Photoshop and the Lost Undersea Channel
dekePod Episode 015: Imagine yourself on a once-in-a-lifetime underwater adventure. Adift in a world of wonder. Watch as if in a dream as you ignore the souvenir stand, bypass the lounge chair, even avoid the swim-up bar. Your only intention is to grab the gear, strap on the fins, and plunge into the astonishing azure alure.
Or more simply put: Mix with the fish.
Such destinations have names as to make the heart sigh: Fiji. Kealakekua Bay. Ningaloo. The Red Sea.
If you've never been to these lands, welcome to the club, neither have I. But I have spent much time roaming the Caribbean. Things being what they are (and me being what I am), I've gone underwater many a time with camera in hand. Only to be excited by what I shot! And disappointed by the results(!). Because the sad truth of the matter is, sea colors are different from land colors. Here's the official marketing description:
The ocean is a different world. Where else can you cavort with colorful animals a thousand feet or more above the Earth’s surface? But the romance of the sea comes at a price. Just as the watery depths rob our lungs of air, they rob our eyes of color. It’s not uncommon for an underwater photo to lack any information in the Red channel. Which is where coral, clown fish, and our very own skin tones live. Fortunately, Deke knows how to summon a Red channel back from the dead. Watch this dekePod and learn how to create underwater images that will satisfy your inner Jacques Cousteau.
Summary: Use a Channel Mixer adjustment layer to blend a new Red channel from the existing Green and Blue. Use Levels, Color Balance, and Vibrance to finesse the results. And then apply some diliberate hand painting to bring out the coral and other warm details.
Need to watch it again? Why not save it for later by exploring one of these links:
- For a high-quality QuickTime movie, right-click here and choose Save Target or Download Link or the equivalent.
- For an M4V file that you can play on an iPod, right-click here and choose one of those same commands.
- Or you can subscribe to dekePod via RSS or iTunes.
You can also check out the page at my book publisher O'Reilly Media.
And don't forget, you can explore this very technique in exquisite, painstaking detail in Chapter 16, "Adjustment Layers," of my comprehensive video series "Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced," due out any day from lynda.com.