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Doubilet's Nudi Beauty!


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#101 Marjo

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 05:37 AM

For years some photographers have shot nudibranchs against white or balck backgrounds in order to better show the details of the critter, with no background distractions.


Very true. And most of those speciments were killed. The "traditional" collection methods of Nudibranch for ID purposes are such that hardly any of us would at least publicly approve of them. Luckily the National Geographic Images that we are referring to were not make by such collection methods.

Edited by Marjo, 21 May 2008 - 05:38 AM.


#102 jeremypayne

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 05:47 AM

The "traditional" collection methods of Nudibranch for ID purposes are such that hardly any of us would at least publicly approve of them.

True science requires collection, disection, etc.

I approve.

(thought I wasn't gonna post again on this thread, but couldn't help it ... forgive me)
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#103 Marjo

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 05:55 AM

True science requires collection, disection, etc.I approve.


Yes, I agree. I meant that using clover oil etc would not be acceptable for collection for the sake of making images(ID images or otherwise).

I think that if you can get stunning, detailed images where the Nudies are neither removed from the ocean, nor killed or harmed, and they get to go back to their nudie-lives no worse for the wear, that is so infinitley much better (and I think the Nudies agree..) :huh:

Edited by Marjo, 21 May 2008 - 05:56 AM.


#104 jeremypayne

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 06:07 AM

Agreed. (although I don't think they "think" much)
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#105 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 09:38 AM

(although I don't think they "think" much)



And when they do, it is only about penis-fencing :huh:
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#106 synthetic

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 12:22 PM

This is the silliest argument ever to happen on the internet. I haven't touched a critter for a photo in years, but come on. Moving a slug a few feet to take a unique photo? What is more disruptive to the ocean environment, that or feeding sharks? But if you want a photo of a shark, you're probably going to need to put fish blood in the water at some point.

The hurricane was a good analogy. Nature has a way of bouncing back from bigger threats than being fingered. He's not inflating pufferfish, dragging across coral, or doing something else that causes permanent damage. I don't see a problem with what the photographer did.

Hell, I dropped a Sea Hare on a dive buddy once. And it stuck to her arm and she didn't notice right away. What does that make me?
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#107 bvanant

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 01:14 PM

[quote name='BoatMoney' date='May 19 2008, 04:49 PM' post='170347']
I guess we all make the assumption that enhances our position, but I have to ask anyway: how do you know that?

Nudibranchs have been studied extensively in the laboratory for many years and a lot of what we know about learning has been studied in them. In the lab at least, handling, even extensive handling doesn't appear to have any kind of detrimental effects on lifespan or behavior, but then again, how could they complain.

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#108 ugisutp

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 11:52 PM

david liittschwager, world press photo awards, 1st prize, nature:
link click on 2008 interviews, the last one...

there is a 4 min video together with magnified ocean life images off hawaii
all images are on white background, I thought people interested in this topic should see this page..

regards

Sacit

Edited by ugisutp, 21 May 2008 - 11:54 PM.


#109 stewsmith

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 12:10 AM

how cool. they seem to be the same kind of things that ruin my night dive videos.

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#110 Marjo

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 05:44 AM

...ocean life images off hawaii all images are on white background, I thought people interested in this topic should see this page..


Yeah these are cool... I don't think there really is any way other so shoot than "white background" when you are shooting microscopic organisms. I don't think this was shot underwater tho... (correct me if I am wrong).

Edited by Marjo, 22 May 2008 - 05:47 AM.


#111 Kelpfish

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 08:59 AM

hi folks,

I agree with Eric Hanauer that DD is the king and continues to find new ways to represent his work. BUT, I shoot studio stuff all the time and use a light table regularily to get that same kind of effect on various subjects. So here is my spin on why I think he made a big mistake. When you shoot with a light table, especially with one strobe lighting the back side of the table, you will get shadows. Even when I use multiple strobes on my light table I get shadows. Rather than keep moving my strobes it is almost always easier to move my subject to get the shadows to where I want them. And that is with static subjects. Now let's look at his subjects...constantly moving subjects!. It makes absolutely no sense to keep trying to move your backlight strobes (the one behind the light table) when the subjects move...the opposite is better...move the subject where you need it. So the issue isn't just that his support staff moved the nudis to the light table, it is the constant fingering, prodding and poking needed to get them properly composed in the frame that is the real issue. I mean you would be stressing the shit out of the nudis and I cannot believe that he is "waiting for them" to move naturally into a perfect composition.

So to me the shot is awesome, different and show the animals in a different light. But to do it there HAD TO BE FAR MORE MANIPULATION to get that shot than just moving them onto the light table.

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#112 loftus

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 09:17 AM

OK, just to stir the pot a little more. I've been looking at these pics again, and looking carefully, something did not seem quite right.
Look at the green/ black / orage nudi Nembrotha kubaryana and the Bornella anguilla.
There is something about those edges fading / loss of clarity that does not look just like normal out of focus to me, some Photoshop maybe?
And looking at some of the edges on some of the others, I'm not convinced some 'retouching' has not been performed.

Edited by loftus, 22 May 2008 - 10:45 AM.

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#113 Kelpfish

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 09:28 AM

Loftus,

Could be, but I can confirm that light table photography tends to wash out the edges of colors other than black (and sometimes even with black). I have had many rejected images from stock sites for that same reason, so all I do is pull up the raw file and double expose the image to correct the image. But to your point it is very common to use the dodge tool set on highlights to "wipe white" around the edge of a subject and depending on your feathering and intensity you can affect the subject's edges, especially if the edges picked up some white reflection from the table (which is very common). Introducing any white into a colored edge amplieis the look of post processing when actual dodging is performed.

