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  1. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
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Red plants and photoshop

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plant Species' started by Tom Barr, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    We have had a few of these discussions over the years, but many seem to feel they have bad reds but many of the pics are adjusted to take some of the white washing out and display the reds many feel are present.

    I reduced the gamma some in this image which is out of focus, but you get the idea but the hue was not touched:

    5c175bd4.jpg

    Now, here I've take this same image and only adjusted the hue a couple of ticks/units(out of 100) lower:

    203217a7.jpg

    Huge difference.

    I am a better grower or am I a better photoshop user?

    A little bit might be forgivable. A lot is not. Fine line, some would argue NO color alteration or image enhance is allowed, but every one of them do some.
     
  2. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    The use of photoshop seems to be part of the illusion that is created around perfect plants and scapes, and even fish. Did you ever succed in making all the fish in the same direction at an exact horizontal line? I can't. The problem is that an illusion is created that no one will ever be able to achieve. This makes the enhancers look like magicians and the beginner like a failure. This is a bad development I think.

    I recall a scape that was on IAPLC but the mods that were made were accidentally publicly accessible on the scapers photoalbum. This made a real riot.

    Too bad that some people have to rely on software to make something beautiful. Apparently they can't do it without. Anyway, it tells me just something about their photoshop skills, and nothing about their skills as an aquarist.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well scaping contest are art/photography also.............and some of the BEST scapers also happen to be professional photographers, if not, they learned those same tricks.
    This is not to be taken lightly, folks should learn these tricks and software applications as much as they learn how to take nice pictures, do hard scapes, prune, trim, doing nice plumbing jobs, nice rimless tanks, etc etc.........

    Main thing is to be aware of of it and to not be piggish and go too far. Being up front about what is used and how much in the software is also not a bad idea that I've NEVER seen discussed on any planted forum.

    I have to ask, why is that????????

    It's part of the art, the scape, the contest...........but is a convenient secret.
     
  4. 1077

    1077 Guru Class Expert

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    GAAAAH! Smoke and mirror's (say it ain't so).
    "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, the great OZ has spoken":eek:
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I do not speak for nor am implying everyone does this, but for folks to be aware of it and to capture and adjust the settings and see if they seem accurate........or not.........
    I've seen it done and I've heard LIARS insist they would NEVER do this.

    I've seen a lot of plants over the last 35 years with all sorts of tweaks.........you ain't gonna fool me.

    One is on the cover of a book.
     
  6. Aquadream

    Aquadream Guru Class Expert

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    As a professional artist for me is very easy to spot make ups. I have seen too much photoshop and contacted ADA for the last IAPLC. They did not care.
    I guess aquascaping means photoshop crockery more than aquatic skills and knowledge.

    The other thing here is that many aquatic plants would exhibit difference in colour if put in various conditions. I suppose that makes it difficult to spot a lot of the photoshop crokery.

    I wrongly accused a guy on ASW for using photoshop to add rocks to his layout [HASHTAG]#130[/HASHTAG] IAPLC 2011. However after apology I am still convinced that he used photoshop to get rid of the algae on those rocks. That is why I had the distinct impression that he added those rocks by photoshop.

    Those things should not be left unnoticed and some questions should be asked.

    I think this kind of cheating does not make anything more beautiful. It just brings a lot of disappointment to those that work hard to enter any competition.
     
  7. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    Competition, no matter what kind, will bring out the dirt bags ready to get that edge on the others. It's simple things like this that can destroy people's drive in this hobby. The scapes in these competitions are mind blowing to those of us lacking in the ability to create them. Ruining it by using a computer program to enhance the outcome is a shame. Kudos to those of you competing in scape competitions, I for one know I could never do it. You're damn near required to cheat, just to even the field.
     
  8. tjbuege

    tjbuege Lifetime Charter Member
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    I know... let's all hand out rose-tinted glasses to guests visiting our tanks. Then we don't have to worry about reds. :)
     
    #8 tjbuege, Dec 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2011
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, red hued lighting also works and Flashes with Red filters also helps.

    It not the part of the Art, the photography itself though??

    Is not part of digital photography post processing? Where is that line drawn?
    Is the "real" aquascape now "fake" ??

    Is this a photo contest or is is an aquascaping contest?
    Aren't the pictures pretty regardless??

    Just playing Devil's advocate.
     
