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Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos - Photography

Having been snorkelling in the Caribbean we took numerous films of marine life using those ubiquitous underwater cameras sold by Kodak Express, Jessops, and Boots. However having got the films developed and printed (and scanned onto CD) by Jessops UK, all of them have come out blueish-green with a disinct lack of contrast and detail, even though we were only just underwater. I do understand that this is normal, but that processing labs can adjust the developing by forcing an extra stop of exposure for red and yellow and losing stop for blues and greens. HOWEVER THIS WAS NOT OFFERED ...

  1. #1

    Default Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos

    Having been snorkelling in the Caribbean we took numerous films of
    marine life using those ubiquitous underwater cameras sold by Kodak
    Express, Jessops, and
    Boots.

    However having got the films developed and printed (and scanned onto
    CD) by Jessops UK, all of them have come out blueish-green with a
    disinct lack of contrast and detail, even though we were only just
    underwater.

    I do understand that this is normal, but that processing labs can
    adjust the developing by forcing an extra stop of exposure for red and
    yellow and losing stop for blues and greens. HOWEVER THIS WAS NOT
    OFFERED TO US BY THE THREE ABOVE MENTIONED COMPANIES - DESPITE
    REQUESTING SPECIAL PROCESSING.

    Also we have heard that we could have used a colour correcting filter
    at the time the shots were taken. But no-one advised us of this when
    we purchased the
    cameras and films, and indeed no such filters are fitted or available
    for the cameras we used.

    Also we understand that even though the processing (developing) of the
    negs. was automated, the printing can also be adjusted again by
    enhancing reds and
    yellows and toning down the blues and greens.

    However - again this service is NOT available from Jessops (who
    actually processed the films and therefore effectively ruined them),
    Boots, nor Kodak Express. Indeed the lab. technicians from the shops
    of all three companies have categorically stated that they do not
    offer any such service as colour adjustment for films exposed
    underwater.

    I do find this situation unacceptable especially since all three
    companies sell so-called underwater cameras. Yet these cameras are not
    loaded with special colour saturatd film, they do not come with colour
    filters, and the grain is too course for high resolution printing. In
    Jessops' case they also sell highly professional (and expensive)
    underwater cameras. Yet no-one appears to offer a proper developing
    and printing service.

    We have tried to adjust the images with Paint Shop Pro and Adobe
    Photoshop but the results are still not acceptable.

    It must be possible to take good undewater photographs - but the
    ubiquitous use-one-time 'disposables' are frankly rubbish. Perhaps we
    should have spent thousands of pounds purchasing really good
    equipment, but then there is little point if no-one can be bothered to
    offer a decent developing and printing service.

    CJB
    Chris Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos

    You have learned: you get what you pay for.
    These are box cameras that can barely acquire a usable image in bright
    sunlight.
    Light fall off, especially for reds, is very steep underwater: consult any
    basic text on the subject.
    Also the shutter speed on these cameras is slow and you are constantly in
    motion while using them.
    I doubt you will get very good images even if you scan the negatives and try
    to correct them with a digital imaging program.
    However, reasonable for snorkelling underwater cameras with flash can be had
    for a few hundred dollars.
    High end costs big bucks/pounds/Euros whether for a dedicated underwater
    camera system or reliable housing for a non-underwater camera (be prepared
    to lose the camera if the housing leaks!)


    bmoag Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos

    You said "I do understand that this is normal, but that processing labs can
    adjust the developing by forcing an extra stop of exposure for red and
    yellow and losing stop for blues and greens. HOWEVER THIS WAS NOT
    OFFERED TO US BY THE THREE ABOVE MENTIONED COMPANIES - DESPITE
    REQUESTING SPECIAL PROCESSING.
    Also we understand that even though the processing (developing) of the
    negs. was automated, the printing can also be adjusted again by
    enhancing reds and
    yellows and toning down the blues and greens.

