Review: Tobias Friedrich’s Lightroom Presets for UW Photography


I take pictures underwater for fun. That means that after the basic file management is done, sometimes the image selection and post-processing never happens. On a busy trip there are often more exciting demands on your time than sitting in front of Lightroom! So while it is a great tool, I still haven’t fully explored its capabilities.

Today I’ve tried out the preset Develop settings which Tobias Friedrich has produced specifically for underwater photography, and I’m excited to find that they can get me really quickly from selecting an image to having it ready to share. You get a live preview of the changes, so you can quickly pick the right value for each setting in turn – the instructions clearly explain how to go through Exposure, White Balance, Colour, Background, Vignetting, Noise Reduction and Sharpening settings in sequence.

There are separate sets, for Wide Angle and Macro, but they work in basically the same way. The Colour settings include some standard contrast adjustments, and some more creative ones such as “Dramatic Ambience” for wide angle. For macro, the Black Background setting isolated my hermit crab nicely.

Left: As Shot; Right: Black Background setting

The Macro “standard look” suits a host of close up images well. I really liked the Blue Water Plus and I’ve enhanced the blue water behind that big triggerfish.

Left: As Shot; Right: Blue Water Plus

Note just as with any editing it’s quite easy to overdo it, and that these are all whole-image changes – so for example, you can’t darken a blue background too much without making a pale sandy foreground look unnatural.

Left: As Shot; Right: Dramatic Ambience

Obviously it’s best to get things right in-camera, but before exporting pics from Lightroom I usually want to adjust something, and this is a useful and structured way to quickly make some tweaks. You might see more of my shots on social media now while I’m still away on a trip!

For more information on these Lightroom Presets from Tobias Friedrich or to purchase them click here.

Alex Tasker

Alex Tasker

Alex was a hardy teenager when he first dived in the North Sea in a borrowed wetsuit but only really got into diving with his partner in 2009. They’ve ticked off a few bucket-list destinations but remain enthusiastic about all that UK diving has to offer. Alex only learned to use a camera properly since taking one underwater and now rarely dives without it. He’s recently expanded his interest in photographing shipwrecks into some experiments with photogrammetry, with ambitions to produce some archaeologically useful models.

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