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Scotttyd
12-07-2008, 18:35
Any advice on how to make these pictures less blue? (bring out the natural color of the fish)

DMWiz
12-07-2008, 19:23
In general you need more light while being closer to the subject with a wide angle lens. And or use a color filter.

After the fact, you can try to color correct using levels in Photoshop (http://freeonlineclasses.net/photoshop-tutorials/photo-retouching/remove-blue-color-cast-from-underwater-photos.html) or a similar program, even iPhoto if you have a Mac will do a decent job to an extent. Neither program will restore information that's not there to begin with.

Wiz

Aussie
12-07-2008, 19:31
I had a quick play with the barracuda shot in PSCS3 and there isn't much improvement with colour balance.

My advice is the same DMWiz.
*Get more light onto the subject with strobe/s.
*Get in closer to reduce the amount of water between you and the subject
*Use a wideangle lens so when you do get close to the subject you can fit it all into the frame.

Regards Mark

Aussie
12-07-2008, 19:33
Another option is to go black and white. Sometimes you can pull off some great shots with it when the colour isnt right.

Regards Mark

DevilDiver
12-07-2008, 19:42
What camera are you using? Does it have manual controls?

You can take manually set the white balance but this should be repeated as you change depth (every 10ft) and really will not make a lot of difference after 30-40 feet.

A red filter could help and gets good results in a lot of situations but it is still a filter. A program like photoshop can help after the fact but it can only enhance the original photo.

Like DMWiz said the best option is to invest in a strobe(s) and get as close as possible.

Scotttyd
12-08-2008, 16:43
What camera are you using? Does it have manual controls?

You can take manually set the white balance but this should be repeated as you change depth (every 10ft) and really will not make a lot of difference after 30-40 feet.

A red filter could help and gets good results in a lot of situations but it is still a filter. A program like photoshop can help after the fact but it can only enhance the original photo.

Like DMWiz said the best option is to invest in a strobe(s) and get as close as possible.
I am using a nikon coolpix L11 (point and shoot) - I do have a strobe - although that shot was about 7-10 ft away (cannot remember exactly) so its benefits probably were minimal.

Stupid question, do you add the wide angle lene to your housing or your camera (I know I cannot add it to my camera, but will call ikelite about the housing).

I may also try to experiement with the red filter.

ps. that photo has already gone through photoshop

MSilvia
12-08-2008, 17:14
The least expensive solution for color correctness is to shoot in shallow water when the sun is high. Otherwise, supplimental light, white balance, and color correction are the most common tricks I know.

gNats
12-08-2008, 17:35
Another option is to go black and white. Sometimes you can pull off some great shots with it when the colour isnt right.

Regards Mark

Mark, Out of curiousity - when you played with the photos in Photoshop, did you try changing the photo from a color to monochrome or B/W? I've taken some color "topside" photos with poor lighting and converted them to BW and was very pleased. After it is converted you can sometimes tweak the contrast and lighting to bring out the shadows and enhancements.

OP - if you shoot in RAW you may have more possibilities using Photoshop than if you shoot in JPEG. Not all cameras shoot in raw though and it does eat up memory cards.

I'm just able to scratch the surface of Photoshop's techniques. Maybe someone with more experience in the software can add to this (or correct me, as the case may be). :smiley2:

diversteve
12-08-2008, 18:56
Here's a couple of attempts, but none of them are very good. The barracuda source photo is way overpixelated - not sure if it's the camera or your post-processing. That's why you see all the light banding near the top. It's in your original also, just concealed by the overwhelming blue.

I did two versions of the shark, the first one seems more like what I recall a Sandtiger coloration would be like, the 2nd to give the blue a more natural tone. I did most of this starting with the color_correct red action and then tweaking the hue/saturation and brightness/contrast. Using the magic lasso, both subject fish could've been selected and then lightened without modifying the background, I just didn't take the time to try.

Maybe post the original non-photoshopped Barracuda and let some of us try to tweak it. Although both shots appear to be somewhat grainy, that's either a function of your camera or the distance. Possibly your autofocus was fooled by the water between you and the subject also.