    However - again this service is NOT available from Jessops (who
    actually processed the films and therefore effectively ruined them),
    Boots, nor Kodak Express. Indeed the lab. technicians from the shops
    of all three companies have categorically stated that they do not
    offer any such service as colour adjustment for films exposed
    underwater."

    Not in the film processing but they can make some adjustments in the
    printing, as you mentioned. Even then with the anout of greens and blues it
    won't help much.

    You whined "Also we have heard that we could have used a colour correcting
    filter
    at the time the shots were taken. But no-one advised us of this when
    we purchased the
    cameras and films, and indeed no such filters are fitted or available
    for the cameras we used."
    YOU BOUGHT CHEAP DISPOSABLES! If you had bought the special film then you
    would be crying because it was slide film and horribly exposed because the
    disposable didn't have a light meter. I won't bother with quoting the rest
    of your post, it almost seems you want validation so you can sue them, won't
    get it here. Look in ANY scuba magazine and you will find ads for cameras by
    Sea and Sea, and housings for SLRs. Do a little self-education in the
    future. It may take you a few minutes, I hope you can fit it into your busy
    schedule.

    Sorry if I seem blunt but don't buy crap and expect a National Geographic
    cover quality image. Then again, my other pet peeve, don't buy the most
    expensive thing you can find and expect the camera to take great
    pix....educate yourself!
    D
    www.davidefields.com
    www.delawarestudio.com






    Fitpix Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos

    I have been instructed at jessops to write on the film packet "shot
    underwater" which is supposed to indicate to the operator to pay attention
    when shooting and not just leave it on automatic. In addition i would also
    suggest paying extra for the diamond laser service. Its only a pound extra
    and you get an index print with your 35MM films.


    Deathwalker Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos

    Chris Brady wrote: 
    <snip> 

    there is no "special film" for underwater use. the film (if it was
    proccessed correctly) isn't ruined, you fix the color balance in
    printing the negs NOT in development. since you have them on CD thwey
    can be fixed with photoshop.
    James Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos

    I used a cheap underwater (no flash) camera to take reef pictures in Hawaii,
    and then found the 1 hour photo prints to be a dismay blue soup. So I
    learned. I found that Kodak does indeed offer a special printing service
    for underwater shots, but only through dive shops. I found one nearby and
    got the mailers. I also learned to use a better camera with a flash. I
    used plain old Kodak ISO 400 color print film. I sent the pictures from my
    second trip into Kodak and got some remarkably colorful and clear prints of
    the same reef that was my downfall on the first trip.

    I then scanned the negatives on a friend's PC and fussed with the color
    balance and intensity. Better yet.

    The existance of the Kodak service was somewhat of a secret, but in asking
    about UW photography and googling around about it, I found the answers. It's
    been out there for some time - it's not brand new.

    Three things I have learned about underwater photography, even at snorkling
    depths - (1) use a flash - preferably off camera (some seperation to avoid
    backscatter) and (2) use a decent auto camera, and (3) don't expect any good
    from a 1 hour photo lab.

    By the way, I used a "Sea and Sea" MK-5 II with external falsh, and the
    results were not National Geographic quality by any means, but met my
    expectations. There are several similar cameras in this price range. If
    you expect to use the camera a few times, it might be worth it to invest in
    a modest UW rig. Perhaps a housing for an existing digital or film camera
    would also be reasonable, but I have had no experience with housings.

    In any case I DON"T LIKE THE SHOUTING BELOW! I think the consumer has some
    obligation to get the appropriate hardware and processing. Other posts
    suggesting that expecting perfection from a throw-away is not realistic are
    right on the money. And I'd try scanning the negs into photoshop for
    further color corrections before announcing them as "ruined."

    I hope this has been a "learning experience" for you like my first failure
    at UW photography was a failure for me. Stop whining, we all have probably
    had the exact same thing happen, it's just that real men don't cry in
    public....



