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Blue Scuba Diving Photos

Jul 10, 2013 8:33 PM

Tags: #underwater_photos #scuba_photos_color_correction

What is the best way to color correct the very blue photos taken underwater scuba diving? Most pictures were take at about 50-70' depth with an Olympus point and shoot fe-360 with an underwater housing. The camera was set on the underwater scene 2 setting. I just want to get the vibrant colors back that were present in the great corals, sponges and fish in the BVI's.

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 11, 2013 5:25 AM   in reply to duffer5

    Please post an example in a new reply. Click on the camera icon to upload the picture into the message.  You can also upload it to www.pixentral.com (a free service) and let us know the picture's URL.

     
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    Jul 11, 2013 11:21 AM   in reply to duffer5

    Here I simply ran Auto Color Correction which brightened the overall picture.

     

    underwater1.jpg

     

    Then I tried various Hue/Saturation adjustments. Here I selected Green from the list and moved the Saturation slider to the right, brightening some of the green. However I couldn't restore any of the other colors. I have an old version of PSE. Perhaps your version has some filters for this.

     

    underwater2.jpg

     
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    Jul 11, 2013 12:29 PM   in reply to duffer5

    Try this in full Editor:

     

    Enhance menu>Adjust color>Remove color cast.

    Follow directions on screen

     

    scuba_2.jpg

     
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    Jul 11, 2013 12:32 PM   in reply to hatstead

    It comes through even better with a little sharpening.

     

    scuba_3.jpg

     
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    Jul 11, 2013 2:26 PM   in reply to duffer5

    There's not a lot that can be done with the image because there's not a lot of colour information other than the blue channel.

     

    The best I could do is this:

    Underwater-05.png

    and I threw everything at it (including the kitchen sink):

    1. Auto Smart Fix.
    2. Auto Color Correction.
    3. Duplicate the background layer.
    4. Apply a Filter...Blur...Average to that duplicated layer.
    5. Use Ctrl+L to open the Levels dialog and use the gray eyedropper on that averaged layer to neutralize the tone.
    6. Hide the duplicated averaged layer.
    7. With the background layer selected, use Ctrl+Alt+L to apply the previous Levels adjustment to neutralize the tone.
    8. Filter...Adjustments...Equalize.
    9. Enhance...Adjust Color...Remove Color Cast, clicking on the white sand.
    10. Enhance...Adjust Color...Adjust Color Curves, choosing the "Increase Midtones" setting.
    11. Enhance...Adjust Color...Adjust Hue/Saturation to increase the saturation.
    12. Enhance...Adjust Sharpness to remove some of the Gaussian Blur.
    13. Enhance...Adjust Color...Adjust Hue/Saturation to again increase the saturation.
    14. Enhance...Adjust Color...Color Variations to decrease the Blue, decrease the Green and increase the Red.
    15. Use the Elements+ addin's Color and Tone...Channel Mixer to adjust the colours of each RGB channel to increase the reds and yellows.

     

    Ken

     

    P.S.  Since I also have Corel's PaintShop Pro, I used its tools to greatly increase the vibrancy and saturation of the colours, at the expense of introducing some "false colour" in the reds and oranges:

    Underwater-05 PSP.png

     

    Message was edited by: photodrawken to add postscript.

     
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    Jul 11, 2013 4:00 PM   in reply to duffer5

    Alternatively, you can use File...Open As to open the image as "Camera RAW".  Adjust the Color, Tint, Blacks, Vibrance, Clarity, etc., to get a decent looking image as a starting point.

     

    Then open the image in the Editor and change its Mode to 8 Bits/Channel to enable the adjustment effects.

     

    It's then a matter of using Auto Color Correction, Remove Color Cast, Color Variations, Adjust Hue/Saturation, et al., to get something like this:

    Underwater-05-alt.png

     

    (Note that the greens in the fish's fins are more pronounced.)

     

    Ken

     
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    Jul 11, 2013 8:55 PM   in reply to duffer5

    You might want to first look into getting an underwater flash or lights.  At the depths you mentioned there won't be a whole lotta light except for blue....

     

    Ken

     
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