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Fill Light/Contrast

Lesson 3 from: Post-Processing for Underwater Photography

Kristina Sherk

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Lesson Info

3. Fill Light/Contrast

Next Lesson: Lens Distortion

Lesson Info

Fill Light/Contrast

Oh, I didn't do this one. Really quickly, I'm just gonna add a graduated filter on the top and the bottom like I did before just to bring back some of that color within the top and bottom of the water. So let's do that really quickly. Gradient. Let's do a gradient with 18. Let's add some warmth. And let's show what's some dehaze does. Okay. Again, from the top of the water and from the bottom of the water. So with those two graduated filters, it really just immediately adds... I don't know, what does it add? What do you think? For me, it adds just a little bit more of the illusion that the water is crystal clear. Do you guys get that or is that just in my own head? Yeah. Cool. Okay, again, so don't be afraid of using selective tools in Lightroom to get specific effects. All right, so now we can move on to light and contrast. So, again, as we were mentioning before, the deeper you get in the water, the less color you're going to have, but also the less light in general, so you're really...

going to have to try and bring that back. So let's go ahead and let's try and get started with that. So there are two in-camera work arounds that I would like to suggest, which I can talk a little bit more in depth maybe later. But, the first thing is to try and shoot in bright, bright sun and the clearest water possible. Obviously, that's not going to be completely accessible for everyone. So if for some reason, you're dealing with really murky water and you just can't figure out like how to make a great shot, you need to get as close to your subject as possible and diminish the amount of water that's between you and your subject because if you do that, you're gonna end up with a clearer image. Okay. So the good news is that when you are working with these images, you have the luxury of the dehaze slider, the black clipping slider, and the contrast slider. These are going to be your best friends moving forward. So I'll show you how those work in this section. So we're gonna take our temp and we are going to really add back a lot of yellow into our image. And then we're gonna like almost 100% tint. Actually, 150%. Okay. And so, we're starting to get there, right? That got rid of a lot of that color, the color problems that we had. Let's decrease our exposure. Seems like it might be a little bit overexposed. And we're gonna add some contrast here. Okay, so if I stop there, if I stop there, we're on the right start, we're starting to get rid of that overall blue aqua color contamination from everything, but it still looks murky. The visibility still doesn't look great, right? So let's add some local contrast. The Highlights, Shadows, Whites, and Blacks are basically going to be allowing you to modify specific areas of your image, which fall within those ranges. So we can brighten the highlights. And then also, I'm going just now come in with my black clipping slider and pull that all the way down. Well, pretty far down. So just that slider alone was able to make a significant difference in the image. Okay. Don't you like a little snorkel? And her mask, we'll get rid of that in a minute. All right. So let's go ahead and add one of my new favorite toys that I'm playing around with, and that is going to be the Texture slider. So Texture is just going to look for the smallest, the smallest detail in the image and accentuate those specifically. And we'll just add some clarity again, which is that middle contrast, the middle gray, the medium gray contrast, and then again with the dehaze. We're gonna add some dehaze as well. Okay. So, that's our before and that's our after. We haven't even touched our specific colors yet and this is already starting to look a lot better than the original, right? Yeah. All right. All right, so we've added dehaze. Let's add just a little bit of overall saturation. Do you guys know the difference between saturation and vibrance? Okay, so the Vibrance slider is going to increase and decrease the saturation of all colors other than your skin tones. So any color that falls within the skin tone zone is going to be protected from that increased saturation. And the Saturation slider is going to increase or decrease the color in every single color across the board in your image. So let me show you the difference between vibrance, that's 100% vibrance, and 100% saturation. This is looking pretty great, but I would like to add just a little bit of a vignette around the outer edges. So let's go down to our Post-Crop Vignette and I'm going to just darken those edges slightly and I'm gonna play around with the midpoint. It's a nice and gloomy. What do you guys think? It looks good? Looks better than the before? Thank goodness. Okay. Now we gotta get rid of that pesky snorkel. All right. So we've got our Spot Removal Brush, which is gonna be Q for any quick key people out there. So you have the option to heal and to clone. So let's see what looks best. I'm gonna come in here. Let's heal and let's get... I'm using my bracket keys to make my brush much smaller. Let's make sure our opacity is all the way up so that we don't have any problems with visibility. If you guys are wanting an in-depth crash course on retouching and getting rid of blemishes and everything like that, I would highly recommend the Retouching Portraits in Lightroom class tomorrow that I'm going to be teaching 'cause I go really in depth on this whole issue. All right, that looks good, but I do have just a little area here which I would