When photographers post-process their underwater photos, you might be surprised to find that there is a lot of room for artistic interpretation. A photo I colour correct today might look completely different from the same one I already processed last month. Variations in the “look” of a processed photo between different photographers are even wider. There is always room for some artistic expression without actually making any changes to the content of the picture.
...and when you like what another editor/photographer has done to a photo, you can ask them what they did in the comments section - we can learn from each other!
Colour Correcting Tip
"When the human observer focuses on a subject, it is more colourful, vibrant, and has more contrast than the rest of the scene, meaning everything in the periphery is a little less colourful, and flatter. The camera makes no such distinction, so some photos may benefit from some subtle adjustments mimicking the nature of human vision in order to highlight the subject. Or not. Whatever – you are the artist."
Below illustrates the potential for different types of processing, and each conveys a different mood. You decide how colourful or saturated your image is going to be, and how harshly will the detail be sharpened? How much contrast do you need to convey a feeling? Everyone has their own style and preference. Sometimes mine changes from day to day!
The Proposed Challenge
Here’s how it works. I have posted a file for you to download (at the very end of this post). There is a RAW version, plus the JPEG version from the camera. If your software version cannot support RAW processing, don’t worry, just work from the JPEG – it will be fun to see what you can do! Colour correct the image the way you would fix up one of your own. Save it, and email it to me with a brief note describing the software you used.
If you do not want me to use your first name, you should indicate what name I should use when I post your pic, like “Logger-head Larry”, for example.
There aren’t any stinking rules! Well, hardly any – this will be a manifest of your artistic expression, but please maintain the original content. Removing spots and silt are ok, but cloning sharks, or cutting and pasting other image elements are not. Maybe that's a different challenge for another day...
Colour Correcting Tip
"Removing a colour cast often means adding the complementary colour in order to neutralize it. For example, if you are at Shanty, and there is a green colour cast, you would add the complementary colour of green, which is magenta - see colour wheel (Naturally, because we KNOW that we lose red as we descend, that is a good place to start!)."
The Practice Challenge Results:
Below is our "pilot-project" to show you how it will look. I asked a couple of people to help with this experiment to see what would we would get with this file of a shark in the Bahamas, and they graciously accepted the challenge.
Colour Correcting Tip
"EVERY TIME you SAVE as JPEG, data is lost, and quality is REDUCED (opening and closing is fine, it's the SAVE function that runs the compression algorithm). When editing photos, save a COPY of your original (you always want to keep your original) as a TIFF lossless file, and edit that."
- working from the JPEG file
Water maintained its blue colour, and the green cast in the shark has been eliminated. Some colour and contrast has even been added to the divers in the background! Vignetting adds some depth.
- working from RAW
Water is a little more cyan, which is acceptable for the colour of water (pink and magenta is not), and the green cast in the shark has been eliminated. Shark has been brightened up.
- working from RAW
A bit darker, vignetting added. Colour cast removed from shark, and HSL sliders used to remove the pinky magenta from the water (aqua and blue hue adjusted).
Shark was selected with adjustment brush to make edits selectively on her.
Colour Correct Challenge CCC#01
(the RAW files created by my Sony A6000 camera are called .arw)
Use either one:
Deadline for the Colour Correction Challenge: JUNE 16, 2018
Email your result with Name (or alias) to go with picture, software used, and a brief description of what you did, to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Results will be posted in the following blog, and in our July newsletter! Should be fun!
I don’t think I’ve ever experienced so much, in so little time… and it’s addicting. I truly can’t stop. The more I dive, the more I learn, and the more I am dying to experience. I spent a week (on my Adventure Sports Newmarket dive trip to the Florida Keys) continuously creating new goals for myself, whether it was the maximum depth I hit, or overcoming what once may have been a fear – in my case a night dive…
Throughout the seven days, I kept tacking new things onto my “dive bucket list”, most of which I became interested in from hearing others talking about their experiences. I created a personal list of the millions of different things I wished to someday experience, and gratefully crossed off quite a few during my trip. The list includes wrecks I would like to dive, species I cannot wait to encounter, destinations I’ve heard great things about, and goals set around my personal diving limits and certifications!
I think that’s what makes diving so rewarding though… Although I may have some control over crossing certain things off my list, often times, I really don’t know what to expect from a dive. There are so many things that may affect the turnout, making it so much more enjoyable when you get down there. You lose a sense of repetition, because no dive is the same as another. You’ll experience different weather, creatures, dives sites, visibility, water conditions, buddies… the list goes on.
