How PS are the Aqauascaping Pictures? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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How PS are the Aqauascaping Pictures?

When you see AdA, Competition tanks etc; hardscape, plants, fishes, water is truly amazing and the photography is beautiful, and for anyone whos doing this hobby, will appreciate even more. It's hard stuff

But really and lets be honest, how photoshopped are they?
My friend does design, and he said its ps alot.!

thoughts?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 12:54 PM
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Not necessarily manipulated, but they usually have the levels, curves etc tweaked (like you should do to any photograph ) as it helps to make the colours much more appealing to the eye.

Here is an example of a before and after having altered the curves and levels (not my photograph), note how much more defined the mid-tones are making the photo appear less flat:

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 01:18 PM
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Benn pretty much nails the issue on the head.

photos are likely adjusted, but its not like things are added to the photo via photoshop. vast majority of aquascaping photography will be adjusted as opposed to retouched, where the end result looks closer to what you would have seen in person. no camera sensor is able to pick up as much detail as the human eye, so it's fair game imo.


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 07:37 PM
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If you really want to know the truth 99% of all pictures require post processing. Internal color correction and sharpening is crap on all but the highest quality cameras.
Cheap cameras leave artifacts during jpeg compression. Those have to be cleaned up in post processing. Totally acceptable procedures IMO.

It's when people start cloning things into pictures like fish or removing things like debri. That's when the line gets crossed IMO. It's on par with airbrushing 50lbs off Kristie Alley for a Jenny Craig add.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 07:44 PM
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i like to refer to this when it comes to PP

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larams67 View Post
If you really want to know the truth 99% of all pictures require post processing. Internal color correction and sharpening is crap on all but the highest quality cameras.
Cheap cameras leave artifacts during jpeg compression. Those have to be cleaned up in post processing. Totally acceptable procedures IMO.

It's when people start cloning things into pictures like fish or removing things like debri. That's when the line gets crossed IMO. It's on par with airbrushing 50lbs off Kristie Alley for a Jenny Craig add.
I agree, and that actually happens in these photos a lot more than you'd think.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larams67 View Post
If you really want to know the truth 99% of all pictures require post processing. Internal color correction and sharpening is crap on all but the highest quality cameras.
Cheap cameras leave artifacts during jpeg compression. Those have to be cleaned up in post processing. Totally acceptable procedures IMO.

It's when people start cloning things into pictures like fish or removing things like debri. That's when the line gets crossed IMO. It's on par with airbrushing 50lbs off Kristie Alley for a Jenny Craig add.
I seriously doubt the photos in question are being shot on some point and shoot. I'm sure they are being shot on, at the very least, entry-level professional dSLRs but more likely even better than that.

I also don't get the sense that the OP is referring to basic color correction; he's talking about down-right "photoshopping" the pics, i.e., artificially adding or removing things that aren't in the original picture: the things you refer to in the second half of your post. Personally, I agree with his suspicions; the pictures put up for these "contests" look extraordinarily fake. There's definitely some extra work going into them.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 10:42 PM
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any professional photographer will tell you how they take 1000 pictures for ever 2 they use. I have a number of photography magazines about taking photos and I tell you Photoshopping has replaced the darkroom. It used to be professional photographers would spend hours in the dark room gettting their photos just right. now they teach classes on photoshop for doing the same thing. there is nothing at all wrong with adjusting color hue saturation light spectrum etc. hack and slash adding/cropping isn't the same.

I will bet amano's reputation (I'll bet his because its not mine and I don't care if he loses it) that the competition photos have not been edited beyond a photographers version of pure. I find it highly improbably that the competition photos you find in magazine are added to or taken away from, that would be convincing several thousand people to lie about the same thing convincingly and not write a tell all about it later. Right. no they aren't added to.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 10:52 PM
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I agree there's a HUGE difference between our basic cameras and a professional's camera.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 11:03 PM
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I have judged quite a few competitions as well as entered a few. As a judge I dont even consider if the image was PS'd unless it is very poorly done. I feel with the tools and the digital domain we have to accept that PS will be used on all images.

My stance is, if it is done tastefully and it is not a false representation of the layout, than it is good.

If somebody blurrs to add depth, dodges or burns for highlighting, or clones out snails i say that is all fair game. What is the diff between the pro photographer who uses a snoot to highlight an area vs a PS tool? Nothing in my opinion. Or a blurr effect to simulate a VERY expense fast lens? Nothing.

Dont add things that arent there and it is fair game. If you suck at PS it will show and your product will look unnatural anyway.

I have given many talks on PS for planted aquariums. If anyone wants to look at my gallery i am very open about how i got the results i did.
http://www.projectaquarium.com/plantedTank_gallery.aspx

oh, and as far as camera mattering, it doesnt. Lenses and lighting matter most, the camera matters least.

Here are two pics. One taken with a $200 P and S and one with a mid level DSLR. Which is which?





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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 11:19 PM
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The above is an unfair test and you know it. Show me the ACTUAL files for each picture and I'll tell you instantly which one is which. How could any person tell 2 pictures apart after they have been compressed and scaled down to the degree you have shown? Very poor example.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 11:38 PM
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Either way the whole point is that the photoshop is the darkroom. Used to be photographers like my grandfather had rooms in which they spent hours dicking around with photo's to get them to look right. now there's photoshop. it doesn't make the photos less authentic unless you alter them as in add or remove content.

"[Wabi-sabi] nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect." -original author unknown-

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soc200 View Post
The above is an unfair test and you know it. Show me the ACTUAL files for each picture and I'll tell you instantly which one is which. How could any person tell 2 pictures apart after they have been compressed and scaled down to the degree you have shown? Very poor example.
Here you go...which is which?





Quote:
Originally Posted by ReefkprZ View Post
Either way the whole point is that the photoshop is the darkroom. Used to be photographers like my grandfather had rooms in which they spent hours dicking around with photo's to get them to look right. now there's photoshop. it doesn't make the photos less authentic unless you alter them as in add or remove content.
Yup!!
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 01:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Jason Baliban View Post
Here you go...which is which?







Yup!!
#2 the dslr?
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Baliban View Post
Here you go...which is which?


I think this is the mid level DSLR photo.

Take this photo for example: If the end of the vals were edited out and the brown removed and replaced with fresh growing tips, the BBA on the driftwood removed and the Serpaes rearrange for a more schooling or pleasing position. You rkn it crosses the deceiving line, on a competitive lvl?

isnt the whole point of a good PS, gives an impression of its not being PS.
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