength light (i.e. red/orange/yellow range) is filtered out. So, if you boost the reds you should get a more neutral white balance... or for an even better result spend some money and get an underwater strobe (as stoogest suggested) to provide some "white" light

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    What Matt said was correct - you need to be as close as you can in the water and I know it's hard when just snorkeling thats why we do it on Scuba

    Anyway I use PSE 7 to PP my underwater shots and there is a layer there called 'Photo filters' which I use occassionally to try and bring back some colour and get rid of the 'blue' so if you have PSE 7 try that.

    Also there are some great snorkeling sites around Sydney - just go to any one of the dive shops and they will point you in the right direction.

    Karl
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    i reckon I could mostly fix that in levels, though it would not be perfect, it would certainly be a lot clearer with better contrast
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    As promised, here is my fix. This has been adjusted in levels, then a little be of work with contrast in Curves, then just a slight refinement in Hue/Saturation. This didn't take very long really, and the levels adjustment alone would probably be enough. I do this all the time at work, it is a very easy way of getting colour back into most faded images (to a point)

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    The other complicating factor in underwater photography is the amount of sediment in the water, particularly if you're using a flash/strobe. Getting closer obviously helps, but if there's a lot of sand/grit getting stirred up by the waves then there's not a whole lot you can do (except pick a time of year when you know the turbulence is at a minimum).

    Andrew.

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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    Mongo's coral's worth.

    Nearly all underwater shots and shots into fish tanks through glass need increased contrast more than anything else. This image also required some curves correction (perhaps even overcorrected - sorry. Mongo was in a hurry)
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    Crikey, you guys have pulled colour out that wasn't even visible in the first image. Well done.

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    hi. thanks for the tips.

    what's the difference with auto tone & auto contrast?
    or should I just do both?

    I must say, they look clearer than the real thing now!

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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reaction View Post
    what's the difference with auto tone & auto contrast?
    or should I just do both?
    Reaction, Mongo does not know exactly how to answer your question. Perhaps someone more versed than Mongo can give you the technical answer.

    In the interim, can Mongo suggest you use Curves 'auto' and then manually adjust the brightness/contrast for the present until you get more familiar with the program.

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    the auto works OK for most
    here is one that is not so good.

    the real one, it looks very green, like broccoli.
    but the 'auto tone' or curves auto will make it like white.
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    Just do this: Go to Levels. Go through the three colours (red, green and blue) and drag the little upward facing arrows underneath the histogram (the one on each end) to kiss the end of the histogram (the black sloped shaped curve). You can further refine this by dragging the centre bars around to effect.

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    there's a few good places in sydney to check out. there's a few interesting sites around bare island in La perouse.

    check out this site

    http://www.michaelmcfadyenscuba.info....php?page_id=1

    red does filter out through the water, hence why my diving fins are red!!
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