Generative Fill in Underwater Photographs

Original photo superimposed over Generative Fill created in Photoshop

Artificial intelligence has been in the news lately, especially generative AI. It seems like every industry is trying to put this technology into their products, including image-processing apps. Michael Rothschild takes a closer look and gives examples in underwater photography.

Sequential Shots

The transition from analog to digital cameras has been a boon for photographers, granting them unlimited shots and freedom of movement. These circumstances lend themselves well to the technique of shooting sequential stills. Underwater photographer Claudio Ziraldo shares his insights and tips on taking sequential shots underwater.

Capturing Emotion in Underwater Photography

Fish photographed from the front
A head-on photograph of a fish allows one to “look the fish in the eye,” arousing many more emotions in the viewer. Photo by Cristian Umili

When immersing ourselves in the underwater world, we experience a flood of emotions—both in relation to the depths and to being in an environment that is not our own, in which we can almost fly. But our encounters with marine life excite us even more, especially with sharks, dolphins and huge shoals of fish, but also small and colourful nudibranchs, or microscopic shrimps.

Retouching Underwater Images

Image 2. Problem zones can be identified (red circles) by zooming into an area of the tutorial image.

It should not happen but sometimes it does anyway: those annoying little white dots in our underwater images, which detract from the overall impression of the photograph. Known as backscatter, these dots appear when small particles in the water reflect the light from a strobe. The more directly the strobe light hits a subject, the higher the risk of backscatter. That is why a strobe should not be pointed straight at a subject.

UW Photo: Compositing

Diver Space­scape, composite by John A. Ares
Diver Space­scape, composite by John A. Ares

We take photographs for different reasons: to identify the sea life we find, for the sheer pleasure of making images, or perhaps as a method of personal expression. It is the latter, personal expression, that leads us to the creation of art. John A. Ares discusses the creative use of compositing in postproduction.