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woody

Deep wreck photos

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I've been struggling with how best to "process" deep wreck photos for a while now. Do I leave in a state that is closer to the "default" camera output, do I aggressively manupulate the RAW file to improve the colours, or given the practically monochrome environment that exists at that depth, do I go the whole hog and convert to B&W?

 

Here is one photo I took this summer at around 65m of the main cannon of the HMS Southwold, a WWII destroyer sunk in 1942 off the south coast of Malta.

 

Any tips would be really appreciated - both regarding the processing options and also regarding the photo itself.

 

(If you notice, in the two "processed" files I have cloned out the diver who unfortunately cropped up between the two barrels of the cannon)

 

202217570-S.jpg

"Raw" unprocessed image

 

202215189-S.jpg

"Aggressive" manipulation - including white balance in Adobe Raw and additional saturation and colour balance changes in Photoshop

 

202215213-S.jpg

Converted to B&W in Photoshop (using the ConvertToB&W 3.0 tool)

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I think this is always an interesting discussion. I think #2, the heavily manipulated image, is the most pleasing in terms of image quality, yet it does not convey the moodiness of the original RAW, or even more so the B&W image.

Sometimes I think one has to think about the use of the image and how you plan to display it. For documentary / brochure purposes one might choose #2, but far a wall print for display the B&W image would be my choice.

I might also may try to manipulate curves a little to possibly obtain a little more contrast in the black and white image. Here is a quick 30 sec adjustment, I'm sure with some time you can do better.

post-5478-1191183444_thumb.jpg

Edited by loftus

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I like the raw best. When the light is low and the shot is monchromatic I always think of going B & W so I like #3 as well.

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I would opt for something b/w the raw and the processed colour image, though the b&w + extra contrast would be nice. The 'agressively processed' image is a little too processed and the colour seems duller. I'd boost the contrast of the raw image & take a little green out but keep it moderate. I'd also leave the diver in, but that's just me as a PJ, i don't like the idea of changing the reality of an image. overall a wonderful image.

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