  10. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    The International Aquascaping Photoshop Layout Contest? ;)
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I am CERTAINLY not singling out them, this applies to nearly every contest.

    NBAT might be the sole exception.

    Hard to do that stuff in person:p
     
  12. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    yep, can't fool the judge if he's sitting in front of my tank.... It's a far better contest, because it doesn't just have a composition aspect, but also a biological aspect, techincal aspect, safety aspect etc. You don't win this contest with just a nice pic...

    But also this way has it's problems. Just one person to judge, objectivity is not always guaranteed. Not realistic for international contests though....

    Anyway, I didn't do bad so far without photoshop. Next round for me in the NBAT competition is the district championship with my new scape.
     
    #12 dutchy, Dec 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2011
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I think you will be pretty close coming up in the next round.
    The tank has evolved well.
     
  14. Aquadream

    Aquadream Guru Class Expert

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    Bloody hell man. You got this one right. Briliant joke.;)
     
  15. chopsticks

    chopsticks Prolific Poster

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    Im with Tom on this one, this are photography contests, photoshop work is part of modern photography, most people tend to forget this.

    Amano himself is a photographer, if you read the things he published, his layouts are made to be photographed and that picture is the culmination of the layout, it almost can be discarded after the shot. What do you expect from a contest he is organizing?

    When he is setting up a tank he is just putting together a nice photography subject and theres is nothing wrong about it, you can think it is a different hobby from Fishkeeping it that makes life easier for you.

    By the way I like better the spanish equivalent to "Fishkeeping", "acuariofilia" it is more like "aquariumkeeping".
     
  16. Florin Ilia

    Florin Ilia Lifetime Charter Member
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    It's a fine line between adjusting the picture of the actual scape and creating a whole new digital scape. I saw somewhere on the web examples of pictures submitted to contests where whole bushes of plants were added in photoshop, inconvenient bits were removed etc.

    Another thing is just people posting altered images of plants on forums, not disclosing they're altered, and newbies like me trying to imitate the fake standard. Frustrating.

    Not much to do except whine about it, but a short "I adjusted my hue for effect" would be nice :)
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, main thing is to be aware of it. Amano brought the level of aquarium photography WAY up.......and it was needed to help save it.
    But....he uses film and while film can be altered........it's nowhere near like it can be done like with Photoshop etc and other editing software.

    Changing colors in the darkroom is a lot different.
     
  18. Tomduud

    Tomduud Junior Poster

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    First post to forum (Sorry about bad english, living in non english speaking country wont help to learn)

    As a professional photographer I see this topic very intresting. If you look contest images many of them have some level postprocessing (colors, lightning levels etc). And some images need more photoshop than others to make them look nice and realistic(or unrealistic). I think there will be always issues between documentary imaging vs visual art (photoshopped images). I have found "spyder checker" product easiest way to make realistic colors as possible. It is a tool to help calibrate image colors with lightroom or photoshop. Down side is that sometimes realistic colors are not the ones which looks best:).

    If you want to make best looking tank image possible it will take time, effort and knowledge what to do to help put things together in photoshop realistic way. E.g. I would use external flashes(led flashlights work too), multiple exposures and combine everything in ps. This because tanks are usually quite small and different parts of scape needs different lightning to make best possible dimensional effect and make scape look natural ( compare to landscape photos where lightning is gradual/living).

    There is similar photography based competitions in other areas too where the look of the actual photograph is key to success but the content is where the competition is ( like hair styling, makeup etc). You can also look landscape photo competitions, there is lots of processed images represent different styles ( when we see some different styles in tank photos too) .

    One way to prevent too much photoshop modifications in competitions is raw file requirements or video file requirements. So the judges can check if something is altered in photoshop too much.
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Hi, yes, I've suggested video, but that can be altered with more work......but it's possible certainly.
    Raw files are good also.

    But it's a fine line and many have no idea or concept of this fine line and frankly are ignorant and have not really even thought about such issues(which is sad, you have the power to change and alter, but do not even question this power you have!).

    I am not for or against this.......but rather want folks to ask the questions and see where they sit on this issue, being aware of it is a good thing IME.
     
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Also, like scaping or art....there is not right or wrong way here..........it's an individual's choice. They need to be happy with the results.
    That's their goal.

    But often times folks use the pics that are strongly altered..........to justify something. This is frankly IMO/IME.......lying.
     
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