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  1. #1
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    Default Photoshopping boa pics?

    I saw a thread today that mentioned something that’s been on my mind for some time. It regards editing or "photoshopping" boa pics.

    As a graphic designer by trade let me just say that I use Photoshop to keep my photos sharp and exposure corrected and never hid that fact in the forums. In fact I’m the only one who openly posted that I edit photos and have shown step by step mini tutorials on how I do it.

    The truth is that as a photographer it’s difficult to get a perfect photo every time to meet the standards of photography and I believe anyone who has the knowledge to fix photos to represent what they feel the animal really looks like, will indeed do so. Just because you shot a photo and post it “as is” is a far cry from saying that photo represents what you really saw or what the boa really looks like as Nikon or Canon did not guarantee that was the case by simply pressing the shutter. Why would someone say because I didn't edit the photo its an accuarate representation of what the animal really looks like?

    I hope that all editors don't enhance color and saturation on photos so people don't feel the need to make defensive "no Photoshop plugs" which always gets my attention since I am a certified photoshop expert.

    I've told everyone from JB to Charles or anyone from RI that took an interest in photography on the phone that it’s my belief that Photoshopping a photo to have people drool over it in the forums when the animal doesn't really look the way it is represented fools no one but the owner. You are the only fool looking at the drab boa in your collection everyday.

    I'm fortunate that most of my boas came from people on here who can attest that my photos represent the animals they sold to me.

    But how about those who are selling the boas? In that instance an enhanced photo can make a sale.

    I've been in situations where I've bought a boa that looked drab in the photos as the sellers didn't have the proper camera or skills to show the true boas.

    I've also bought a boa or two that looked great in the sale photos but when I got them in the mail I wanted to return them.

    I can and will continue to correct photos and always raise an eyebrow when others feel the need to make the no Photoshop defense in posting a photo

    This is the meat and potatoes of what I do to correct my photos. When I shoot bad photos I do not tweak them, I just don’t post them but if I shoot an accurate photo this is the tweaking that I do:

    Photo shot by JB, edited by me. Does making the scales sharp and returning the details in the boa make this a misrepresentation of the animal after all it was "photoshopped"...

    Top photo is edited, bottom is out the camera, is this unethical misrepresentation? Is the editing not closer to reality than what the camera's sensor captured? Is the camera the truth of what JB really saw that day? Is it possible to really know?




    What’s your opinion on this topic? Charles told me the other day he just doesn't trust anyone at this point. My entire collection was bought on the reliance of a photo. So photos can play an equally important role in your decision to buy a boa. Reputation of the seller means squat to me as I've bought boas from reputable people who took nicer photos than what the boas looked like to me when I received it.

    Any experiences? What’s your comfort level and trust on internet purchases? Any ideas how to combat this situation which I’m sure has affected every single person here but yet was never discussed….thoughts...
    Alex Burgos

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  3. #2
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    Default

    I just tossed my thoughts into a different thread about this, but I'll add a few here to address some specific questions you raised.

    For me, photoshopping doesn't play TOO big of a role in my decision to purchase boas because I've been lucky enough to develop a pretty decent eye for what a boa should, and should not look like when it comes to BCC, and their contrast. I mention that because generally, contrast is what sells me on a boa. With morphs, it's a different story altogether.

    I think the easiest way to protect yourself, is to ask for multiple pictures of a given animal, taken from multiple angles. If a person is trying to photoshop their pictures to their advantage, you'll generally uncover it there.

    Another thing I've done is ask the seller (and I've offered to buyers) to take pics of an animal at its best, worst, and "average every day look" so that I have a clearer understanding of the potential of the animal over time.

    I think most people snap pics of their animals when they're looking their best because they want to show the animals "best side" and future potential. I think this has good points, and bad points - but I think the good outweighs the bad.

    Anyway. It's definitely an interesting (and probably a fairly hot) topic. I'll look forward to the discussion as it unfolds!

    jb

  4. #3
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    I assume your post (kutting edge) is directed at me since I am the only one who has made mention of photoshop today on this or any other forum I've visited. So let me just say that my post was not meant to offend unless you found yourself offended in which case tough sh1t.

    I've seen way too many pics photoshopped that did not look anything like the original animals and quite frankly I trust an un-edited photo over an edited one any day of the week. Point, shoot, and crop. That's as far as I'll go with it.



    The end.

