One of my favorite ways to spend a sunny afternoon is to grab the kids, the GoPro & monopod and head for water. If you’ve owned a GoPro Hero camera and have experimented with underwater shooting in creeks and streams, you’re probably well-accustomed to the flat and somewhat colorless results that can occur, especially in full sun.

Yet, the fast (fixed f/2.8) Hero lens is capturing more than appears to be present and just takes a little TLC in post to draw out the color and detail. Let’s take a look at one approach to splashing color and detail back into an underwater image using gradient masks in Adobe Photoshop CC.

Have fun with it, really play around with color and tone. Working with rich, aquatic color seems to allow more confidence to push the sliders way harder than usual and the results can be truly stunning.