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Red Filter Only Good to 70ft? Huh?

lightred filter equinox color

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#21 AllisonFinch

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:16 AM

Not to hijack, but really nice video, Peter!

#22 JasonBoone

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 12:52 PM

OK!

So......epic fail for me last month. Haha. I even had two dives on the Duane, and I blew it!

I used the red filter that is recommended to only 70ft, and white balanced on a large white card at 100ft, which is where most of the shooting took place. The only problem was...my focus was off the entire time! Oops. My eyes are so bad that I didn't even notice on my tiny LCD screen. Take a look at some screen shots from both dives:

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Nevertheless, I still have some questions. I notice on almost all of my video that I occasionally get red fringing around the edges. Usually on the top edges of the screen. It is like red vignetting. The second photo that I posted above is REALLY bad in the upper left hand corner. Any way to avoid this aside from totally ditching the red filter? I get this even in shallower waters, such as the 30-40ft range.

I am also not very happy with the lack of blues in the water. I want my blues to POP!

So to conclude, do my colors even look accurate? Am I at least in the ballpark and (if the footage was in focus) would I be able to salvage this footage with some color correction? I think that the colors are accurate, I just need to figure out the issue with the red fringing and the lack of blues.

Any and all suggestions/advice are welcome. I am heading back to the Duane next week, and I am going to get some nice footage, come hell or high Key Largo water. Should I use the same red filter setup with a white balance at 100ft? But only this time get the focus correct....haha

Thanks for any help guys and gals.

#23 Nick Hope

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 09:06 AM

... red fringing around the edges.... Any way to avoid this aside from totally ditching the red filter? I get this even in shallower waters, such as the 30-40ft range.


Can be avoided to some extent during capture by white balancing on something pinkish. For a long time I zoomed in on a fin covered with white gaffer tape with red marker pen scrawled on it. Now I zoom in and white balance on the palm of my hand (old Z1 HDV camera with urpro filter). Look at this old thread.

I am also not very happy with the lack of blues in the water. I want my blues to POP!


Can be improved with primary colour correction to shift the balance away from red and towards blue, then you could increase the saturation of the blue. Watch this. But there's only so much you can do if the water wasn't really blue to start with. Relocate to Fiji.

So to conclude, do my colors even look accurate? Am I at least in the ballpark and (if the footage was in focus) would I be able to salvage this footage with some color correction? I think that the colors are accurate, I just need to figure out the issue with the red fringing and the lack of blues.


Yes, you're in the ballpark. That red caste is very common in underwater footage, especially in the highlights. It's very easily fixed with a 3-way colour corrector, or curves, or colour balance control in your NLE.

Should I use the same red filter setup with a white balance at 100ft?


I would say you're not far off. What you have is a good basis for fixing the colours. The whole spectrum is there in abundance. Make sure to repeat your manual white balance if the depth or condtions change.

Edited by Nick Hope, 24 December 2012 - 09:16 AM.


#24 JasonBoone

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 10:05 AM

Wow thanks for all of the info Nick. It is REALLY helpful. That Underwater Realm color grade was extremely cool. I especially loved how they made the light rays pop in the background. Way cool.

And its good to hear that I am in the ballpark with my colors. I assumed that if this footage was properly in focus that I could've salvaged it with a color grade.

Anyways, I've concluded that I just need more time underwater with my new camera setup to get experience and practice. On the next dive I am going to try some experimentation with white balancing on the sun. It looked to provide good results from your tests. I am a little curious if this will be possible at 100ft with low visibility.

Thanks again Nick. And by the way, I love Bubble Vision! Big fan.

#25 Nick Hope

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 02:49 AM

You're welcome, and thanks.

On the next dive I am going to try some experimentation with white balancing on the sun. It looked to provide good results from your tests. I am a little curious if this will be possible at 100ft with low visibility.


I have never found white balancing on the sun to give as nice a result as using my hand or fin. I don't know if your setup will allow you to white balance one-handed to do that though. On my DV and HDV cameras the sun was useful for times when I descended too far without white balancing. Those cameras don't like to make big leaps in white balance, and pointing at the sun was often the only way I could get a new white balance fix, before white balancing on my hand or fin again. But your camera might not have a problem with those big leaps.

#26 SimonSpear

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:21 AM

I'd missed this thread until today. I'm a firm advocate of using a filter when it is required, so when exactly do we need to use them? Well regardless of the science behind filters, what they do and what they don't do, the only actual reason to use one is to aid your camera to Manual White Balance underwater.

If your camera is capable of getting decent MWB results underwater without a filter (like many DSLR's appear to be) then you don't really need to use one. If on the other hand you are using a more traditional video camera then you almost certainly will need to use one as it will prove difficult to MWB below a certain (often ridiculously shallow) depth without a filter. It's pretty much as simple as that. Yes by using a filer you will loose 1 - 2 stops of light or even more, but with the sensitivity of some of the latest cameras this is becoming far less of an issue. Many of us were using filers with the first gen of HDV cameras and before that DV with great results and the low light sensitivity of those cameras was nothing when compared to the ones available today.

Jason - those images would be easy to colour correct, you just need to move your whites and midtones towards the blue end of the spectrum as there is too much red in them. I'd much rather have too much red in an image though as it is very easy to correct when compared to too much blue! You can also sharpen them a bit and you 'may' be surprised to find that some would be useable even though they were shot out of focus. Would also agree on MWB using your palm, brown coral, or sand rather than a white slate.

#27 Oceanshutter

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 03:41 PM

Jason,

To address the focusing issue. I find, if I am shooting wide angle, I just hit the AF-ON button to autofocus on something a few feet away. With an aperture of F8 to f11 most everything should be in focus at that point. I find now that only about 5% of my shots are out of focus. But since I have started just using the center focus point, it seems to be even better. (I use the mark ii).

Macro, you pretty much have to do manual focus.

Keep going. The mark iii will give you killer footage. you just have to get used to it. I also second the white balance on the hand, sand etc.. the white slate just doesn't seem to get it very good.
hope that helps.

Dustin

Website - www.OceanShutter.com

My Video's on Vimeo

My Video's on Youtube

 


#28 JasonBoone

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:45 PM

I had my second dive on the Duane in Key Largo last month, and success! My focus was pretty sharp. I used the red filter once again, and I must say that the red color in my mid tones, especially in the blue water and on the edges is really bothering me. I am going to experiment without the red filter on this wreck next time and see what kind of results I get. I did once again white balance on a large dive slate. I will also experiment with balancing on the hand and sand. My hand is pretty small though, and I can't see filling the entire screen with my hand.

So... instead of posting more screen shots from my second dive, I figured I would post the video! This is a rough cut and I would really love to hear all opinions and suggestions on how to make it better. To put this in context, let me first explain that I am a grad student and I am creating a video travel guide website for scuba spots in Key Largo, and this is one of the short-form documentary videos that I just finished and will be included in my travel guide.

I am interested to hear if my colors are acceptable for the underwater footage. I also would like to hear how you liked the video as a whole. If it provided useful information, if it inspires you to dive this spot, etc. Also, is there any information missing that you would like me to include? Please give me feedback!!

The USCG Duane

password: dive
The video is password protected, and the password is dive.

- Jason

#29 JasonBoone

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:03 PM

Oh and by the way, here is a pic of my setup if you were wondering.

It's a Canon T2i in an Ikelite housing with an 8" dome port. I am using a Tokina 10-16mm lens with a redfilter. You can also see my nifty tripod setup, which I did not use at all while shooting the Duane.

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Edited by JasonBoone, 10 January 2013 - 09:04 PM.






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