How to edit underwater photography

When I first played with underwater photography my main struggle was editing, the images looked great, editing was what bought them down. It’s taken a while to get the right kind of balance.

I’ve done a video for you to watch, a photo explaining before and after but also a break down of the process.

  1. Up the clarity, roughly +40

  2. Pull your colour balance up on magenta and yellow dramatically until it looks ‘normal’

  3. Pull the blacks down, -30 ish

  4. Adjust the exposure accordingly

  5. Drag highlights down a touch

  6. Lens correction if needed

  7. De-haze about +10

Took me ages to work this out! But it ultimately was worth it of course.

This is my underwater photography editing video

From RAW to camera raw in photoshop, explaining why I process my images this way and how to get them to the beginning stages before editing begins.

This is my diagram of what I did through the editing process in photoshop

My before and after shows my editing throughout the process, I don’t like to share my colour grading techniques, not because I’m stingy in any way but because I really believe people should play with their own techniques to find their own original style rather than copying someone else’s, because let’s face it, a lot of photographers editing looks so similar nowadays which is such a shame. I really encourage people to check out Phlearn or Creativelive if they want to know how to start editing in general though!