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For too long underwater photos have been, well, simply all wet. Inherent problems with underwater images meant traditional optical processing often produced prints with exaggerated green or blue tints. In addition, the images frequently appeared blurry and underexposed. A new processing service from Eastman Kodak Company is about to change all that.

Appropriately called Kodak Sea Processing, the patented photofinishing process uses a blend of digital and traditional silver halide technology to optimize underwater prints, putting the same life and color in the print that the photographer saw on the dive.

Underwater photography presents a number of challenges. The water tends to filter out reddish tones, an effect that worsens at greater depths and distances. In addition, underwater light is often less than ideal for picture taking.

Traditional photo processing has sought to remedy these problems with filters and other light corrections with mixed results. The traditional approach is often expensive, time consuming and varies greatly with different labs. The correction process of traditional photo processing also can produce false colors and prints may appear fuzzy.

In contrast, Kodak Sea Processing digitally enhances images and a Kodak-trained technician makes three separate sets of corrections to ensure that the color matches that of the underwater world. Then the images are printed on Kodak Ektacolor Royal VIII paper, and negatives are placed in individual sleeves. Additionally, Kodak Sea Processing includes a convenient index print to help divers store and identify their pictures, making it easier to order reprints, enlargements and other photo gifts.