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Doubilet's Nudi Beauty!


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#61 BottomTime

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 09:50 PM

P.S. I also read about those Bamfield Barnacles in the newsletter and wished I could do that too! :huh: :P :lol:


ME TOO!!!!

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#62 tdpriest

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 02:02 AM

In my mind this is not a double standard.


Sorry, but it is a double-standard: either the animals are not harmed, and it's OK, or they are, and it's not.

I have felt that DD had gone off the boil in recent years, and am glad to see such beautiful images. I applaud the honesty of describing the physical manipulation required. It is indeed rather less than the typical scientist's physical approach to invertebrate wildlife.

I was a scientist (but I'm all right now), and I handled far more wildlife before I picked up a camera.

My difficulty is in the example that is set: what species, in what environments, can be touched safely?

If you don't know, don't touch!

It's safest to touch nothing, of course...

... but I would accept a clear explanation of why moving the species in question, in that particular place, has done no harm. Without such an explanation there is the danger of uncritical emulation, and there are too many "obsessive amateurs" out there, let alone "obsessive professionals"!

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#63 loftus

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 05:10 AM

It does not seem that DD can win here, though I can't imagine he cares.
If he takes them as he did, he is criticized for manipulation, if he creates these with Photoshop he would be criticized for........manipulation.
And for those who say these could not be done in Photoshop, you need to read some of Vincent Versace's books.

Edited by loftus, 19 May 2008 - 05:18 AM.

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#64 hoovermd

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 05:22 AM

Well, I guess I'll have to stop calling it a "Double Standard" and start calling it a "Doubilet Standard".

Can't wait to see this style of image showing up in all the UW galleries in the future ;(

Agreed that these guys are pretty hardy, but still the example being set is wrong.
I have some of DD's work and it is indeed beautiful, but I also hold him (and NatGeo) to a higher standard.
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#65 Halabriel

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 05:32 AM

HI

Art is, and always should be, controversial.

DD has shown us again what can be achieved be stepping outside the accepted norms - for better or for worse.

Cheers

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#66 jeremypayne

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 05:38 AM

To those of you who think DD did something "wrong" ... to be consistent and fair ...

You should really stop diving ... or cut the poor chap some slack.

His project did far less damage and has the potential to do far more good than your selfish exploits.

Now ... mind you, I don't plan on stopping diving - but I'm not criticizing the guy ...
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#67 pakman

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 06:09 AM

hmm, I love it...

thank god Doubilet didn't show where his tripod was actually sitting in... :-P


or maybe his assistants held it perfectly still above the coral... :huh:

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#68 jeremypayne

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 06:38 AM

Another National Geographic Project

Not underwater ... but another interesting take on the studio set from NG ...
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#69 Giles

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 06:45 AM

Sorry, but it is a double-standard: either the animals are not harmed, and it's OK, or they are, and it's not.

My difficulty is in the example that is set: what species, in what environments, can be touched safely?

If you don't know, don't touch!

It's safest to touch nothing, of course...

... but I would accept a clear explanation of why moving the species in question, in that particular place, has done no harm. Without such an explanation there is the danger of uncritical emulation, and there are too many "obsessive amateurs" out there, let alone "obsessive professionals"!

Tim you make a great point, but why should DD have to be the one to explain this ? Why should that not be a part of the diving educational step ? Infact I think it is ... but either way there is a 3rd & 4th option from your opener, They are touched and not harmed but it's not OK (as we see here with many over reacting here on WP, or they were touched and harmed and it's ok (such as what scientists do to study creatures) ... As for the explanation I agree one would have been nice, but I don't see anyone else having the ability to do what he did (lots of time and a whole boat and crew to yourself), and if someone was to try I would hope their dive guides said something.

It does not seem that DD can win here, though I can't imagine he cares.
If he takes them as he did, he is criticized for manipulation, if he creates these with Photoshop he would be criticized for........manipulation.
And for those who say these could not be done in Photoshop, you need to read some of Vincent Versace's books.