    "James Connell" <net> wrote in message
    news:supernews.com... 
    > <snip> 
    >
    > there is no "special film" for underwater use. the film (if it was
    > proccessed correctly) isn't ruined, you fix the color balance in
    > printing the negs NOT in development. since you have them on CD thwey
    > can be fixed with photoshop.[/ref]


    Pieter Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos


    "Chris Brady" <co.uk> wrote in message
    news:google.com... 

    This is an example of not following the general rule that you should become
    familiar with your equipment before you embark on the big event. I'm not
    sure how you should have done this, unless you can scuba dive near where you
    live. But you could have consulted with experts who have been down the same
    road before you.....


    William Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos

    Pieter Litchfield wrote: 



    try this on that "blue soup"

    http://share.studio.adobe.com/axAssetDetailSubmit.asp?aID=8419
    James Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos



    Chris Brady wrote:
     

    Using different color balance film is a solution, but not the BEST solution

    Special processing is not the BEST solution.

    Color corrective filters on the camera is not the BEST solution.

    The BEST way to get great color underwater is to use a strobe. A very
    high power strobe,
    at very close range.

    The basic problem is that natural light underwater (even 1 meter under)
    is very LACKING
    in red spectrum natural light.

    All other solutions listed above try to "compensate" for diminished
    light. The best solution
    is to REPLACE the missing light with an artificial light source.

    Here's a hint- a $200 camera attached to a $5,000 set of matched, slaved
    multiple strobes
    will take far better underwater pictures than a $5,000 camera with a
    $200 strobe.

    If you want to start U/W photography on a budget, get the best possible
    strobe first, then
    buy a cheap (strobe compatible) camera. Later you can upgrade to a
    better camera
    as your skill improves.

    Buff5200 Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos





    Chris Brady wrote:
     

    Noting all the fine replies that you've had from the others, WTF did you
    expect for $12.00?


    Please don't reply. (PLEASE).


    --
    e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.

    Alan Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos


    "Alan Browne" <ca> wrote in message
    news:IeT0c.83426$videotron.net...
     
    >
    > Noting all the fine replies that you've had from the others, WTF did you
    > expect for $12.00?
    >
    >
    > Please don't reply. (PLEASE).
    >
    >[/ref]
    $40 mask, $20 snorkle, $60 fins and a $12 camera.........makes sense to
    me..........LOL


    Mike Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos

    "Mike" <net> pounded away at his keyboard resulting
    in:
    :$40 mask, $20 snorkle, $60 fins and a $12 camera.........makes sense to
    :me..........LOL

    Actually, it can be done. It's just really hard.

    Dan Bracuk
    If at first you don't succeed, you run the risk of failure.
    The Best of rec.scuba http://www.pathcom.com/~bracuk/RecScuba/


    -----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =-----
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    Dan Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos

    In article <com>, Buff5200 <com>
    wrote:

    #Chris Brady wrote:
    #
    #>Having been snorkelling in the Caribbean we took numerous films of
    #>marine life using those ubiquitous underwater cameras sold by Kodak
    #>Express, Jessops, and
    #>Boots.
    #>
    #>However having got the films developed and printed (and scanned onto
    #>CD) by Jessops UK, all of them have come out blueish-green with a
    #>disinct lack of contrast and detail, even though we were only just
    #>underwater.
    #>
    #>
    #
    #Using different color balance film is a solution, but not the BEST solution
    #

    It's a tool, not a "solution"

    #Special processing is not the BEST solution.
    #

    It's also a tool, not a "solution"

    #Color corrective filters on the camera is not the BEST solution.
    #

    These aren't even tools, let alone solutions
    (tell me again why you want to subtract light in an environment that
    absorbs light like crazy).

    #The BEST way to get great color underwater is to use a strobe. A very
    #high power strobe,
    #at very close range.
    #

    No, this isn't the BEST solution. It's also a tool, albeit a very good
    one, but one that also has it's own set of plusses and minuses
    (backscatter 101, for example).

