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hi there,

Over the years i progressed in underwater photography techniques, but my editing skills are still very very basic.

I came to this realization as i happened to be shown by two experienced photographers on 2 cases how they used Photoshop, this was miles aways from my capabilities with Lightroom!

My current capabilities: 

I have enrolled to an Adobe photo plan, so i am using Lightroom Classic for editing (but i also have the latest Photoshop version in that plan). In Lightroom Classic, besides the basic global adjustments, i have been using spot removal (backscatter), graduated filters, and i am just starting to discover the adjustment brush, using my mouse for approximative selection of area when i want to do local changes.

What i'd like to learn:

  • How/when it really is worth jumping to Photoshop.
  • Photoshop's smart tools to easily select a shape (e.g. a fish, a diver) onto you want to make local adjustments (e.g. color adjustmnet, clarity...) without affecting the rest of the image.
  • Smarter/quicker ways to remove Backscatter?

To be clear, i don't need the knowledge to "transform" the photo into a really different scene (e.g. adding/removing objects). That is not what i am after, i just want to get more efficient at getting my work "pop out".

 

How?

Call me old school, but i still have a preference to learn on a paperbook. I can read few pages when going to bed, etc. That is practical. And i do not have a tablet.

That said, if the quickest/best way to learn these skills is a set of videos or something else, i am all ears.

 

So looking for advice on how/where to learn these skills for underwater imagery editing :-)

 

cheers

Nico

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Hi Nico,  I've been using Photoshop for at least 20 years and I'm self taught, using google to look for articles on how to do various things and trying them out for myself.  The strength of PS is not changing things in your image - to me it's more the ability to use masks and layers to make adjustments and it has Levels!!!  I don't know how Adobe can sell Lightroom - that does not have levels - with a straight face.  To me it is absolutely fundamental to image processing. 

With Levels you can set the black and white points and colour balance an image in a few minutes - if you know what you are doing - it sets the basis for other adjustments to contrast that makes the image pop.  After levels, there's curves then in some cases hue/saturation or similar adjustments to fine tune the colours - but I rarely use them then resizing and sharpening the output.

I'm not a fan of videos - the ones I've seen waffle on so much and seem to take forever to get to the point.   I have always found software is best learned by doing.

To give you an example - this is not a great shot - tonal range is pretty limited , flash should have been a touch stronger etc. - just a nudi at Clifton Gardens this is taken straight from the Raw file and the only change is a levels adjustment that took literally one minute.  To finish it off I would fine tune the colour a little further and boost contrast with curves, sharpen etc.   But the point is to show how efficient the levels tool is.  The final file is a quick 3 minute final edit - I didn't bother with backscatter, just fine tuning the levels again and curves with tonal masks then out put sharpening.

While you can make selections in PS for local adjustments - I'm not a big fan of that as it is often difficult to blend the adjustment in - masking is a much more powerful tool - you can use the image itself to make a mask for tonal adjustments and this is a perfect mask - the only thing I tend to use selections for is sharpening only the subject.  Masking also comes into play for backscatter removal and the right technique can in some cases do a better job than the healing brush.

 

 

Levels_before.thumb.JPG.51a9f1e2281c71acb0995dea6f44f09e.JPG

Levels_after.JPG

Levels-FinishEdits.JPG

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Oh and for backscatter - my preference is to use a graphics tablet (Wacom)  rather than a mouse - it's night and day for ease of use.

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Hi Nico..

I'm a huge fan of Erin Quigley's tutorials: https://www.goaskerin.com

Granted, they are not in  book format, but they are focused, targeted tutorials dealing specifically with editing underwater imagery!

Adam

 

 

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Thanks Chris for the crash-course! 

For global adjustments (where you're not making a selection) i am doubtful that i wouldn't be able to quickly achieve similar results with Lightroom on your photo. Care to share your raw for a try?

Agree on the tutorials where the speaker spends 80% of the time telling you how important what they are going to tell is going to be :D

8 hours ago, adamhanlon said:

Hi Nico..

I'm a huge fan of Erin Quigley's tutorials: https://www.goaskerin.com

Granted, they are not in  book format, but they are focused, targeted tutorials dealing specifically with editing underwater imagery!

Adam

 

 

Cheers Adam i'll give these tutorials a go

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I could share the raw but its a big file - I can show you the technique in PS using levels in less than 5 minutes - it is incredibly simple once you get the hang of it.

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