I doubt DD does care but why should he .. and back on the Photoshop thing, I don't care to read I care to see ... so come one again .. if you have read the books then show us how you can do it ! I guarantee you will NEVER get the same effect or quality. Everytime someone on this site says you can do it in Photoshop no one ever stands up to the test to show us .. and doing it in photoshop is not photography, it's more art.


Well, I guess I'll have to stop calling it a "Double Standard" and start calling it a "Doubilet Standard".

The Doubilet standard has been around for YEARS, everyone is always striving to do what he does with a camera, he's damn proud I would imagine of the Doubilet Standard. The controversy comes from other people not from his actions.


Art is, and always should be, controversial.

Too True


To those of you who think DD did something "wrong" ... to be consistent and fair ...
You should really stop diving ... or cut the poor chap some slack.
His project did far less damage and has the potential to do far more good than your selfish exploits.
Now ... mind you, I don't plan on stopping diving - but I'm not criticizing the guy ...

Hooray .... well said I was hoping someone else would see what I was saying about the criticizing being more of a double standard than his actions.

thank god Doubilet didn't show where his tripod was actually sitting in... :-P or maybe his assistants held it perfectly still above the coral... :huh:

Or maybe he had it in the sand by the coral ?

Another National Geographic Project

Not underwater ... but another interesting take on the studio set from NG ...

Do you remember when .. hmm was it the BBC did that docu on birds migrating to africa .. and they had these great shots of birds flying in the desert.
For that they actually built clear plastic tunnels (not very big) and made the birds fly through them to get the awesome high speed camera footage. At the time of watching the footage i just thoguht wow, when i saw how they got it .. i was much less impressed.

Edited by Giles, 19 May 2008 - 06:42 AM.

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#70 Tazzie

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 06:54 AM

To those of you who think DD did something "wrong" ... to be consistent and fair ...

You should really stop diving ... or cut the poor chap some slack.

His project did far less damage and has the potential to do far more good than your selfish exploits.

Now ... mind you, I don't plan on stopping diving - but I'm not criticizing the guy ...



Erm could you explain your post to me please? How can my non touching policy be a selfish exploit that is doing harm? :huh:

#71 Nakedwithoutcamera

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 06:54 AM

The amount of effort that you go through to get a photograph, unfortunately, does not increase the merit of said photograph(s). To an average person, whether you climb a mountain by foot or take a helicopter ride to the top is of no importance when they see the photos. The average person is only interested in the end result – is the photograph good? So on that basis, you can say that whether you are in the water, or out of it, is of no consequence.

This is sooo true, and not only average people looking at a photo, but judges at photo competitions too. I was at a tri-club competition where this shot of the waterfall at El Capitan in Yosemite where the light falls on the water in a certain way for only 2 weeks out of the year in winter scored pretty low. It was an excellent photo and I think it won an honorable mention, or maybe didn't place at all, (I can't really remember) and people were complaining after the competition that the judges had no clue what went into getting that shot and they should have. I enter a lot of my uw shots and most of the time, the judges think that they were taken in an aquarium. Most of the time they score pretty low compared to photos of birds. Go figure.
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#72 jeremypayne

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 07:06 AM

Erm could you explain your post to me please? How can my non touching policy be a selfish exploit that is doing harm? :huh:

Do you really think you cause no damage when you dive? Don't be naive.

Have you ever grabbed live coral when you needed a hold?

Have you ever shot your strobe in the face of an unexpecting creature?

Have you ever exposed a hiding creature with your light on a night dive, upsetting the delicate balance of predator and prey?

Have you ever been in an overhead environs and filled the place with air bubbles?

Has your camera never bumped against the reef?

Have your fins never disturbed or touched a soft coral?

Please ... be realistic. At the margin, almost every diver on every dive disturbs the natural order of the reef.

I think that if you condemn DD for this project you should really consider giving up scuba - that is unless you don't mind being a hypocrite.
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#73 Tazzie

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 07:27 AM

Do you really think you cause no damage when you dive? Don't be naive.

Have you ever grabbed live coral when you needed a hold?

Have you ever shot your strobe in the face of an unexpecting creature?