Aussie
12-09-2008, 04:45
Another option is to go black and white. Sometimes you can pull off some great shots with it when the colour isnt right.

Regards Mark

Mark, Out of curiousity - when you played with the photos in Photoshop, did you try changing the photo from a color to monochrome or B/W? I've taken some color "topside" photos with poor lighting and converted them to BW and was very pleased. After it is converted you can sometimes tweak the contrast and lighting to bring out the shadows and enhancements.

OP - if you shoot in RAW you may have more possibilities using Photoshop than if you shoot in JPEG. Not all cameras shoot in raw though and it does eat up memory cards.

I'm just able to scratch the surface of Photoshop's techniques. Maybe someone with more experience in the software can add to this (or correct me, as the case may be). :smiley2:

Hi gNats.

I didn't play around with the shots in B/W. But I do find B/W shots really impressive especially with shot with really silver or colourless fish (ie Jacks, Barracuda, etc etc). Even with excellent lighting they have little colour.

Here is what I quickly play with:
Tweak the levels.
Tweak colour balance.
Tweak contrast/brightness
Burn bright or hot spots
Dodge the spots which are too dark

Its amazing what you can get out of a shot after a tweak or two.

RAW is a great format to play around with a frame. So much data to play with and do all sorts of wondeful things like exposure correcting, white balance (Temp) correcting just to name a few.

Down side is that not every camera offers RAW and some that do offer it do at so at a really slow speed. You take ashot and wait 5 seconds before yo can shoot again. 5 seconds doesn't sound much but it feels like a long time when your subject is swimming by.

DSLR don't suffer from this and most offer the ability to shot both large size fine JPG and also RAW. This is good if you want to quickly play with JPG shots in PS and reduce in size for web based storage or emails. Save the RAW files for special items like printing or competitions.

Yes RAW eats up memory. But cards like the 8gig cards are relatively cheap and store alot of Data. I bought a 16gig card last month for the price of a 8gig card. Over 900 shots with RAW and large fine JPG from my 10mp Nikon D80. The cards are getting better and cheaper every 6 months.

Don't be afraid of PS. If you can learn from other people or do a course you will learn alot and start editing your shots with greater success.

Regards Mark

Aussie
12-09-2008, 04:56
What camera are you using? Does it have manual controls?

You can take manually set the white balance but this should be repeated as you change depth (every 10ft) and really will not make a lot of difference after 30-40 feet.

A red filter could help and gets good results in a lot of situations but it is still a filter. A program like photoshop can help after the fact but it can only enhance the original photo.

Like DMWiz said the best option is to invest in a strobe(s) and get as close as possible.
I am using a nikon coolpix L11 (point and shoot) - I do have a strobe - although that shot was about 7-10 ft away (cannot remember exactly) so its benefits probably were minimal.

Stupid question, do you add the wide angle lene to your housing or your camera (I know I cannot add it to my camera, but will call ikelite about the housing).

I may also try to experiement with the red filter.

ps. that photo has already gone through photoshop

I had a quick look for your housing on the ikelite site.

Digital Still Camera & Housing Package (http://www.ikelite.com/web_two/nikcp_l11pkg.html)

It states in the top right hand corner that you can mount wide angle wet lens like the ikelite W-20 if you have the 67mm thread in your housing or there is the option for the Inon bayonet mount lenses.

Also there is some information about colour filters which you might want to look at.

I had great success with wide angle wet lenses which my Olympus 7070 housed in a Ikelite. Actually i loved it some much I rarely dived without it.

Regards Mark

gNats
12-09-2008, 08:03
Hi gNats.

I didn't play around with the shots in B/W. But I do find B/W shots really impressive especially with shot with really silver or colourless fish (ie Jacks, Barracuda, etc etc). Even with excellent lighting they have little colour.

Here is what I quickly play with:
Tweak the levels.
Tweak colour balance.
Tweak contrast/brightness
Burn bright or hot spots
Dodge the spots which are too dark

Its amazing what you can get out of a shot after a tweak or two.

RAW is a great format to play around with a frame. So much data to play with and do all sorts of wondeful things like exposure correcting, white balance (Temp) correcting just to name a few.

