Behind the Shot: Joe Platko


Joe Platko has shared a fantastic shot of a harbor seal on the Wetpixel Facebook page. Judging by the number of likes and comments, people really like this shot. So we asked him how he got it and this is what he said.

This photo was taken in 2012 during the Monterey Shootout, although funny enough I didn’t enter this shot. I had screwed up the lighting, with the strobes facing more down, with it causing eelgrass in the foreground to be blown out. It was also fairly dark, as the vis was pretty low (between 5-10’). I hadn’t even tried editing it until a few weeks ago when I was going through my archives looking for images I may have initially overlooked. Upon seeing the image again, I realized I could just crop out the blown out area in the foreground, and then underexposed further to blacken out the bad vis. Lastly I used the radial filter in lightroom to bring back the highlights on the seal (which luckily was quite reflective). I used the radial filter so there was a better transition from light to dark, which gave it a much more natural look compared to if I had used the brush to paint it black.