Have you ever exposed a hiding creature with your light on a night dive, upsetting the delicate balance of predator and prey?

Have you ever been in an overhead environs and filled the place with air bubbles?

Has your camera never bumped against the reef?

Have your fins never disturbed or touched a soft coral?

Please ... be realistic. At the margin, almost every diver on every dive disturbs the natural order of the reef.

I think that if you condemn DD for this project you should really consider giving up scuba - that is unless you don't mind being a hypocrite.


I don't think there is a need to be aggressive, I only asked what you meant.

I am being very realistic and the very few things listed above that I have done (touched the reef with my camera, touched soft coral with my fins), have always been by accident (apart from photographing fish and the strobe firing) and as a result of said accident I have taken more care in the future to minimise any disturbance I have on the reef.

That's not being naive, it's my way of trying to not be intrusive into the environment as I recognise how lucky I am to be able to enjoy the amazing world down there.

However, I personally think those accidents are a little different to picking things up and moving them for your own gain. But I acknowledge that is my own boundry that I've set myself and don't expect everyone to be the same. And I don't expect to be called a hypocrite or naive for trying my best

#74 Giles

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 07:40 AM

There was no agression there .. he was doing what you asked .. explaining.
And then pointing out
If you choose not to criticise because you are a sensible person then obviously there is nothing hypocritical or naive about you.

However it is Naive to say one scuba diver has no affect on the UW environment and others do.

And as for accidents, all can be avoided, you don't need to dive so close to the corals .. so why should you be brushing them.

That isn't a personal attack. I am trying to point out that people are attacking Doubilet here for purposefully and knowledgeably moving animals temporarily for a photo. Accidental damage is almost worse as you are unaware of what you are doing.
So therefore if you criticise Doubilet ... that is the double standard and the naive hypocritical aspect of the whole discussion.

Of course there is always the choice to accept and understand and not criticise. Realising of course that we all make our foot prints and we all have a choice to not do so.

Edited by Giles, 19 May 2008 - 07:41 AM.

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#75 underwatercolours

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 07:42 AM

and back on the Photoshop thing, I don't care to read I care to see ... so come one again .. if you have read the books then show us how you can do it ! I guarantee you will NEVER get the same effect or quality. Everytime someone on this site says you can do it in Photoshop no one ever stands up to the test to show us .. and doing it in photoshop is not photography, it's more art.

Since when is photography not art?

I'll take that challenge! Since I'm much more into wide angle I'll need a good nudibranch shot from someone. I'll need RAW format, full res. I expect it will take me about 30 minutes to do it right. However, to make a piece of "art" one would need to practice quite a bit with many sample images, not just one or two. I would also shoot the nudibranch taking into consideration the end product. Quite honestly, I have better things to do, but I love a challenge. Also, before posting, I'll add the disclaimer that my example will be only to show how easily the effect can be created, NOT to complete in any way with the DD shots.

Doing a silhouettes and drop shadows in Photoshop is done all the time in print. Its neither difficult nor creative. I did about a hundred of them when I created the XS Scuba catalogue several years ago. I guess I just never considered it to be all that creative. When I look at the DD shots - don't get me wrong they are all pretty - but I much prefer the ones with the natural backgrounds over the white backgrounds. I've seen that effect too many times before in all the mail order catalogues that fill up my mailbox every day.

#76 loftus

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 07:53 AM

I doubt DD does care but why should he .. and back on the Photoshop thing, I don't care to read I care to see ... so come one again .. if you have read the books then show us how you can do it ! I guarantee you will NEVER get the same effect or quality. Everytime someone on this site says you can do it in Photoshop no one ever stands up to the test to show us .. and doing it in photoshop is not photography, it's more art.


