So you’ve finally got home from your island vacation trip, and you find out that your photos didn’t come out as sharp as they could have, requiring a little underwater color correction with Photoshop.
While considered one of the most user friendly photo editors ever made, Photoshop isn’t all that easy to use, especially when it comes to underwater photographs that can require a few additional skills compared to the correction of regular photos you take of people, landscapes and local events.
Working with Layers
Underwater color correction with Photoshop (PS) can be done in a few different ways, some of them more straightforward than others, but as it often happens the easiest path is not always the best. However, there is a simple way to get a good picture without going too deep into hidden settings and complex options.
To begin, open one of your photos in PS, review several incredible underwater color correction with Photoshop actions at thesea. Next, follow these steps:
- The first step is to press CTRL+J once you’ve opened the photo, to split the main layer into three different layers.
- Next, select the layer labeled "Background Copy" and choose Edit > Fill Layer to 50% grey.
- Modify the Layer Blend Mode setting to Luminosity.
- The following step should be to select the layer labeled "Background Copy 2" and merge it with the one you’ve just modified, labeled "Background Copy" (you can do that with the CTRL+E hotkey).
- Most underwater photographs need more red, since the water inconveniently tends to block out that color more, the deeper you go. To add more red to your photo, you need to create a new layer on top of all the others, click the foreground color option and set it to R:255 G:0 B:0, then click Alt + Backspace to fill the layer up with that particular color (Red) and set the blend mode for the layer to "Multiply."
- The last step is to click the red layer (the topmost one), and merge it with the layer below by pressing CTRL+E, and finally set the blend mode of the top layer (Layer 1) to Screen. Merge the top layer, this time with the original photo layer below, by pressing CTRL+E again, and you’re all set.
Of course, you might still not be entirely happy with your picture. Fortunately, there are a few additional steps for underwater color correction with Photoshop you can try to get the best results.
To further improve on the quality of your picture, choose the option Image > Adjustments > Auto Levels. This will automatically adjust the contrast and color of the picture to make it look more real. You can also select the Auto Color option under "Adjustments" for an even better look.
These simple but extremely useful guidelines should help you figure out as much about Photoshop as you need to get your pictures looking just right. Of course, you might need a little practice at first, but after a little time, you’ll soon get the hang of underwater color correction with Photoshop, and get your pics looking perfect in no time at all.