like to add some hair to. Okay. What do you guys think? Who would have taken that into Photoshop? Who would have been like "Oh, I can't fix that in Lightroom"? Okay, good, good. You guys are good. Okay. So we're just gonna move on and gotta get rid of this mask because mermaids don't wear masks. Doesn't that look like a little turtle over there? Hey buddy. It's not, but... There've been so many times where I've been like in the water with my camera, and then I see something floating by and then I'm like, oh, it's an animal, and it's like a rock that was not moving at all, and I was like okay. But sometimes then, sorry, I'm totally digressing here, you have photo bombers that decide to photo bomb your images. Hey buddy. Yeah, that was fun. The model had no idea it was underneath her, and I was like, just keep going, just keep going. Hold your breath a little longer. All right. Anyway, so let me stop. Stop losing focus. All right, so for this, I think I'm gonna use the clone option because I don't want it to take into account anything around it, and then I want almost no feather to this area, and I just wanna go right over here and get rid of that mask. And then the nice thing about this is after you do it, you can actually go on and modify the area that you use. Let's add a little bit of feather, because I'm seeing like an edge. Does that look good? Well, there's a big difference. Okay, so snorkel and mask gone. She can use her gills now. All right, so there we go. So there is light and contrast in a nutshell in Lightroom. Now we're gonna move onto Photoshop and do a quick fix in Photoshop of the same issues. And then I will break for some questions. All right, so we're gonna work on the same image here. What I'd like to basically do is talk a little bit slightly about blend modes. So we have our layers here. And if you come here to our Blend Mode flyout menu, we can choose Overlay. So what overlay is, and what overlay does is it's a, it combines the multiply and screen blend modes with the image. And so, what it's going to do is anything from 50% gray lighter, it's gonna apply a screen blend mode to, which is gonna brighten those areas. Anything from 50% gray to darker, it's going to apply a multiply blend mode, which is a darkening blend mode. So, basically, it's just a way of creating contrast within your image. But I like the way that the multiply, I like the way that the darker areas tend to look with the... Hello, good bye. I'm not trying to do any text. I like the way the image looks because when you use multiply as a blend mode. It's as if you are printing an image with an inkjet printer on a piece of paper. And so, whenever you're dealing with ink, the darker the color, the more ink has to be added to that area to make it look darker. And so, that's just basically what the multiply blend mode tries to replicate. Yeah. So that's kind of how it works. That's what overlay blend mode is. So I'm going to invert this mask. Command or Control + I is going to invert this mask, so it's hidden behind the black cloak as I like to say, and then let's call this local contrast. Then I'm going to use my brush tool, so B for brush. And click on my mask, and let's make my brush a little bit bigger. And let's do 20% opacity, and let's take our flow all the way up, and just to start to paint in in specific areas where I'd like that contrast to be more visible. What do you guys think? Do you think that's working? Yeah. So, easily, we're able to get rid of the haze of the water in areas where want the haze of the water to be removed. And yes, I did break down and use freehand masking. It's just a matter of time. All right, so, that's it in a nutshell for color and tone, not color and tone, but tone and contrast when it comes to underwater images. This is a good breaking point for any questions that we have on this specific topic. Anything? We had a couple of questions about whether you use flash underwater. It's sort of related to this, but that was something that come up, but... Yeah, so, flash underwater is definitely a double-edged sword. It can either hurt you or help you, and that depends on how clear the water is. So if you're dealing with water that's pristine and you're dealing with some sand that's very heavy that easily sinks down to the bottom or you're dealing with the situations where there's lots of current, so even if the sand is kicked up, the current just swipes it out of the way so you don't have to worry about it for very long. Those would be situations where I would say, yeah, go ahead and use some flash. Or, like if you're in a pool, if the pool is clean, then you shouldn't have a problem. But if you are in a situation where there is really light sand that if you kick it up you're screwed in that specific spot and then you have to move because there's no current to take all that stuff away, or like really, really murky water, it's gonna really work against you. But what I do have is you guys should stay tuned because I have a whole section on particulate in the water, and junk, and backscatter, and how to get rid of it. So they should stay tuned because I will talk about that in just a second.

Ratings and Reviews


This class is SO COOL! I don't shoot underwater photography, but now I want to try. I especially appreciate that in addition to walking through the editing process, Kristina explained the how and why of each step in a way that can be applied in so many other creative and editing situations. Awesome class!

a Creativelive Student

Really great class! I would also like to see a class on underwater photography.

Simona Grigorescu

Usefull tips. I would like to see also from Kristina a class about underwater photography. :)

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