One of the challenges of underwater photography is preserving /
correcting true skin color. Fortunately, Photoshop has a couple
tools to make this possible. We are using Photoshop Elements
version 7. However, the tools, shortcuts etc will be identical or
similar in other versions. Once again I would encourage you to download
the demo picture in order to practice the processing.
Correcting Skin Tone:
Right click and download the picture below and open it up in Photoshop
(note the pic is in full resolution of 5.9 megabytes to allow you
to fully edit).
I took this picture on the Intova IC12 with dual flash. I wanted
to record that the Intova IC12
really is good to the maximum depth of sport diving. The flash
did a good job of bringing out the
colors in the coral beyond my hand. However, my hand was not in
either flash area and therefore
is left with the unfortunate and unnatural blue color.
In the Edit mode "Full" Tab (see right arrow) you need to select the
"Quick Selection Tool" from the tool bar on the left side. It
looks like a magic wand.
Step Three: Use
tool to highlight the area of only the hand. After selecting
the tool, place your mouse
pointer at the top of the hand by the top arrow. Click and drag
your mouse down to the bottom arrow.
It will create a dotted outline of the area that will be processed.
If you make a mistake just hit "esc" and it will
unselect allowing you to start over.
Four: Select the "Guided" tab under EDIT. Then
select "Correct Skin Tone".
Once over the selected area of the picture, your mouse pointer will
turn into an eyedropper.
Click on the selected area and the hand color will change
slightly. You can also adjust the levels on the sliders.
If you would like to see a before and after comparison, click on the
button by the bottom arrow.
Because of the significant level of tonal change we will need to repeat
At this point you can now click on "Done".
Repeat the "Correct Skin Tone" in step five until you achieve your
Seven: Now that you have learned the basics of the
process, let's take it a step further. Go back to the
"FULL" EDIT tab. We need to correct the skin tone by my wrist and
throught the slot of the computer strap.
In order to do this you need to zoom in on the spots. Use Ctrl +
to zoom in or Ctrl- to zoom out.
You will use the same magic wand selection tool. However, notice
in the upper left there are three different
magic wands you can choose from. The first is used to select a
new area. The second will add to the area
already selected. The third will subtract from the srea.
Play with the three different wands. You will find that
you can highlight multiple areas to correct at one time.
Step Eight: After
the areas to process, go back to the guided area and repeat
step five. The completed
skin tone correction even close up looks natural.
Using the Correct Skin Tone tool to correct the color of sand.
Note that in the above picture there
in the lower left the color of the sand is blueish. You can use
use the selection tool to change just the sand area
or you can use the tool to adjust the entire picture. In the
picture below I have used the tool and adjusted the
entire picture by clicking on the blueish sand with the Correct Skin
If you use the tool to correct the blue haze over the entire picture
you can easily overdue the
correction and end up over processed like the picture below.
and after results with proper processing
One More Little
Using the Magic Wand Selection Tool, I selected just the dial of the
computer. I did a "Smart Fix" and adjusted the contrast to
readability of the computer. Notice the before and after
for further help. You can change the size of your
selection tool by selecting on "Brush" to the right of the three magic
changing the diameter. If you have further suggestions or
questions you can email me.