Conclusion? Could be one, or the other or both. Ask Bonnie she is a PS expert. This is just based on my experience with light table photography shooting food.

Great observation.

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#114 wolfeeldiver

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 10:11 AM

Although I seriously doubt that the populations of the various species that Mr. Doubilet "touched" was impacted from his handling of them.. I'm sure that only he can "get away" with this...
For example: when my wife and I take our simple once or twice a year "tourist" dive trip to say Cayman Brac or such could you image the look on the faces of the divemasters, and the amount of lecturing that I would receive if I did the same thing there?
Theres NO WAY I'd be able to get away with that on a dive trip.... picking up the critters to take their photos...
Perhaps where Mr. Dubilet photographed these nudibranchs it is not illegal to touch the marine life, in but in some places it is.
What really "gets me" is that sometimes, there are double standards applied. "the industry" preaches to respect and not disturb the marine life..... but.. that is thrown out if you are a "professional".. lol. Such double standards not only apply to this topic, but to diving "solo"diving deep diving, and such.
But hey, if I were a "professional" underwater photographer.. then I might get away with it...
But I do commend DD for his fresh... new look.

Edited by wolfeeldiver, 22 May 2008 - 10:23 AM.


#115 underwatercolours

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 01:23 PM

Conclusion? Could be one, or the other or both. Ask Bonnie she is a PS expert. This is just based on my experience with light table photography shooting food.


I wasn't going to go there, but I thought that looked a bit strange too, because of the white, fuzzy edges next to the shadow under the nudi on the left. I guess it depends on how he shot them in the first place and what was required to process the image. Had I seen this shot as somebody else's entry in a photo contest "creative category" I would have chalked it up to Photoshop technique. However, since DD didn't offer any details on how the images were processed after the photo shoot any comments would be pure speculation.

#116 Giles

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 02:14 PM

And so we go from religious to scientific to intelligent design.
DD can now get grief from those who don't think he should touch anything and those who say he shouldn't use photoshop.


When this thread started I honestly thought that people would be all in awe of these images. It never even crossed my mind that there would be criticism.

Edited by Giles, 22 May 2008 - 04:02 PM.

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#117 Kelpfish

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 02:24 PM

I haven't read anything in this topic that says he shouldn't use Photoshop, only that the images have hints that could indicate as such. I will also add that the reason some might be surprised is that DD has claimed in past writings that he doesn't manipulate images with Photoshop.

And what I read into the other posts about touching is clear: He is given privelages to touch and lay divers aren't. What I am saying is that he had to do a lot of manipulation on that light table, so his touching had to be close to exorbitant. So if I hear you right Giles, we should quit complaining because he has 'rights' we don't. Wrong!
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#118 bvanant

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 02:34 PM

I haven't read anything in this topic that says he shouldn't use Photoshop, only that the images have hints that could indicate as such. I will also add that the reason some might be surprised is that DD has claimed in past writings that he doesn't manipulate images with Photoshop.

And what I read into the other posts about touching is clear: He is given privelages to touch and lay divers aren't. What I am saying is that he had to do a lot of manipulation on that light table, so his touching had to be close to exorbitant. So if I hear you right Giles, we should quit complaining because he has 'rights' we don't. Wrong!


If he says he doesn't use photoshop he probably doesn't, I would guess that Nat Geo would be able (or not) to vouch for that aspect. As for manipulation of the subjects, unless you were there and watched you are assuming that he had to since your light table work suggests that you couldn't get those kinds of images without lots of manipulation. Again, maybe, maybe not but it's not clear that his touching "had" to be close to exorbitant and with a nudibranch it's hard to know what exorbitant means.

We were at the LAUPS meeting last night and according to the LAUPS charter, his pictures could indeed be entered into competition if he didn't harm the animals.

It isn't clear that anyone has more "rights" than anyone else when it comes to taking pictures underwater; in places where there are laws we need to follow them; in places where there are no laws we each do whatever we think is right given the circumstances. We just got finished with a California Reef Check survey and we sure had to touch lots of stuff to get the data, a behavior that I don't practice in normal photo endeavors.

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#119 Kelpfish

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 02:47 PM

On your first comment, I agree. His images show light bouncing from the bottom onto the nudis, so the edges are in my opinion natural. And if he wanted to, he could have used PS very easily to make a pure white background altogether. So if he is using PS why not do it all the way? Looks too dirty to me to be run through PS.

On your second comment, it has to be made in context. I spent years doing marine surveys and kelp transplants and gill netting and all those good things that are beyond the realm of recreational diving, so that isn't a fair comparison. And to your p[oint, I guess it depends on wehere DD was diving..privately in remote areas where there isn't dive guides to police the reef or in concert with a resort of some kind. Either way, If I call myself a scientist and go set up a light table at Catalina and begin nabbing nudis for the same shots, even if I have a scientific collector's permit, would I get bashed? Hell yes. Even if a no-name like me goes to a romote site and I do the SAME THING DD did, and I was found out, then the double standard kicks in. And I am doing it for the picture, noteriety and nothing else just like him. To me it isn't about the manipulation per se, it more about a double standard.....he can break the law and I go to jail for the same crime.
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#120 dbh

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 02:56 PM

I remember am amateur u/w photographer (I think it was here) getting a winning image (I believe it was 2 or 3 boxer crabs on a sponge) thrown out of a competition (maybe BTS?) and was raked over the coals for it. What is different about DD's images? I doubt that the boxer crabs were harmed any more than these nudies...possibly less. There is no doubt double standards.

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