There can be many reasons that you will not get exact colors you want in your underwater photography. In above image there were two reason for bad colors – low camera quality and unclear water.
In such situations you need to correct your photographs in some photo editing software. For this tutorial I am using Photoshop to fix the color of underwater photos. I have tried same steps on many photograph and it works perfectly almost every time.
Note: For this tutorial i am directly using jpeg file. If you are using Camera Raw it will give you added advantage and you will have much better edit than the photograph shown above
Correct Underwater Photos | Photoshop Tutorial
- Open image in Photoshop and duplicate layer
- Rename duplicate layer as Edit.
- From Image menu, Select Auto Color. This will bring out color from the dull image
- Add Levels adjustment layer. In properties panel press Alt key and Click on Auto. A window will pop-up
- Select “Enhance per channel contrast” and select ok.
- Select Edit layer and levels adjustment layer together. Press Ctrl+shift+Alt+E. This will merge both layer in a new layer.
- Rename this new layer to Base
- Select Base layer and Open Camera raw filter.
- In Camera Raw filter, in Basic settings click on Auto. It will give foundation to your adjustments.
- Now you need to adjust exposure, contrast, blacks, whites, highlights and shadows. Usually Temperature plays a huge role here. Cool down temperature of the image. Increase contrast, reduce shadow and blacks.
- Use Adjustment brush or graduated filter or radial filter to apply different settings in different part of the image.
- Make changes in the overall tone curve of underwater photo.
- Adjust Hue, Saturation and luminance of Aquas and blue colors
- Apply Noise Reduction if needed.
- Click Ok when your camera raw settings are done.
- Add Curves adjustment layer above your camera raw edited layer.
- Select only Blue color and make changes in the curve to bring out appropriate blue color
- Save your image
So following above steps you can see drastic change in the color of the photograph. This steps will give you a foundation to fix colors of your underwater photograph but based on need you need to apply few more steps like noise reductions, sharpen and liquify filter etc in Photoshop.
Do post your comments and queries in comment and let us know how these steps corrects your underwater images.