8 months ago

AD 2016 Q4

Alert Diver is the dive industry’s leading publication. Featuring DAN’s core content of dive safety, research, education and medical information, each issue is a must-read reference, archived and shared by passionate scuba enthusiasts. In addition, Alert Diver showcases fascinating dive destinations and marine environmental topics through images from the world’s greatest underwater photographers and stories from the most experienced and eloquent dive journalists in the business.


IMAGING PHOTO TECHNIQUES Try using grain or noise as an aesthetic. You’ll likely have to increase your ISO to capture a scene without strobes, but don’t fear that, as the presence of noise can be aesthetically pleasing. In fact, in the Effects panel in Lightroom’s Develop module, there is a Grain slider that allows you to add grain to your images. Increase that ISO, jump into those natural monochromatic tones around you, and play. Modern cameras are far more efficient in low light anyway, so higher ISO values should not necessarily intimidate you. Garibaldis are known for their vibrant orange color, but their shape and the setting in front of the afternoon sunlight at Catalina Island is just as captivating. (1/400 sec @ f/22, ISO 80, no strobes) Consider the background to be as important as the primary subject. When color is removed you have to rely on distinguishing the subject from the background by other means. To start, try finding and incorporating simple, clean, uncomplicated backgrounds that contain a solid shade of either white, gray or black. Or use simple gradations from dark to light, but make sure your subject is set in front of a background tone from which it can be clearly distinguished. 102 | FALL 2016

TECHNIQUES FOR IMAGE PROCESSING If you’re a Lightroom user, converting to black and white is easy. Although there are a couple of ways to turn your image black and white in Lightroom, I suggest going straight to the B&W panel in the Develop module. Simply click B&W, and your image is converted. The trick is in stylizing what you’ve captured. Here are a few styles to try for your monochromatic workflow. Figure 3 Figure 1 Figure 3. You can control the hue and saturation of your highlights and shadows, or you can shift the balance of the two to favor one or the other. My personal preference is to warm-tone images, which imparts a sepia feel. I especially like this look for printing, but Figure 4 shows three different ways you can tone your work. The first image is warm toned, the second cool toned, and the third is split toned. High-key and low-key. A high-key image is inherently bright in tone, while a low-key image is inherently dark in tone. With many blue-water images, creating either look can be achieved with a simple wave of the mouse. In Figure 1, notice the small icon in the upper left of the panel. This is called the Targeted Adjustment tool (TAT), and if you click on it, your cursor turns into a crosshair. With this crosshair you can click and drag your mouse on any color in your image that you want to adjust. Click and drag upward for one effect, and drag downward for another. To create a high-key image, click and drag your mouse upward. Notice as you do that the blue slider in the B&W panel moves to the right, and all the blue tones are brightened, as shown in Figure 2. To create the opposite effect, or a low-key image, you’ll want to click and drag the mouse downward. Note that it’s rare to have an image that can work as either a high-key or a low-key image. They usually work as one or the other; experiment to figure out which. Moving just the blue slider left or right will likely be the first in a series of steps to develop the image’s final look. Color toning. In addition to the straight black-and-white look, you can also tone images. To tone your black-andwhite images, look no further than the Split Toning panel. There are three sections to this panel, as shown in Figure 4: The first image on the far left is warm toned, the middle image is cool toned, and the third image is split toned with warm highlights and cool shadows. To create a warm tone, I suggest setting your Hue slider in Highlights and Shadows to 35, and then slowly moving the Saturation slider to the right to taste. Feel free to adjust the Hue slider in either direction to fine tune it to precisely what you like, but I’ve found 35 to be a good number for warmth. Cool toning an image is similar to warming; just begin with your Hue slider at 220. To split tone, try splitting the difference, but play and experiment as you go. You can set your Highlights to 220 and your Shadows to 35, or visa versa. Whichever direction you choose, toning can help create just the feel or style you’re looking for. Treat my suggestions as starting points for a process that will take you toward a photographic style that only you can discover. Whether you simplify your camera gear and dive without strobes, focus on uncomplicated backgrounds or shift your approach from photographing creatures to focusing on patterns, shapes, textures, tones and moods, the trick for finding what you like is to continue to experiment and be playful with your photography. AD Figure 2: Starting with the image on the far left, we have our original color image followed by the unaltered black and white. The third image moves the Blue slider to the left, thereby darkening the blues, and the fourth image moves the slider to the right, lightening the blues. ALERTDIVER.COM | 103