DeeperBlue.com had the opportunity to connect today with Rick Voight and Randy Fredlund, the men behind Vivid-Pix, a program that promises fast and easy digital editing for underwater photos.
Fifteen years in the making, Vivid-Pix is now entering its third year as a complete program, with an updated second version available now that will help casual users transform their underwater images from technically-accurate, though green or bluish photographic records into vibrant, eminently shareable pieces that evoke the kaleidoscopic wonder the photographer experienced at depth.
Randy Fredlund took a moment to sit down and take DeeperBlue.com through the main functions of the program. As the resident “Image Scientist,” a title that seems to encompass development, artistic direction and tech support, he’s not only the voice on the other end of the phone when you call, he’s also the man who makes customer needs known to the programming team.
With such a direct link between consumers and development, the program itself is unsurprisingly user-friendly. Vivid-Pix relies on mathematical calculations that statistically correct and tweak raw images for optimum brightness, contrast, color balance, sharpness, and saturation. Just select a photo to edit and Vivid-Pix will present you with nine side-by-side versions of the original that are all just a bit different depending on which aspect of the image is adjusted. From there, you choose your favorite and then have the opportunity to fine-tune with a series of toggles until the photo is, well, picture-perfect.
The top-to-bottom, left-to-right interface will feel comfortable and familiar to the average Western consumer, and the icons used throughout embed a bit of fan-service to the target audience: The depth correction toggle moves along the spectrum from shallow to deep from a mask and snorkel toward a classic Mark V helmet for your deepest shots.
Vivid-Pix is engineered to meet the needs of the casual user, a consumer who may not have the time or inclination to master complex programs like Photoshop or Aperture, or the money to invest in a professional-level program. At a price point of $50 for either the Mac or PC version, Vivid-Pix is easily affordable for even the most frugal buyer.
The easy-to-watch tutorial videos will get you up and running within ten minutes, while a handful of more advanced features like lightness spread and user-defined settings can help savvier users take advantage of the full potential of the program and satisfy their cravings for greater image control without the price tag of one of those other editing suites.
Possibly even more exciting for industry insiders is Vivid-Pix‘s generous sales structure. Their retail program is pretty standard, sold via prepaid card as a point-of-sale item much like iTunes or Steam gaming cards, but the really brilliant part is how they plan to use their 30-day free trial offer to capitalize on the influence of instructors, live-aboards, dive boats and other dive professionals.
For $100, professionals can purchase a personalized code to give out to customers which allows them access to Vivid-Pix free for thirty days. The unique code links the customer with the instructor or dive facility that suggested the program to them, so that when the customer decides to buy the full version, Vivid-Pix can share the wealth by kicking back a 40 percent commission on every unit sold. This makes the program an ideal add-on for everything from guided dives and Digital Underwater Photography classes to organized travel opportunities and new cameras. And the customer-support is unparalleled — Randy told DeeperBlue.com that Vivid-Pix is emailing owners of the original program to invite them to upgrade for free now that Version 2 is coming out.
When asked where they see themselves headed in the future, Randy got a bit cagey, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see some adaptations for video coming our way, or maybe even some apps adapted for use on other devices.
Bottom line: if you want to turn out beautiful photos without having to shell out money you’d rather spend on dive equipment or sacrificing bottom time to master a complicated editing program, you’ll love Vivid-Pix. Go check them out online at www.Vivid-Pix.com.
— Erin Durbin-Sherer