is photoshopping coral pictures false advertising? has Coral farming become an industry without any control?

JumboShrimp

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18091B3B-6F80-4712-8918-81F3E97C74DD.jpeg

Some of these ‘creatively shown’ corals remind me of the time I put this rubber cheese cake slice out for my secretary. Lol :)
 
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jwshiver

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I think that sellers who Photoshop or in any way misrepresent their product should be called out in a publicly accessible way. Just as those sellers (I like to think the vast majority) who do an excellent job should be praised in the same way. Maybe a system like 'seller feedback' many marketplaces use. That way the free market will self regulate. But I guess I just bristle at that word 'regulate.'
I cringe as well when I hear "Regulate". We have enough regulations and there can be unintended consequences from them. I got burned more than once by a well known dealer when I first started 5 years ago. He has a YouTube channel so being new to the hobby I just trusted him. One frag had a very fancy name and price tag that turned out to be HIGHLY photoshopped and a common less expensive varity. I felt cheated. Being new to the hobby I was too nieve to know any better. After noticing my frags colors looked nothing like the WYSIWYG photos on the website I never bought from him again. I viewed it as part of the learning curve. New hobbyist have enough challenges to deal with. Being taken advantage of shouldn't be one of them.
 

BanjoBandito

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The cereal boxes don't use milk in the picture on the box because the cereal will get soggy and sink. They use white glue.

I like how tidal gardens shows their coral with 10k and actinic lighting.
I love those guys! Super A++, shipping is great too. Love gettin' my "pee cups" in the mail. lol.
 

vtecintegra

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I just got my first order from Tidal Gardens and have a lot of respect for them. During the live show the 10K to 20K lighting shows integrity. However, their online photos have gone the way of WWC, TSA, and many others. Blacked out backgrounds, and other tweaks that look nothing like a coral in the wild or in my tank. In many cases I consider it fraud. They will never be held accountable here as long as they keep paying big bucks to advertise and run their sales. Like someone said, it's too out of control to expect a change.
 

MabuyaQ

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What is the difference between using photoshop or changing the actual light settings to a spectrum that make that specific coral look at its best, where in reality you may never be able to achieve this spectrum or only experience this for a couple of minutes during your photoperiod.

As a MH user I don't buy LED corals just of a (single) picture, they are always a 'lie' (some big some small). Even when coral shopping live I bring a strong 3K to 6K flashlight with me to evaluate actual colors.
 
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jacksin

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I realize this has been beaten to death. But the sizes of most frags offered online is a joke. Cherry corals recent live sale had some very colorful nice looking sps frags. Using the egg crate as a guide, most appeared in the 1/2 inch range and of course were $50 and up. $ 50 for a nice meaty frag would be fair.
TSA is smarter than that and don’t use egg crate is their photos so u dont realize u just spent $75 on a 1/2 nub until u open the box.
some of us don’t have the luxury of a lfs or local hobbyists and need to use online vendors. Getting very difficult to find nice sized fair priced frags.
 

Cell

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I realize this has been beaten to death. But the sizes of most frags offered online is a joke. Cherry corals recent live sale had some very colorful nice looking sps frags. Using the egg crate as a guide, most appeared in the 1/2 inch range and of course were $50 and up. $ 50 for a nice meaty frag would be fair.
TSA is smarter than that and don’t use egg crate is their photos so u dont realize u just spent $75 on a 1/2 nub until u open the box.
some of us don’t have the luxury of a lfs or local hobbyists and need to use online vendors. Getting very difficult to find nice sized fair priced frags.
There are lots of good deals from hobbyists here on the R2R selling forum.
 

jda

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There are plenty of folks who do their best to make corals look legit. It can be hard at times. Just regulate with your wallet. I do feel that these greasy photo most affect the noobies which can make them leave the hobby earlier. I don't buy from people with blue-only or photoshopped pics - at least that I know of.

Battlecorals takes reasonable photos for a vendor. Therman is a great hobbyist who has realistic photos.

Anybody remember Glamour Shots from our younger days? Remember when a friend wanted to set you up with somebody and only had a glamour shot and you cringed... just the regular old high school photo wallet was what you asked for.
 
