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Replacing color balance in underwater photographs - Adobe Photoshop Elements

I have been shooting wide angle - film for underwater still shots. I scan the images and make adjustments in Photo shop Elements 2. I am wondering if anyone can suggest some generalizations as to how they are restoring the color balance for UW shots with Photo shop. I know that each frame will vary but are there any tried and true formulas for success? Thanks in advance Dave...

  1. #1

    Default Replacing color balance in underwater photographs

    I have been shooting wide angle - film for underwater still shots. I scan the images and make adjustments in Photo shop Elements 2.

    I am wondering if anyone can suggest some generalizations as to how they are restoring the color balance for UW shots with Photo shop. I know that each frame will vary but are there any tried and true formulas for success?

    Thanks in advance

    Dave
    David Jabs Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Replacing color balance in underwater photographs

    This will be a tough job!
    Water absorbes colour; that's why everything turnes blue the deeper you go. This way you will be left with just only blue and when there is no other colour in your image you cannot apply a change in saturation to bring these colour up.

    The only way to avoid this problem is to use flash light. But this way you will encounter other problems like small particles that will lighten up in your image.

    My 2 euro cents. :smile:

    Leen
    Leen Koper Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Replacing color balance in underwater photographs

    Grant, these under water images might probably be a good idea for the Challenge?

    Leen
    Leen Koper Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Replacing color balance in underwater photographs

    One way to change the color balance in an underwater photo is to use a Levels Adjustment Layer. With that layer, you can try Auto Levels for a quick fix, or go into the individual channels (red, green, and blue) and balance the highlights slider, shadows slider, and midpoint slider for each channel to get the most accurate color rendition of the composite.

    Chuck
    Chuck Snyder Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Replacing color balance in underwater photographs

    Hi David, I have been experimenting with the same problem, u/w slides that are really old, I mean really old! And thousands of them. I didn't have a good flash back in those days.

    Work on each one with everything that PSE can throw at them, great fun!

    You will eventually get the color nearer what you want, make the blue/green give way to the yellow, orange, red by working with the levels, see Chuck's instructions above. Just keep experimenting with the colors. Start with the quick fix then go on from there.
    I have only just started on mine, and I will be watching here to see what others have done with their u/w photos.
    What a neat project you have ahead of you!
    Jane :smile:
    Jane Douglass Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Replacing color balance in underwater photographs

    Try using the eyedropper (set to 5x5) and sampling an area that "should" be
    neutral gray or white. Then make a new layer, fill with the selected color,
    invert (ctrl-i) and set its blend mode to Overlay. You can experiment with
    other blend modes, as well (the contrast blend modes such as Soft Light
    will probably work best).

    Do a final fine-tune by grouping a Levels Adjustment layer to your fill
    layer and moving the midtone slider until you get the correction you're
    looking for. If the correction goes too far in the direction of the sampled
    color you can lower the fill layer opacity.

    [url]http://www.retouchpro.com[/url]
    Doug Nelson Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Replacing color balance in underwater photographs

    Thank you for all of the feedback. As I suspected there is no quick fix or general recipie. Each image is unique and requires varying degrees of color adjustments. I have been using a nikonos V camera along with an Ikelite 200 strobe so I do get a fair amount of color in the foreground (sometimes overexposed - but I am getting better at estimating my distances underwater)

    I have already edited and satisfactorally printed about 7 images. I am new to PSE but have found some good reference books and find it rather inuitive. I find that I am spending about 1 hour playing and deciding on what functionality I want to use with a duplicate image. I have been making detail notes and when I am ready, I start with a fresh copy of the image, doing cropping, color and light adjustment, remove backscatter and lastly resize. I try to minimize the total number of adjustments that I make to any image.

    My greatest obstacle is that I am slightly Red-Greem color blind. I find the histograms help some but other peoples eyes are most helpful in making choices.

    I am also having trouble in getting the sun burst effects to show clearly on the printed copy. I have tried 3 different printers, including one photo lab. For some reason, the sun burst shows on the computer screen and the slide but does not print. I may need to take this to someone with more experience in the photolab.

    Thanks again for all the input. Let me know if you have ideas to share or want to see if I have tried something specific. I have many more images to process before my next trip in December.

    Dave--
    David Jabs Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Replacing color balance in underwater photographs

    David

    If you have the 'info' tab open whn you do your colour correctiond, and hover the mouse pointer over an area thet is aupposed tho be neutral, the R G B values should be the same.

    May help a little

    Paul
    Paul L UK Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Replacing color balance in underwater photographs

    Dave,

    The deeper you go (scuba) the more sunlight colors are filtered out until around 100 ft (three atmospheres) you get just a dull blue/gray color to everything. Since there is NO color then, you'd have to apply color (layer overlay) and make your own. This is why past one atmosphere (30 ft or so) you really want to take a good underwater flash or light with you. NOw you'll get some fantastic colors. Also remember that just as your eyes see everything as 25% closer than they are, so will the camera.

    Bob
    BobHill Guest

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