    .
    Jason Gonzalez

  5. #4
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    Nice post, most people use photo shop to enhance the photo to look close to what truly represents the animals color and try to photo shop it to the way they see it on their monitor, problem is the photo will not look the same on everyone's monitors as all monitors are different, i have also notice at times that certain sites will change the way my pics look from the original when i post them.

  6. #5
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    Although it's pretty obvious to me since I work with photos often, I don't think it's always an intentional thing. If you've got some crappy monitor connected to your computer you may honestly not know how bad your photoshop job is. Or maybe you just bought a new camera , and you like the way the photos look with the color set as vivid or the contrast cranked all the way up?

    Fine, your camera, your photos, your snake .. but if you're gonna sell that animal you better be sure those photos do a good job of representing it. There's no film here, you can ask the seller for as many photos as they are willing to provide. I always ask for a photo of the boa in somebodies hand, because I use the color of the hand to judge the rest of the photo.

    Look @ my new anery



    Wow she's got a really nice tail and sooo colorful



    Gotta love that contrast



    It's pretty obvious in these examples... here's the actual photo no editing other then a crop.



    I always try to correct the photo before deciding to purchase an animal , sure they change often depending on environmental stresses , and lighting (white balance) can make a huge difference as well , but ..... if the trees are fluorescent green and the boa is hot pink ... something aint kosher.
    [I]Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.[/I]

    [B]Ralph Waldo Emerson[/B]

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonGonzalez View Post
    I've seen way too many pics photoshopped that did not look anything like the original animals and quite frankly I trust an un-edited photo over an edited one any day of the week.
    With some folks skills, yes. I would agree with that. With others, I wouldn't. I don't see PS as an all good, or all bad thing. I think it depends on two MAIN things with the user. How good are they with PS. And how honest are they? Both have to be positive for me to trust them.

    For example, if they know what they're doing with PS, and they're honest - to me, it's ok to trust them and their pics. If they suck with PS, honesty doesn't matter. If they're dishonest, their skills w/ PS mean nothing. Got to have both components

    Something else that should factor in, the intent. If the person is merely posting pics of their collection, how does it benefit them to play up what they have? But if they're trying to sell, it would benefit them to play up what they have.

    I've personally used PS to degrade the picture to more accurately represent an animal. I've taken pics of my boas that made them look more red than they were. I dialed it back so they were accurate. Does that mean I did something wrong? Like I said, PS can't be all bad - ya know?

    Jason, I used to have similar thoughts to yours about PS until I saw someone use it properly. That totally changed my perspective. It really can be used to get pictures closer to "real life" than point and shoot.

    HEHEHE, I'm SO tempted to quote spiderman right now... lol... not gonna do it.... not gonna... oh, screw it!

    Quote Originally Posted by SpiderMan
    With great power, comes great responsibility!
    Sorry lol

  8. #7
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    Jan 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by KuttingEdge View Post
    I saw a thread today that mentioned something thatís been on my mind for some time. It regards editing or "photoshopping" boa pics.

    As a graphic designer by trade let me just say that I use Photoshop to keep my photos sharp and exposure corrected and never hid that fact in the forums. In fact Iím the only one who openly posted that I edit photos and have shown step by step mini tutorials on how I do it.

    The truth is that as a photographer itís difficult to get a perfect photo every time to meet the standards of photography and I believe anyone who has the knowledge to fix photos to represent what they feel the animal really looks like, will indeed do so. Just because you shot a photo and post it ďas isĒ is a far cry from saying that photo represents what you really saw or what the boa really looks like as Nikon or Canon did not guarantee that was the case by simply pressing the shutter. Why would someone say because I didn't edit the photo its an accuarate representation of what the animal really looks like?

    I hope that all editors don't enhance color and saturation on photos so people don't feel the need to make defensive "no Photoshop plugs" which always gets my attention since I am a certified photoshop expert.

    I've told everyone from JB to Charles or anyone from RI that took an interest in photography on the phone that itís my belief that Photoshopping a photo to have people drool over it in the forums when the animal doesn't really look the way it is represented fools no one but the owner. You are the only fool looking at the drab boa in your collection everyday.

    I'm fortunate that most of my boas came from people on here who can attest that my photos represent the animals they sold to me.

    But how about those who are selling the boas? In that instance an enhanced photo can make a sale.

    I've been in situations where I've bought a boa that looked drab in the photos as the sellers didn't have the proper camera or skills to show the true boas.