    #The basic problem is that natural light underwater (even 1 meter under)
    #is very LACKING
    #in red spectrum natural light.
    #
    #All other solutions listed above try to "compensate" for diminished
    #light. The best solution
    #is to REPLACE the missing light with an artificial light source.
    #

    Were it only that simple.

    #Here's a hint- a $200 camera attached to a $5,000 set of matched, slaved
    #multiple strobes
    #will take far better underwater pictures than a $5,000 camera with a
    #$200 strobe.
    #

    In general, no. But a decent camera, combined with a decent strobe,
    combined with a decent photographer, can get very decent results. A
    great strobe, combined with a great camera system, combined with a
    point and shoot photographer or a decent land photographer going
    underwater for the first time, will result in garbage.

    (since this is crossposted to three groups, I should point out that I'm
    posting this from rec.scuba. I'm primarily an underwater photographer)


    #If you want to start U/W photography on a budget, get the best possible
    #strobe first, then
    #buy a cheap (strobe compatible) camera. Later you can upgrade to a
    #better camera
    #as your skill improves.
    #

    So you advocate buying a strobe, then matching the camera to the light
    source? Personaly, I think the choice of camera/housing and lenses is
    far more important than the strobe. And for some reason, the really
    good strobes seem to be available for the better camera systems ;-).

    Alan
    Alan Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos

    In article <com>, Dan Bracuk,
    CTHD <com> wrote:

    #"Mike" <net> pounded away at his keyboard resulting
    #in:
    #:$40 mask, $20 snorkle, $60 fins and a $12 camera.........makes sense to
    #:me..........LOL
    #
    #Actually, it can be done. It's just really hard.
    #
    #

    Absolutely. And it has nothing to do with the tools.
    Alan Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos


    "Buff5200" <com> wrote in message
    news:com... 
    >
    > Using different color balance film is a solution, but not the BEST[/ref]
    solution 
    But why would you want to go to all that trouble and expense to get
    unnatural pictures? - If everything looks bluish-green underwater, then your
    photos should also look bluish-green. Otherwise, you should just get a bunch
    of stuffed fish, and hang them by threads from the ceiling and take pictures
    of them. If you want realism, then you should accept the blue-green look.


    William Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos

    "William Graham" wrote ... 
    your 
    bunch 
    pictures 

    So, for night photos, you shouldn't use a flash either since it's "natural"
    for it to be too dark to see anything?


    Grumman-581 Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos


    "Grumman-581" <net> wrote in message
    news:nEU0c.20648$.. 
    > your 
    > bunch 
    > pictures [/ref]
    look. 
    "natural" 
    Night photos? - That's a contradiction in terminology.....


    William Guest

  18. #18

    Default Re: Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos

    "William Graham" wrote ... 

    Nawh, I've taken quite a few of them over the years... Even with Kodachrome
    25 and a high f-stop... Very long exposure though...


    Grumman-581 Guest

  19. #19

    Default Re: Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos

    "Mike" <net> writes:
     

    and the replies from this group: priceless
    --
    Philip Stripling | email to the replyto address is presumed
    Legal Assistance on the Web | spam and read later. email to philip
    http://www.PhilipStripling.com/ | my domain is read daily.
    Phil Guest

  20. #20

    Default Re: Continuing Problems with Underwater Photos

    co.uk (Chris Brady) wrote:
     


    If you want "special processing", the last place you are likely to get
    it is a high street minilab. The operators aren't trained to do
    specialist tasks and the equipment may not offer such options as you
    need - except to a highly skilled and motivated operator, which you
    don't get for something just above the National Minimum Wage.

    Expecting this sort of service from high street processors is
    hopelessly unrealistic.

    Instead, take your work to a specialist processor.

    (and stop shouting - you have no right to expect specialist services
    at high street prices)


    TP Guest

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