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DrGiga

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Thank you all for sharing your experiences and opinions. False advertisement in the coral size seem to be a common practice among some of the major coral distributors. they intentionally get images from an angle that does not show the real coral size with the excuse of corals seem more interesting in top-down images. Unfortunately, I fell into this trap recently when I bought a vivid confetti which looked beautiful and imaged top down. I assumed that the seller is well-known in this business and surely will have their corals cut as a common size( about an inch).
honestly speaking, coral body was slightly less than 1/4 inch and glue was about 1/4 inch. image was taken in such way that shows glue as an encrusting part of the coral.
However, I had a very good experience with a hobbyist in this form that had very high quality corals. corals were image in an angle that you see the height and size and there were egg crates that could be used as a reference. Some other coral distributors mention the minimum coral size for their fresh cut and WYSIWYG. We need to support the decent suppliers by sharing our experience.
It seems that many of you agree that some sort of seller feedback will be useful in this form, however, I have not seen any response from R2R moderators so far. I am sure this idea has brought to their attention before and there has been a reason which this was not implemented. I would appreciate if we can get response from them.
meanwhile, please continue sharing your experiences. It will help those of us that are new to this hobby learn from your experiences.
Thanks
 

Cell

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Ever buy a house? Wide angle lenses are magic for realtors.

There is already a Vendor Feedback forum on R2R. Look under "Forums". I'm not sure what kind of commentary you'd like or expect from the mods. If you need your thoughts validated, they have been. If you want to take action, that is done with your wallet.
 
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jda

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People are completely unhelpful by not sharing negative experiences or false advertising. I am not a fan of unfair "worst ever" type of feedback, but if it is intelligent and balanced (for real honest and fair), then it is helpful.

Some of the same people who complain about vendors and their tactics will not post what they got from them to help the next guy. ...just on this thread there are examples of this. This board let a member sell fakes for years before enough banded together to call him out and he left... if one or two spoke up earlier (I did in the forum, but not in his posts since it is against the rules), then they could have spared many others. I also do not like that you cannot have a discussion on this in the for-sale forum... where it needs to happen. Legit stuff is legit. IMO, it is OK to ask questions when somebody selling a CSB does not have a marbled foot or yellow tips.

For example, I will tell you that I have purchased things from Cornbred who purposefully tries to make his corals look bigger than they are and does doctor colors a bit. However, they were legit lineage, the prices were fine for the size and I could research the pieces to see the true colors, so I was happy. I tell people not to buy from him if size is an issue or the piece is an unknown where you have to trust his colors.
 
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Bouncingsoul39

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Reef2Reef can set a minimal standard here. they can require any vendors to put a small disclaimer in pics of corals stating “this image has been enhanced” or something like that. My biggest pet peeve atm is vendors calling gray or brown, or white tips corals “blue such and such” just because it appears blue under heavy blue LED.

I just bought a Goni frag from a local hobbyist and she sold it as blue steam goni. I don’t blame her, it’s probably how it was sold to her as. but this thing isn’t blue at all. it’s a very light green/cream color goni with yellow centers. That drives me nuts. it’s a common color morph. We used to sell baseball sized colonies of this same color for $60 back in the day and i paid $45 for a 1” frag. I understand all corals prices have gone up but the color thing just bugs me.
 

Bouncingsoul39

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In regards to coral, "photoshopping" means manipulating the color in a manner you could never actually replicate with that coral at home.

But come to think of it, is it really any different than say, a fast food commercial that shows some delicious looking burger that isn't even edible because of all the glue and other fake stuff they put on to make it look amazing and delicious? Has your box of fries ever looked anything close to the commercial with perfectly vertical fries, filled to the brim?
this is a logical fallacy argument called “whataboutism”. Two wrongs don’t make a right. just because it’s acceptable in one market, doesn’t mean it’s fine in our niche hobby.
 

ninjamyst

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There's no authority to regulate anything besides you as a consumer. Blast them on social media, on forums, on facebook groups, etc. Stand up to these vendors. I feel sorry for newcomers that get tricked by these vendors using filters and photo enhancement software. I usually look for zoas or acros that I am familiar with to see how realistic their photos are. For example, ExoticReef listed some LA Laker zoas that look completely orange. They are suppose to be yellow. So now I know that their "orange" is really "yellow". Even when you go to a LFS, it gets tricky. They use all blues so it's really hard to tell the true color of the coral under your system.
 
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