A Game Changer in Underwater Photography

Post and discuss beautiful underwater photos and video brought back from the depths of the sea.
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Penopolypants
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A Game Changer in Underwater Photography

Post by Penopolypants »

This researcher created an algorithm to reduce the effects of water in underwater photography. Pretty cool!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExOOElyZ2Hk
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60south
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Re: A Game Changer in Underwater Photography

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Penopolypants
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Re: A Game Changer in Underwater Photography

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Oops, fixed!
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Magoi
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Re: A Game Changer in Underwater Photography

Post by Magoi »

Very cool piece of work. A good article providing a little more technical information is here:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... r-photos1/

The method requires knowing the distance from the photographer to the target to work properly, as the algorithm uses physics equations to correct for light scattering and backscatter.
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SCUBARM79
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Re: A Game Changer in Underwater Photography

Post by SCUBARM79 »

This is pretty cool. :popcorn:
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YellowEye
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Re: A Game Changer in Underwater Photography

Post by YellowEye »

Interesting. Doesn't seem like it works with video. And how much calibration time does it take, and seems like it may not work very deep.

I heard sea&sea has come out with some new dome tech at dema that is lighter than glass and not liable to scratch. That's sounds like something I could use!
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Penopolypants
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Re: A Game Changer in Underwater Photography

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The creator did an impromptu AMA on reddit:
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Scubie Doo
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Re: A Game Changer in Underwater Photography

Post by Scubie Doo »

Basically doing the “water removal” post processing. Cool deal. The big benefit I see is wide angle. Like manta, shark, whale type shots too. No strobes needed. Which reduces bulk and flashing the animals.

For macro, I’d still think you need strobes. I don’t see a benefit for the algorithm there. I try really hard to only take a couple shots per critter. I still worry the flash hurts the animals, which is why I use small strobes that take a while to recycle. So I’m not snapping the crap out of the little creatures :) I have tried several non strobe techniques but the photos never turn out.


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dlh
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Re: A Game Changer in Underwater Photography

Post by dlh »

From the details described in the paper this technique would likely only be practical on still, fixed subjects. It requires many shots from various angles to measure distance to subject and light sources. It was designed for photogrammetry and reef surveys where many shots from all angles are available. A moving subject like a shark would probably be difficult to plug into the model.

You'd also loose all the control and expression you get via lighting and shading with strobes. I'd think you would end up with mostly flat dull images.
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Re: A Game Changer in Underwater Photography

Post by ljjames »

YellowEye wrote: Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:36 pm Interesting. Doesn't seem like it works with video. And how much calibration time does it take, and seems like it may not work very deep.

I heard sea&sea has come out with some new dome tech at dema that is lighter than glass and not liable to scratch. That's sounds like something I could use!
I chatted with her at some length and it does work with video. RAW preferably (meaning video assembled from a zillion still shots basically) or if all you want is 'consistent' then other compressed formats work. its all about distance so as long as your depth and distance remained the same for the shot, it will work. As a 360 shooter, so much of what i do is based around maintaining stitch-able distance and with the challenges with lighting in 360, i shot a ton of ambient so.... this could be a game changer for my field.

Re: loosing shadow etc... sure i guess but again, i do a ton of natural light work now and it still has shadows and stuff.
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Re: A Game Changer in Underwater Photography

Post by coldfinger »

Interesting. I've mostly switched from strobes to using 1 or 2 very bright, cheap video lights (<$50 each on eBay) and shooting in burst mode. For non-macro shots, I have to adjust white balance, but have been impressed with how well that has been working on RAW images that have a fair amount of depth - superficially not that different from what I saw in the video. Totally different from white balance adjustment on JPEGs, where you get reddish and green-blue casts on everything not in the plane you clicked on to set the white balance.

I never know how to answer when someone asks, "Is that the REAL color?" about an underwater image. It depends so much on the light used to see it...

Is a constant blinding light better or worse for the critters than a few, really bright flashes? I don't know, but have been wondering.
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