Giles, get me some nice sharp and well lit nudi shots and I will try. (I have none)
I guess underwatercolors has also accepted the challenge.
Remember it's all just pixels with certain Hue, Saturation and Luminance levels, so any one pixel can be adjusted to any other. So with time and intent it is possible to change any one image into any other in PS. I do not consider myself more than an intermediate Photoshop user, but I guarantee you Nat Geo has a whole bunch of folks who are experts. Just because I cannot do it, does not mean it cannot be done. The argument that something cannot be done because some people can't do it is a pretty lame one. I'm not sure why you're so adamant about it, no one is taking away from the fact that DD created some beautiful images, no matter how they were done. I suspect he would agree it can be done in PS, even if he himself cannot or chooses not to use PS.
Get me some good nudi pics, and I'd love to give it a shot.

Edited by loftus, 19 May 2008 - 08:06 AM.

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#77 jeremypayne

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 08:27 AM

I don't think there is a need to be aggressive, I only asked what you meant. And I don't expect to be called a hypocrite or naive for trying my best


I don't think I was being aggressive ... I was just trying to point out a disconnect between peoples' words and their actions ... and then pushing them to the logical end of their arguments. You asked me to explain ... so I did.

What DD did caused VERY minimal harm (if any) and has the potential to do lots of good.

What we all do in aggregate when we dive does TONS of harm and does very little for the greater good - hence it is "selfish". I admit to being selfish ... I like to dive and I know it does some harm.

Maybe I could have used a softer word, but this is the definition of hypocrite:

"hyp·o·crite: a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings"
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#78 Marjo

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 08:29 AM

I'm still really happy that National Geographic featured these wonderful images!

I was telling my mom a while back that I was going to go to PNG this summer to photograph amongst other things "slugs that live in the ocean" and all she could do was shake her head and tell me that photos of "slugs" was not something she had hoped to proudly show off as her daughters work. Well, at least she was giggling about it...

Well, yesterday I sent her a link to the Nat Geo images and explained that these are examples of the slugs that I am hoping to see and photograph. She called me back and now she had a bunch of questions instead. As English isn't one of the many languages that she speaks, she had not read the article, but she was intrigued by the colorful images (she was a photographer by profession, but never a diver) and I got to tell her all about Nudis.

There is a world full of people like my mom out there. People who don't have a lot of information about the oceans and therefore not proritizing caring for the oceans. However they can be reached through media such as NG and their interest in the oceans can be sparked.

Images can be powerful. I do belive that the ends sometimes justify the means.

#79 cor

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 08:30 AM

Loftus, I really wouldnt bother. I fear I may have instigated this, and that was never my intention. I do not think DD should have done it in photoshop. I never said that. I would have welcomed it, but not for manipulation type reasons. Solely because I think a similar hypocrisy exists surrounding photoshop that Giles is attributing to arguments in this discussion. I think people should use photoshop whenever they want, as long as they're not trying to misrepresent anything. Having a wellknown photographer use PS would surely help. It was sortof off topic, and I think we may as well leave it at that. It is not what this is about.

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#80 underwatercolours

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 09:23 AM

OK, here goes...

This was my first attempt at an image I pulled out of my limited collection of macro shots. It took me longer to find an almost appropriate image than it did to do the silhouette. I deliberately did not choose a nudibranch and wanted something a bit more intricate in detail. If I meant this to be an "art" I might study and refine the technique many times before I would ever consider publishing it. I would also shoot the animal so to not cut off any of the limbs or tentacles, etc. I think I would also soften the sharp edges on the back of the animal a bit too.

Silhouette using Photoshop layers and the eraser tool - 32 minutes
Drop shadow variations & clean up - 9 minutes

I did this on a G5 Mac with a 6x8 Wacom tablet.

These examples are here only to demonstrate a simple silhouette effect done in Adobe Photoshop. This effect could be done with versions 7 on up to CS3. They are not in any way here to challenge the authenticity of, criticize, copy the style used in, or compete with the Doubilet images!

This is the original image
Posted Image

My first drop shadow
Posted Image

Modified the drop shadow a bit
Posted Image

If you would like to learn how to do this effect, take a basic Photoshop class. I might recommend "Digital Workflow & Image Manipulation for Underwater Photography" an online class available at http://www.theunderw...hotographer.com. Sorry for the commercial comment, but it just seems appropriate here. There are many others available online at at your local community colleges.

I still like the original background better. This image looks like something I might use in a brochure or on a website.