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Doubilet's Nudi Beauty!

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#161 jeremypayne


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Posted 26 May 2008 - 07:38 PM

The June issue of National Geographic has some absolutely gorgeous pictures of Nudibranchs by David Doubilet. I bought three prints and they'll soon be adorning my office wall as a nice triptych.

David Doubilet's Nudibranch Gallery in the June '08 Issue of National Geographic

While some may be upset that he moved some invertebrate slugs to get these shots, I stand firmly behind him and praise these beautiful images and the man for bringing us both art and spreading the good word about the wonders of the underwater realm.
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#162 Viz'art


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Posted 27 May 2008 - 10:13 AM

Wow, I see we are dealing with some serious Ayatollah stuff here, pretty rigid and radical opinions on both side.

I only wish shark fining, gill netting, tuna fishing and whaling would get the same kind of response.

Me I like the shots, they are gorgeous, the angle of view is awesome in most case, a pleasant departure from the usual aerial point of view associated with these wonderful animals. As for the background well, anyone that think they can get the results using Photoshop as no real understanding of the quality of light, its one thing to cut away a background, its quite another to illuminate your subject, there is more to a white background than a cutting tool, years in the studio have at least taught that.

I would appear that Mr. Doubilet was well surrounded by an experienced local staff with a good knowledge of their surrounding local fauna; I for one think the impact was negligible if there was one at all to begin with. The difference in my opinion is that as adults we should be concerned if yes or no we can do such a thing and if we think we have the rational and mean to do it, then seek the approval of, and surround ourselves with the properly trained and knowledgeable peoples. In the end one has to draw the boundary line where our behavior might disrupts the animal to the point of endangering its life or way of life permanently such as the impact of a flashlight on a night dive would have a definitely more lethal impact on some of it resident when they are caught naked in the beam of the light, although we can’t really blame the tarpons for wanting to survive and being opportunist.

As for me I’m still a no touch guy, simply because I know who I am and what I can do, my best friend spend her summer teaching her staffer to shoot right whales with a cross bow, because she need to for the genetic research and survival of this endangered species and also, because they are aware that the impact is negligible to the animal, finding who we are, it seem simple but apparently it is difficult for a lot of people to find that out.

Hats off to David Doubilet for the excellent and PROFESSIONAL work.

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#163 dsbierman



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Posted 27 May 2008 - 06:55 PM

IF NG approached me, or any person here on WP to conduct the VERY SAME SHOOT, would you do it? Even in the face of all this interesting discussion, it boils down to whether you, as an individual, would accept the assignment if it were offered to you AS IS by National Geographic (comes with the prestige, exposure, money,...

I see your point, Joe. It would be difficult to pass on this opportunity. But here's the thing. If there were anyone in the world who could afford to pass on such an assignment, it would be David Doubilet. After all, he already has the prestige, exposure, and money.

Edited by dsbierman, 27 May 2008 - 06:57 PM.

#164 divegypsy


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Posted 29 May 2008 - 06:18 AM

Guys, Guys (and gals),

You are getting carried away arguing about small degrees of what many National Geographic Photographers have been doing for years and years - namely manipulating animals or their local environment to produce visually stronger pictures. Often to the detriment of that particular animal's well being or causing local "disturbance" to the natural environment.

Years ago in Frans Lantings series on lemurs in Madagascar there was a rarer (and I believe quite nocturnal) species that was captured and caged for days so Frans could get his shots of it.

In his Tasmania story DD has shots a a large crab that lives deeper than divers normally go. It was bought from one of the fisherman who set crab traps to catch them for the food market. Another fish, the Indianfish I believe it was called, was bought from a fish supply outfit. Look at the cover shot of a sawfish. This is a fish that normally lies flat on the bottom or swims close to the bottom. How did that strong HMI light get behind the sawfish and why do we not see the lower body of the sawfish? Could someone be holding it for the picture? In Coral Edens DD has a shot of a Pegasusfish (aka little dragon fish). This quite small fish is a strict bottom dweller. I've seen them repeatedly in Bali and Lembeh. Yet DD's shot is from below the fish and has water color as a background. Do you think that little fish made a sudden dash for the surface right in front of DD? Why do you not see its tail?

As far as special "rights" or privilige goes. When Geographic is paying DD hundreds ($500-$750 or more) per day and more for each assitant and guide. And chartering whole boats (ask Brian Skerry how many days NG chartered Shearwater for his sharks of the Bahamas story) and crews, do you think any one of them will complain? NO, its simply take the money and say "Thank you, sir!"


#165 stewsmith


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Posted 29 May 2008 - 07:45 AM

When Geographic is paying DD hundreds ($500-$750 or more) per day

Or more i would think ! i cant see one of the top uw photographers working for $500-$750 per day some how. If this is what they do earn i will keep my day job. :D

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#166 gbrandon



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Posted 11 February 2010 - 11:36 AM

In film days a photographer submitted to the mag by sending in exposed film only. All developing/processing was done by nat geo staff. I suspect in today's game the photographer submits virgin RAW files only and all post-processing is done by NG staff as well. It is very likely that every single image we see in Nat Geo is manipulated, in the truest sense of the term.

I tend to agree with the assumptions that there was probably no harm done to the nudi's, but I am curious why a magazine like Nat Geo and a photographer like Doubilet wouldn't simply not disclose the animal handling and allow the public to assume the backgrounds were done in post. If the animal handling was a bad choice the disclosure would seem to be a worse one, if only because it may give rationale to divers and photographers who until now may have been reticent to engage in this level of animal manipulation.

Still, in my experience diving around people who make a living at this game (and not speaking about David specifically here).....animal manipulation as well as reef ravaging isn't exactly an uncommon occurance. It doesn't usually happen on one of their guided tours or instructional trips, but there has always been more than a few sanctimonious foxes in the hen-house in this regard :drink:

I was just at a workshop where one of the speakers is a photag for nat geo. He stated that since NG got serious heat about the Pyramid pictures last year (or was it 2 years ago) that they have cracked down on ANY image manipulation at all inside NG. Which is how it shoud be. What you see is what was shot. (minus some contrast or brightness adjustments, im sure)

Someone once said the difference between a picture and a image is that images are artistic creations, while pictures are just that, a picture that has been shot. The news is pictures. Nothing modified. And yes, he has to submit his .cr2 files (raw) to NG and then they decide what to publish and if (any) modification will be done to it. This is the standard in all Photo Journalism.