One of the most common underwater photography difficulties is trying to capture a photo without extreme color and contrast loss. In this Photoshop Tutorial, you’ll learn how to analyze and restore the color and contrast of underwater photos.

Underwater Photo Retouching Photoshop Tutorial

Color Correction

Loss of color and contrast is the primary obstacle faced by underwater photographers. First, we’ll work on restoring the color of the photo to produce a fuller spectrum of color. The deeper the location image was taken at, the more color loss there is. Colors with longer wavelengths such as red and orange disappears first. When extremely deep, only blue can be recorded.

Identifying the Problem

Correcting the color for underwater photos is simple, but not as simple as regular photos. Unlike most photos where the color can be corrected using by setting the gray point with the Levels tool, underwater photos need to be manually corrected. Because most underwater photos lack an accurate gray as a reference for the color, we need to analyze the channels to identify the color causing the problem. There are two primary elements that need to be worked on: color and contrast. First, we’ll show you how to restore the colors and then we’ll show you how to enhance the contrast of the distance.

Channels in the underwater photo