    I've also bought a boa or two that looked great in the sale photos but when I got them in the mail I wanted to return them.

    I can and will continue to correct photos and always raise an eyebrow when others feel the need to make the no Photoshop defense in posting a photo

    This is the meat and potatoes of what I do to correct my photos. When I shoot bad photos I do not tweak them, I just donít post them but if I shoot an accurate photo this is the tweaking that I do:

    Photo shot by JB, edited by me. Does making the scales sharp and returning the details in the boa make this a misrepresentation of the animal after all it was "photoshopped"...

    Top photo is edited, bottom is out the camera, is this unethical misrepresentation? Is the editing not closer to reality than what the camera's sensor captured? Is the camera the truth of what JB really saw that day? Is it possible to really know?




    Whatís your opinion on this topic? Charles told me the other day he just doesn't trust anyone at this point. My entire collection was bought on the reliance of a photo. So photos can play an equally important role in your decision to buy a boa. Reputation of the seller means squat to me as I've bought boas from reputable people who took nicer photos than what the boas looked like to me when I received it.

    Any experiences? Whatís your comfort level and trust on internet purchases? Any ideas how to combat this situation which Iím sure has affected every single person here but yet was never discussedÖ.thoughts...
    Ditto, ditto, ditto and ditto.

    Most of the time doctoring of photos is pretty obvious. Pink paper towels. Pink newspaper and orange Aspen being tel tale signs of such. Correction is one thing, doctoring is a whole different thing. I subscribe to the philosophy that it's a whole lot better to get calls from customers after they receive animals that say look way better in person.

    What's really gratifying is when someone that has purchased animals from you and then posts their new pictures, and sure enough they post pictures of the same animals and they still have all the red they had in them before you shipped them. Now that's great fun!

    [B]Jeff Ronne Sr/The Boaphile/Director USARK
    [URL="http://www.usark.org"]http://www.usark.org[/URL]
    [URL="http://www.theboaphile.com"]http://www.theboaphile.com[/URL][/B]

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonGonzalez View Post
    So let me just say that my post was not meant to offend unless you found yourself offended in which case tough sh1t.
    Duly noted.

    My thoughts are because someone points and shoots a photo does not remotley represent what a boa looks like and to say so is more than likely false. Perhaps it will give a peson a sense of comfort to say I didn't correct the exposure because my camera was dead on and the photo is true to life, trust me...this is the real deal!

    If someone shoots a boa in the sun or with flash vs. without, there are so many instances where all of you have taken a photo of a boa and said to yourself the lighting in this room made this animal come out really red or more dull than what it really looks like. So how do we represent our animals in the internet world where most purchases take place based on that photo?

    I've done my best to educate many of you on what I do. I've made many efforts to share my knowledge on how to accurately depict your animals via camera settings and post editing techniques but in the end its up to you. Even before I studied photography and graphic design I had the experience of looking at photos of people and noting that some people were photogenic while others looked better in person, interesting....

    Its my belief that lighting, composition and the angle you shoot has the ability to make your boas more photogenic and vibrant even without owning photoshop software. My in camera settings allow me to shoot in vivid, more vivid and regluar etc. Has anyone seen what those differnet settings in your camera does to your boa? Do any of you even know how to alter those settings or where to find the menus? I had a Nikon D40 for a year and never looked in the sub menu for these settings when I started out. Some of you may be shooting in vivid mode or portrait and never knew it.....
    Alex Burgos

  10. #9
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    I think its worse when people over process to enhance a boa they are selling.
    Some people will actually saturate and increase the contrast to make albinos POP.
    That I have a problem with. It is better to under-represent your available animals so that when people actually get the snake they bought they are not disappointed but rather pleased.

    For me on a Mac and still using my old Photoshop 6 it's too much work to reboot in windows. I prefer to do all my settings in Camera for less processing later. That being said you can still achieve most of these effects in camera too.

    Your photos are great and your honesty compliments them , it's just when you see an albino with a blown out red aspen bedding that things get fishy.
    Mitch Kranz
    http://www.BetterBoa.com

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Boaphile View Post
    Correction is one thing, doctoring is a whole different thing.
    I agree 100%. I think the key concept is motivation. No camera and no skill in the world can take a picture of an animal 'exactly' as it is in real life. While no amount of correction will make it exactly like the way you saw it with your eyes, it will help reduce the difference.

    On the other hand, if your purpose is to turn a black boa into a red boa, then that's absolutely unacceptable.

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