During my 4th adventure dive, towards my Advanced Open Water Diver course, what I expected of my dive was completely off. I chose to do a night dive, not because I felt that I personally would enjoy it a whole lot, but because it was an accomplishment I knew I wanted to check off my list, an opportunity to learn more about diving at night/in dark spaces, and because I wanted to get myself comfortable with different diving conditions. I expected the visibility to be only what my light would reach, and the rest just black. I expected to see nothing really, maybe a couple fish swimming around and whatever made up of the reef. I expected to maybe come across some fear-filled moments, just because I couldn’t really see much…
Like I said, my assumptions and expectations of the dive were so far off. The night dive ended up being my favorite dive of the dozen or so I had done during my trip, as it was the dive where I encountered an incredible variety of different species, something I personally value a lot while scuba diving. About 25 feet down, diving at Davis Reef, Key Largo for approximately 30-45 minutes, I spotted several sea turtles, stingrays, nurse sharks, lobsters, green moray eels, lionfish, and more! Everything with its own spot to sleep among the reefs… The saying shows, the ocean really did come alive at night for me!
My one-week, ASN Trip was an ongoing journey consisting of several dives, course studies, eating, sleeping, and more dives! I worked my way down, from a depth of 12 feet in a pool, to a maximum depth of 100 feet in the ocean. I explored three magnificent wrecks, all with their own story I enjoyed learning about. I visited multiple reefs, all with their own different varieties of life living amongst them. The week itself was an incredible experience, and each dive even more so. That week, I found passion in something I never would have given much thought into. Diving is a sport with so many different directions for all different types of people, one that is both challenging and rewarding!
Anyone, interested in diving, whether it be just to try it out or to work towards a diving certification, let us know!
We will gladly get you on board.
Jody instructing Taylor in the Florida Keys during one of her Open Water Certification dives.
We all have our own bucket list of things we wish to experience as divers! Share some of the things on your list, or things which you've already experienced that you would like to recommend!
Leave a comment below.
Joining the scouts encourages youth to participate in new experiences and discover new things, and help them grow into confident, successful individuals. Over many years, Scouts Canada has inspired millions of youth through going on outdoor adventures and building lasting friendships. Adventure Sports is proud to be a part of making that happen.
For a while now we have hosted scout groups on our pool nights in Aurora, whether they are doing a Discover Snorkelling course with us, or have moved on to a Discover Scuba Diving course. We've had interested scouts come from Newmarket, Mount Albert, Bradford, Tottenham and many other areas to join us for a Monday night. The Bradford scouts have even booked a snorkelling trip with us this summer to Christian Island, which we're sure they will love!
In March, seven of the boys from the 1st Mount Albert Scouts Group began their Open Water Certification course with us. They will be finishing the course this summer, and then participating in a trip to Mexico in August. We think this is a great opportunity for them, especially since they are going to Akumel, which is known for it's turtles! They are hosting a Surf vs. Turf Dinner and Auction Fundraiser for their trip in a couple weeks, on April 26th. For more information, check out the flyer below, or check out facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1382371865200339/
We hope to continue to inspire a passion for diving and the underwater world with all of the future scouts that may take courses with us!
For my friends who are using Lightroom or ACDsee image processing software, you can adjust targeted colours using the Hue, Saturation and Luminance sliders! It helps to understand colour, so if you were not interested in colour theory in art class back in your highschool days, here is a little cheat sheet.
Your camera captures the colours Red, Green, and Blue, and your monitor displays colour by emitting light through Red, Green, and Blue phosphors. ALL the colours you see on screen are created by mixing these three colours in varying intensities.
The Colour Wheel
Simply put, each colour on the wheel is created by mixing equal amounts of the colour on either side of it. For example, equal parts of Red light and Green light will result in YELLOW. Really!
The colour directly opposite any colour on the wheel, represents its COMPLEMENTARY colour. If an image has a colour cast, you need to correctly identify the colour cast, and ADD its complimentary colour to neutralize it.
When we go diving, we notice significant colour loss in the scenery; Red, Orange, and Yellow light is filtered out of the water as we descend. This results in a very ugly colour cast that makes everything green or blue.
If you have a colour cast of green (diving at the local lake), then you will want to adjust the white balance sliders by adding its complementary colour - Magenta. If the colour cast is Cyan, add Red.
Sometimes colour correction of a subject or foreground results in undesirable colour in other parts of the photo, such as the shark picture at the top of this cheat sheet. The photo on the far left is direct from camera, the middle photo is the result of correcting colour for the shark (she was too green, so magenta/red was added), but this created a gross magenta colour cast in the water. It is so bad, that in the Hue slider, we adjust in the purple, sliding it to the left (toward blue), and blue to the left (toward cyan/green) to bring water back to blue.
The Hue, Saturation and Luminance sliders can be found in a panel together in Lightroom, Adobe Camera Raw, and ACDsee Pro and Ultimate.
This is where understanding your colour wheel comes into play. Change specific colours by moving sliders left or right. This means that the blue background of an underwater image can be made greener or pinker. Keep an eye on the other colours of the photo to make sure nothing is going awry. If another aspect of the photo is being detrimentally changed at the same time, then you may need to make a more specific target by using adjustment brushes to paint an effect on only an area of your choice (that's a cheat sheet for another day).
Increase or decrease the brilliance of a specific colour in the photo.
Darken or lighten a specific colour in the photo. Watch the effect particularly around edges to make sure weird halos aren't being created.