Down side is that not every camera offers RAW and some that do offer it do at so at a really slow speed. You take ashot and wait 5 seconds before yo can shoot again. 5 seconds doesn't sound much but it feels like a long time when your subject is swimming by.

DSLR don't suffer from this and most offer the ability to shot both large size fine JPG and also RAW. This is good if you want to quickly play with JPG shots in PS and reduce in size for web based storage or emails. Save the RAW files for special items like printing or competitions.

Yes RAW eats up memory. But cards like the 8gig cards are relatively cheap and store alot of Data. I bought a 16gig card last month for the price of a 8gig card. Over 900 shots with RAW and large fine JPG from my 10mp Nikon D80. The cards are getting better and cheaper every 6 months.

Don't be afraid of PS. If you can learn from other people or do a course you will learn alot and start editing your shots with greater success.

Regards Mark

One of my Fall things-to-do this year was to take a Photoshop class through a local Photography school. I thought this would be a better format rather than a typical university level course, because the Photography school focused on photo correction/enhancement and not
necessarily using PS for marketing/advertising.

But alas, scuba ate that money right quickly :smiley20:

I've played with PS since v 6 and love what it can do. I have found if I bumbled the lighting during the actual exposure process moving the pic to BW gave me half decent results.

I'll have to keep an eye on the Photography forum. Do you know if the posters get into tips and techniques with PS? Or is it strictly an equipment forum?

Skred
12-09-2008, 08:30
I'll have to keep an eye on the Photography forum. Do you know if the posters get into tips and techniques with PS? Or is it strictly an equipment forum?

I have not been out there lately, but I've gotten pretty good info in the past at Wetpixel.com :: Underwater Photography and Videography (http://www.wetpixel.com).

Scotttyd
12-09-2008, 09:39
Here's a couple of attempts, but none of them are very good. The barracuda source photo is way overpixelated - not sure if it's the camera or your post-processing. That's why you see all the light banding near the top. It's in your original also, just concealed by the overwhelming blue.

I did two versions of the shark, the first one seems more like what I recall a Sandtiger coloration would be like, the 2nd to give the blue a more natural tone. I did most of this starting with the color_correct red action and then tweaking the hue/saturation and brightness/contrast. Using the magic lasso, both subject fish could've been selected and then lightened without modifying the background, I just didn't take the time to try.

Maybe post the original non-photoshopped Barracuda and let some of us try to tweak it. Although both shots appear to be somewhat grainy, that's either a function of your camera or the distance. Possibly your autofocus was fooled by the water between you and the subject also.
the reason the pics are so pixelated is likely becaused I saved them with the lowest quality to post, I probably came make them larger and still be under the limit for the forum in size.

I will post the originals tomorrow when I am not working.

I am new to photoshop. If I use the magic lasso, how do I just change the color of what is inside? Do I have to use levels? If so, I am gonna need to play around as I do not know how to do that (yet)

gNats
12-09-2008, 11:09
I am new to photoshop. If I use the magic lasso, how do I just change the color of what is inside? Do I have to use levels? If so, I am gonna need to play around as I do not know how to do that (yet)

Without totally confusing you - I would also recommend that you use layers.

Layers are our friend.

Scotttyd
12-09-2008, 11:32
I am new to photoshop. If I use the magic lasso, how do I just change the color of what is inside? Do I have to use levels? If so, I am gonna need to play around as I do not know how to do that (yet)

Without totally confusing you - I would also recommend that you use layers.

Layers are our friend.
Ya, I tried doing that, (without reading instructions of course) and could not figure it out.

Do you mind giving me a quick "dummy guide". If I am correct, layers, allow you to alter different parts of the photo at different times (ie. changing the color of the shark (one layer) and alterin the water (another layer?).

gNats
12-09-2008, 12:11
Do you mind giving me a quick "dummy guide". If I am correct, layers, allow you to alter different parts of the photo at different times (ie. changing the color of the shark (one layer) and alterin the water (another layer?).

Correct and No. The best thing about layers is that you don't mess up with your original photo.

