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Underwater Photoshop

Shooting with your strobe too close to the camera lens causes Backscatter. This lights up tiny particles in the water and results in our pictures looking like they were shot in a snowstorm!

There are two types of Backscatter...

  1. 'Real' Backscatter: particles that are pure white. Usually small in size and grouped to the pattern of the strobe often with fall off dependant on distance. It is noticeable even against a light background
  2. 'Common' Backscatter: crud in the water that is usually uniform over the whole image. Usually variable in size and maintaining some color. Is only really noticeable against a dark background see below.

Backscatter can be rated on a scale of 1-5

  1. Clear - no action required
  2. Hardly noticeable - not worth touching
  3. Noticeable - editing justified
  4. Bad - borderline worth editing
  5. Terminal - not worth editing, bin it!

The above image shows common backscatter and is a 4 on the above scale. Notice how it is only evident against a darker background. The light foreground suffers from the same crud yet is not noticeable. Real backscatter is noticeable even against a light background.

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