A Revolutionary Breakthrough in Color Correction Unmasks the Dazzle Down Under!
Tuck and Alice told me I was going to see color as I had never seen it before - that my diving buddy would be revealed as a flesh-toned human being instead of a green-skinned humanoid. I was skeptical at first and could not imagine that all my years of diving had been shortchanged or that I had been fooled by the things I'd seen in the past. Had I really been seeing everything as blue/green as they said and mistaking the blue/green colors for the real thing? Sure enough, the true blue experiences of my diving past were just about to be blown right out of the water.
Here's what happened. I was working at a secure desk job in Pennsylvania when I learned of a small ad in a local Florida Keys newspaper, seeking a model certified as a SCUBA diver. A few phone calls and six days later I was on a flight to Miami for a personal interview with Tuck and Alice Biays of AquacolorŽ Productions. We acquainted ourselves over a relaxed, casual lunch and then Tuck explained the AquacolorŽ technology.
First Tuck explained the overwhelming blue/green filtering effect of the ocean and how the human eye/mind combination, through preconditioning and "knowledge", automatically compensates somewhat for the unnatural effects or accepts the blue/green as truth. We assume, as divers, that we are seeing the real thing. Few people realize the vast amount of compensating they are doing in order to "see" the color and contrast that exist beneath the water's surface.
A typical underwater film will show colors that are overwhelmingly blue/green with little or no contrast, save for the blueness (or blackness) of an object. Even more obvious is the absence of natural skin tones on human subjects that invariably appear an unearthly green color. Although the mind adjusts what the eye really sees during an actual diving experience and perceives the colors as acceptable, the average camera will demonstrate time and again what the color loss really is.
Until now green-skinned humanoids were an acceptable form of underwater life. The mystery of bright rainbow-colored diving gear acceptably turning shades of gray and black has gone unquestioned. Now there is an alternative.
|With the invention of the AquacolorŽ dive mask all colors become visible to the diver as clearly as if they were above water.|
AquacolorŽ promises to do the same with divers' masks.
I saw the 22 minute video, "AquacolorŽ Underwater Cinematography; Breaking the Available Light and Color Barriers," the day of my interview and was captivated with the vision of underwater Florida that I'd never seen before.
Brilliant, vibrant colors of vermilion and gold, lavender and mauve, rich greens and bright white sand, coral reefs and tropical fish in resplendent color - all unveiled through AquacolorŽ technology. What AquacolorŽ did for film and video was so unbelievable and what it promised to do for divers was so exciting that I wanted to become a part of the underwater world of color that, until recently, has only been known to relatively few people.
|After seeing the video tape, completing an incisive questionnaire and modeling in an intensive photo session, we discussed job description and potential. I was asked if I would be interested in becoming part of the AquacolorŽ Team. I voted a wholehearted, enthusiastic yes, flew back to Pennsylvania and promptly resigned from my job there. Two weeks later I was smugly Florida bound, full of high hopes and anticipation. I was energized by vivid images of marine life from the AquacolorŽ tape that swam around inside my mind, but I was skeptical about whether a mask could stand the test and produce the same results. Regardless, I was plunging headlong into something entirely new to me as well as new to the diving industry: AquacolorŽ.|
The day finally came for my first test of the experimental mask. It was an average summer day for the Keys - winds from the S.E. at 10 knots, waves 2-3 feet, 90 degrees, and sunny. Armed with a standard color chart and an AquacolorŽ mask I was one giant leap from the most amazing dive experience of my life.
Descending to 25 feet with a conventional mask, I allowed my eyes to adjust to the loss of light and began a tour of the reef. I studied the color chart from a 30-foot water path and progressed to a 50-60 foot water path. The colors at the higher end of the spectrum (reds) were immediately lost. They appeared as dark brown and the further I got from the chart the blacker they became. The lower, violet end of the color spectrum, too, soon lost its definition the further I got from the chart. Most obvious was the human skin tones which bore no resemblance to a healthy, suntanned diver. Alice, who was holding the color chart, appeared as a blue/green humanoid, spouting bubbles. Even with knowledge of what colors I should be seeing, and concentrating very hard, I found it impossible to "see" the true colors. The colors just were not there.
I moved back to the color chart and switched to the AquacolorŽ dive mask. The results were astounding! Here were all the colors of the spectrum. Bright, clear, and true. Each was exactly as I had remembered it to be above water. Even more pointedly, the diver holding the color chart looked suntanned and healthy. Just beyond was a dazzling coral reef, alive with color, teaming with yellowtails, stoplight parrotfish and damsels.
From my first minute with AquacolorŽ I was ecstatic. The results were superb and the colors were excellent, even surpassing the video because I was living the experience. The colors stayed true as I backed away from the chart to where I had been with a regular, clear mask. It was a revelation and a joy to see such color. I wondered how anyone could opt for any other mask when the color was so vivid and true with AquacolorŽ. Definition of all things was improved with the color contrast. Distant objects were made sharper even though they appeared slightly darker. I spotted things that Tuck and Alice did not see with uncorrected, full face masks even though I pointed them out: a nurse shark, a spotted eel, a scorpion fish. They were all so clearly visible to me yet they remained virtually undetectable to Tuck and Alice.
I realized as I swam amid vast coral formations and sweeping lavender sea fans how much color I had been missing from the time I made my very first open water dive. During my four-year duty in the Marine Corps I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. I remember being awesomely impressed with the variety of colors on such things as blue ringed octopuses, nudibranchs, pillow starfish, and corals. It was in Okinawa that I wondered how I managed to be enthusiastic over the relatively colorless seascape where I first learned how to dive. Now with AquacolorŽ, I realized what I had been missing in Okinawa.
Even though I had also been diving on the Florida reefs before, I hardly remembered them possessing the kaleidoscope of colors I was seeing with the AquacolorŽ mask. My regret at realizing how wonderful things could have looked with AquacolorŽ made me want to retrace all my steps so I could do it all over again, and this time in full color!The AquacolorŽ dive mask was exhilarating. Never before had I been so impressed with the underwater world. I couldn't convey any disappointment afterward - only my delight. It is a "must see it to believe it" thrill that is sure to add to your diving pleasure forever! The AquacolorŽ dive mask is a must for all snorkelers and divers who do the majority of their diving during the day at depths of 70 feet or less. For deep water diving, night diving, or any specialty diving requiring the use of artificial lighting, or where there is very little light, a conventional, clear mask is necessary. The AquacolorŽ mask is not intended to replace a conventional mask in areas where artificial lighting or lack of sunlight exists, but it is a first choice addition to every diver's standard equipment.
After wearing the AquacolorŽ dive mask I can make only one complaint. After being spoiled with the fantastic, color true, panoramic view of the underwater world for the first time, I did not want to take the mask off. When I did switch back to a conventional mask I was suddenly aware of how relatively dismal the reef looked without the AquacolorŽ color correction and I hurriedly switched back to the AquacolorŽ mask, no longer satisfied with the standard accepted image of the sea.
Green people no longer are my cup of tea. Before AquacolorŽ, I was not aware of how unnatural my dive buddy looked or how hostile and alien the environment appeared. AquacolorŽ unmasks a whole new aspect of the sea, revealing its magnificence in full beauty, overflowing with dazzling colors. AquacolorŽ has taken the "spook" out of diving and replaced it with a carnival of colors. With AquacolorŽ, down under is a beautiful place to be!
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