Back Scatter Squid

Anyone who as taken a flash photograph while it is snowing would know just how annoying those fuzzy white blurs of light can be.

It’s like the physical world is conspiring against you. You see your subject fine through the rain or snow yet in the captured image the main even is upstaged by a flurry of bright white fuzzies, back-scatter.

Back-scatter is a very real problem for those of us who dive in turbid water. It is caused by the light from our flash or strobes hitting tiny particles in the water closer to us than to our subject. The result is usually white fuzzy mess.

There are techniques used to minimise this effect such as moving strobes or flashes well off to the side or far back behind the camera lens. At the end of the day however, removing back-scatter usually becomes a tedious post production activity. A necessary evil of underwater photographic post-production.

I have removed most of the back-scatter in this squid image leaving just enough to remind that dive conditions, especially for photography, are never perfect.

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