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Old Apr 21, 2003, 5:59 AM   #1
lrs
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Default how to correct the color in underwater photos

I have an Olympus C-3000 Zoom camera with a housing to take underwater photos. All the photos have inacurate color due to the color loss when going underwater.

Does anyone know an easy way in PhotoShop to correct the color?
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Old May 11, 2003, 11:01 AM   #2
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I am still learning PS and do not have that answer, but I recently learned a trick when taking underwater pics with a digicam that might help out for future pictures.
Set the white balance on daylight if you are only going to be about 5-10 feet deep under the water. I f you go deeper than that, set the white balance on cloudy.
Here is the site I read about this on.

http://www.canon.co.jp/Imaging/uwphoto/index-e.html

The info on white balance settings is on page 4.
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Old Jul 11, 2003, 3:16 AM   #3
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personally I think it's better to get the picture right the first time than to try post processing underwater pix. I normally try to get closer and use the flash to get rid of the colour cast or at least to get an even exposure. But if you have to use photoshop, this is how I do it.... I use the channel mixer and reduce the green and blue while upping the percentage of red (I just adjust by gut feel). You can also use the curves if you know how much red to add and blue/green to reduce using the dropper tool (still learning this one).

This helps fix the picture sometimes, but if the colour cast is uneven due to the flash not being able to reach all parts of the picture, then it's difficult to get rid of the colour cast by making global changes. As I said, best to get closer to the subject to get even flash exposure, then any remaining colour cast can be fixed in photoshop easily.
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Old Nov 30, 2004, 12:11 PM   #4
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A red filter on the lens cap on the underwater housing will fix that issue.
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Old Dec 2, 2004, 10:14 AM   #5
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lrs: do you hava an example photo so we can see what you're trying to fix? If it was taken with little or no strobe (flash) light on the subject, the it likely can't be corrected.

If the color has just a bit of green/blue cast, then adjust curves (ctrl+M)in photoshop is the easiest way to start. Hitting the "auto" button may give a useful starting point but I often adjust the red, green, and blue curves after I do that.
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 8:43 AM   #6
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One way I've found of doing a reasonable job of correction, at least to give a starting point is using levels. In the levels dialogue box there are three eye droppers the most useful one is the white point dropper. If the photo has an are that should be white in it you can point the eye dropper at it and you get an instant correction that is usually in the ballpark and you can tweak from there. Using the black point dropper after the white point dropper can help a lot. Planning in advance for this tool allows you to take a shot of a white target at the appropriate depth, use this to set the white point and save the settings using the save option on the levels dialogue box. Thenopen the picture you want to adjust go to levels and use the load option to apply the settings you saved. This is the method I've used on the four following photographs.

First the sample shot of a dive slate.




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Old Dec 13, 2004, 8:44 AM   #7
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Then the slate adjusted using the white point dropper.
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 8:45 AM   #8
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Now the real shot I want to adjust
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 8:46 AM   #9
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Although I could have used the white parts of the hull to adjust this I foiund I got better results loading in the saved level settings from the white slate.

Not a brilliant photo I know and there'd still be work to do if I really wanted to use this but I think it's a good starting point.


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