Spotted eagle ray before and after

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Two Ways,’ the idea being to show a photo processed in different ways or to show two photos of the same thing taken at different times in different conditions. (See more responses here.)

I’ve gone with a photo taken yesterday morning showing it before and after processing. In the water, I use a basic point-and-shoot camera in a waterproof case. I don’t use lights or a flash so I shoot mainly on auto, because if my big fingers started pushing little buttons, my subject would be halfway to Japan before I got a photo. This approach can lead to some erratic results, including the image appearing somewhat murky, but usually this can be cleaned up during processing. On this day, the visibility in the water was cloudy, but not as bad as it looks in the before photo.

For photo processing, I use an older version of Photoshop Express (PE), which is a stripped-down version of Photoshop. Using the full version would be like me driving a Ferrari to the local store – way more power and features than I need. My version of PE has a ‘haze reduction’ feature, which is a sort of automatic one-stop processing step, but I prefer to do my own adjustments.

While the two versions look quite a bit different, the change is mainly down to simple adjustments in ‘shadows and highlights’ and tweaking the tones and colors in ‘levels.’ Besides that, I removed a few of the little red flares that often occur in these underwater images, and bumped up the sharpness a hair. That’s it.

Since I follow the same routine when processing all my photos, it goes very quickly. This one was all done in 5 minutes, and the result was worth it.

6 thoughts on “Spotted eagle ray before and after

  1. Toonsarah

    I really like the way you’ve bothered to edit this photo to bring out all the details of the ray for us. I guess some people would just put up with the murky original but you’ve shown what a small investment of time can do for an image!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Forestwood

    Yes indeed your tweeks are a wonderful addition to the photo which adds clarity to the photo. The slider works perfectly in this scenario like peeling back a curtain of fog to reveal something beautiful. Well done, Graham.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

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