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First, let me say I love all of amano's aquascapes.

However, did you know that the photo's of amano's aquascapes are retouched to enhance the colours and get rid of unwanted equipment.

As you can see in the before and after pics, their's a difference. It's still a beautiful aquascape, but after it's been retouched, it has a bit more magic to it. THe colours are more alive and that black box on the top right is gone.

Since these photo's are meant for the aquajournal magazine, i find it reasonable that they should be retouched, afterall photos of models are retouched all the time. Just that as beautiful as amano's aquascapes are, they won't look exactly like the photos in real life.

Before i found out they were retouched, i was getting depressed cause i thought my aquascape could never reach that level of perfection.
 

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You'd have to check the rules, some stuff is acceptable. Like James AGA winner that was being looked at in another thread, adjusting the color is legal.

Whats a good place to learn about techniques to make your photo look good. Like with the photos you posted, what kind of things were done to reach that finish? I guess the sharpness was changed?
 

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This from from the AGA contest guidelines:

You may alter an entry image only for color correction, brightness, contrast and/or sharpness. While the organizers realize that in an event of this type it is entirely possible for an unethical person to manufacture a digital image of a non-existent tank, it is our hope that entrants will honor the spirit of sharing and friendly competition upon which this event is based. We are counting on the honesty and integrity of our participants to submit only images that are truly representative of their work as aquascape artists!
 

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Sharpness and contrast aren't something that doesn't happen anyways with just photo technique and developing....down to the film level here ;)

Also, color adjusting is nothing that our various colors in bulbs don't do anyways. Not fairr to have a 9325 person correct to a 6700 persons tank or visa versa. Those bulbs were chosen for what they add to the scape...not just growthn. As integral as the background used in the tank.
 

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Both of the touched up versions are overall better than the original, but there is still at least one aspect of the original photo that is damaged by retouching. In the original there is a strong difference in the brightness of the Eleocharis at the back of the tank and the same plant growing a little farther forward. That contrast lends to the depth of the photo. In the retouched pictures that contrast is more muted and the sense of depth is not as strong.

I think the retouching explains how Amano manages to get a deep green color from plants that in my tanks never look quite that dark. Possibly it is the retouching that creates the deep, lush appearance that we are accustomed to seeing in Amano's photos.


Roger Miller
 

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IUnknown said:
Jay's article in the photo forum is really cool,
http://www.greenstouch.com/various/aquarium_photography.pdf
I guess what we have been talking about is contrast masking (making the contrast different in the foreground compared to the background).
IUnknown,

Thanks for recognizing this article as great source of information but we should give credit to author - Mike Cameroon from DFW club.
 
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