TESTING NEW TOOLS
At digitalmovie studio, whenever a new camera body or a new set of lights is deployed into our toolset, a commonly shared best practice is going out in the field and testing the new gear in real-life conditions. Underwater camera gear makes no exception. So we went for a camera-test dive and took the chance to shoot a few pictures to work on new digital development ideas as well.
Despite non-ideal conditions for the water visibility, it turned out to be a good day for the creative image look.
IMAGE LOOK EXPLAINED
Image look is indeed defined and influenced by a number of factors including technical as well as purely creative players. Basically, all of our choices sum up to into elements like color, light, and shadow, that can create visual interest in and around our subject.
For this series, besides the specific camera settings, the main ingredients used to convey interest are contrast control, accurate color grading, and effective composition.
Image contrast has been adjusted to create a sense of depth in the picture giving more presence to the elements in the foreground and gradually fading clarity toward the background.
Color correction has been fine-tuned to an analogous color harmony. This is particularly interesting in the underwater world, where the vast majority of underwater photographers tend to find ways of adding colors to the image. Here we consciously took the opposite direction actually simplifying some colors in order to make the image more pleasing to the eye. Of course, the lake environment plays a big role in this creative decision as its green-based atmosphere inspired a slightly ‘muted’ version of reality, confirming that creative decisions are tightly connected with the subject and must be thoughtfully calibrated to be effective.
From our professional perspective, image composition is not disconnected from image look. This concept is perhaps more visible into the following last picture for the series. In fact, the vertical composition plays together with the contrast and color gradients providing a sense of vertical depth in addition to the image depth of field. Also, the diver’s position in the frame seems to suggest a nice sense of suspension into the water column.
diver: Andrea Mescalchin
Photography & retouch: Matteo Mescalchin