There are two types of layers... a copy layer (which copies the layer you have selected) and a new layer (which is a blank canvas).

Layers are REALLY useful when you are building things - such as an advertisement page. For example, let's say you want to make a flyer.

You put each "artifact" on a new layer. Text is on one layer, the graphic image on another, background on other. This way, you can selectively adjust each one with out pixel intrusion.

In photos, it is the same concept. If you have a photo and want to add stuff to it - such as text or a border, you would add the text or borders to different layers.

There are times when you will have to flatten those layers. Always make a copy of the file before you flatten - otherwise you will not be able to adjust the individual elements any more.

I use layers for enhancing photos by creating duplicates and playing with adjustments on each layer.

For example, I have my original photo. I know it needs something, maybe a few things, but I am not sure exactly what.

So I amy create a copy of the original background layer. I name the layer based on the adjustment I want to make. This way, I can go back and forth between the original and the enhancements. I may have 10 layers each with a different fine-tune.

When I get a layer I like - I build from that. So, let's say I have 5 saturation layers (each using a different color) and I like the adjusted red saturation the best. That now becomes my new "master" layer. I'll copy this layer and maybe play with the Sharpening tool.

When you are done - you just delete the other layers.

You can always adjust the master layer and just use undo or delete the history, but for me, this technique is easier and I can do a better compare and contrast of the adjustments I am making.

There are even more ways to use layering.

You can "grab" a fish - move it to another layer and adjust it, yes. But if you want the fish to be part of the original background, sometimes you get a little distortion line where it was cut/pasted.

Always remember to deselect the "eye" symbol - so that the layers are not bleeding through.

Clear as mud?

Aussie
12-09-2008, 14:17
One of my Fall things-to-do this year was to take a Photoshop class through a local Photography school. I thought this would be a better format rather than a typical university level course, because the Photography school focused on photo correction/enhancement and not
necessarily using PS for marketing/advertising.

But alas, scuba ate that money right quickly :smiley20:

I've played with PS since v 6 and love what it can do. I have found if I bumbled the lighting during the actual exposure process moving the pic to BW gave me half decent results.

I'll have to keep an eye on the Photography forum. Do you know if the posters get into tips and techniques with PS? Or is it strictly an equipment forum?

I had the chance to speak to a Matt Meur (Underwater Pro) last year and I asked him what he basically did with his editing and post production. It was really interesting as he also gave me little tweaks to use and ideas for different effects which he and most of the pro's use. I learnt alot and he was an excellent teacher as he has no "ego" which you can see with alot of other professionals. I believe he also does photo clinics in Asia and here in Australia.

Talk to people which are using PS for their underwater photgraphy. Most people are willing to share advice and help.

I am currently playing with PS CS3 and love playing in RAW when I get the chance.

There have been a few questions on playing with PS in this forum which has mainly been about people just starting to play and getting basic tips.

I am no professional on PS or even with photgraphy. Wish I was as I would be getting paid alot more than what I am getting now.
But i know a little bit to help get people started and willing to lend a hand if needed.

Regards Mark

diversteve
12-09-2008, 15:59
I am new to photoshop. If I use the magic lasso, how do I just change the color of what is inside? Do I have to use levels? If so, I am gonna need to play around as I do not know how to do that (yet)Whatever you select within the lasso can be manipulated independently of the background using any function of the Image>Adjustments submenu.

Using Layers is better though, I was just trying to suggest something quick. You get much more precise control with layers. As gNats posted, you can use a lot of them if necessary to fine tune effects.

Scotttyd
12-09-2008, 17:48
I am new to photoshop. If I use the magic lasso, how do I just change the color of what is inside? Do I have to use levels? If so, I am gonna need to play around as I do not know how to do that (yet)Whatever you select within the lasso can be manipulated independently of the background using any function of the Image>Adjustments submenu.

Using Layers is better though, I was just trying to suggest something quick. You get much more precise control with layers. As gNats posted, you can use a lot of them if necessary to fine tune effects.
time to get photoshop for dummies, off to barnes and noble tomorrow, probably a hecl of a lot easier than trying to ask questions here each time they come up!!!!

thanks all