Let’s take a look at some EXIF data: A semi-aggressive and unprovoked dive into photographic dupery

gdemos

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 19, 2013
Messages
323
Reaction score
63
Location
RI
Probably because everyone is afraid to offend someone. I'll call them out. Jason Fox. Sexy Corals. Reef Raft. The Candy Shop AKA Stansberry. Reef Gardner. WCC. "Legendary" Corals. All of them HEAVILY edit their pictures. And the "Walt Disney" looks NOTHING like the pictures in real life. I've seen 2 different pieces in 2 different tank and they don't even come close.
I've seen j fox at a few shows and stuff in person is dynamite. Expensive, but legit. Not to say anything about the pictures on the site which may very well be doctored but in person very nice stuff.

Adam I like the approach of declaring honesty as a niche and resisting the 'if you can't beat them, join them' common pitfall. Unfortunately There are plenty of hobbyists that sell frags the same way -doctored pics.

Online shopping and shipping is a convenience that packs a major caveat.
 

adestafi

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
May 11, 2015
Messages
2,093
Reaction score
3,253
we need an Angie's list for coral suppliers. Even the $10-50 range of corals is sometimes highly photoshopped.
 
OP
Battlecorals

Battlecorals

Aquaculturist
View Badges
Joined
Oct 15, 2009
Messages
4,411
Reaction score
6,320
Location
Wisconsin
I've seen j fox at a few shows and stuff in person is dynamite. Expensive, but legit. Not to say anything about the pictures on the site which may very well be doctored but in person very nice stuff.

Adam I like the approach of declaring honesty as a niche and resisting the 'if you can't beat them, join them' common pitfall. Unfortunately There are plenty of hobbyists that sell frags the same way -doctored pics.

Online shopping and shipping is a convenience that packs a major caveat.

LOL. Well its hard to deny that this approach of mine itself is still a bit gimmicky. Like the white knight syndrome. I'll save you!!! But I agree with you about hobbyists. In fact the Facebookers are some of the worst, but as I said in my preface, I can't really go picking on them. Those guys are off limits to me. lol! which is good. But as consumers, you guys sure can!
 

hatfielj

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 8, 2007
Messages
2,167
Reaction score
1,737
Here's my 2 cents about the Walt Disney. I own a small frag of it too btw. The original mother colony pics that everyone sees are taken under super bright 100% Royal Blue LEDs only. The white balance on those photos are adjusted just enough to keep that crazy, rainbow, neon look. Under day lights the WD looks nothing like that, especially halides and T5s. The guy who sells them knows this and has admitted this before on R2R.
 

Coral Savers

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
386
Reaction score
125
It looks wild under the 26k all blue to the max t5 look
 

Jimbo

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 10, 2012
Messages
769
Reaction score
219
Location
Utah
Probably because everyone is afraid to offend someone. I'll call them out. Jason Fox. Sexy Corals. Reef Raft. The Candy Shop AKA Stansberry. Reef Gardner. WCC. "Legendary" Corals. All of them HEAVILY edit their pictures. And the "Walt Disney" looks NOTHING like the pictures in real life. I've seen 2 different pieces in 2 different tank and they don't even come close.
How would you explain the fact that a Newbie to this site who was looking for a place to buy coral on
line , would probably be directed to some of these sites by other members?

Some of those you named seem to be well respected on here. Kind of a weird phenomenon where there's almost a kind of "fanboy" following to some of these places lol. Usually they'll pop in whenever somebody even remotely criticizes them... At least that's been my observation.
 

Berlibee

ReefHacks Team
View Badges
Joined
Nov 20, 2015
Messages
1,499
Reaction score
821
Location
USA
Yes weird post. LegendaryCorals are awesome. I've got a large order and everything was like on the photos and very friendly approach.
 

Jlobes

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
5,996
Reaction score
1,213
Location
Behind the redwood curtain
Yes weird post. LegendaryCorals are awesome. I've got a large order and everything was like on the photos and very friendly approach.
agreed. i havent ordered from LC, but i think they are pretty reputable and honest. I find braaps post kind of humorous, as I have purchased from sexy, wwc, asd, cherry, and more...its a rare occurrence that I am disappointed by my corals/purchase.
 

Marquiseo

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
May 27, 2013
Messages
1,889
Reaction score
686
And the "Walt Disney" looks NOTHING like the pictures in real life. I've seen 2 different pieces in 2 different tank and they don't even come close.
Last I heard, that most of the frags he is selling as WD are just maricultured Blue and green Tenuis tips. It kinda makes sence because at the rate he sells and raffles WD frags, he would need a surplus amount of colonies to cut from and every piece sold has a perfectly formed tip instead of an obvious healed over flat tip.

 
Last edited:

TD13

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 29, 2015
Messages
728
Reaction score
333
Location
St. Louis
I'll chime in here. I got this piece of GlowStick Acro from @Battlecorals about a month and a half ago... This is with a cell phone. It's under my Radion at like 11K. It's just as vibrant here as it is when my lights are at 20K. For me the true test of a coral's vibrance is when the lights aren't peaked for color, and this one is pretty dang close.

From Battlecorals.com


From my tank...


Just sayin...
 

Reef Pets

Bioprospector
View Badges
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
10,013
Reaction score
1,398
Location
Ohio
A lot of great points. It would be nice if there was a method to know exactly what's going on when a photo is processed. Many have white balance down to a science in the actual camera settings. Myself, I've never been able to accomplish that therefore more editing has to take place in processing. With 20k or bluer lighting there no way not to edit either through the camera or one of many programs.
I think it's safe to say that if it looks too good to be true then it probably is. Just use common sense and all will be fine. If anyone ever has question about my photos feel free to call me out and I will gladly take a phone picture with and without flash as I have many times in the past.
 

smiley28

Hectorj
View Badges
Joined
Jan 11, 2014
Messages
1,228
Reaction score
553
Location
Bradford Pennsylvania
Well guys this is a forum and most input will be anecdotal so if you believe everything ever put out who is really to blame? I think I remember someone on this forum once starting a thread basically called/named hearsay which yes you're on a forum, it's a what is your word worth type of situation many times and if the common consumer can't do a little fact checking I'd suggest they get off the couch and check things out first hand.. That may be really pushing it I guess

Sorry trying to study for a&p and ended up going on a tangent thinking about this
 

Sabellafella

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
6,584
Reaction score
9,096
That's pretty washed out for a WD. The photos online are enhanced but I've seen ones in person that look way better then this. Did you just get it? Shock from shipping perhaps? So many variables that will determine the future of a colony.. What lights, flow, water quality.. A great example is the red planet. You can place a frag of that in a few different lighted areas and it will appear as different corals in the same tank.
This is as white as a wd can be.took this pick under all coral plus . Top down it looks crazy, if i take a pic of it with a orange or brown gel filter itll look like the online photos. Under mh it looks just like ^^ (sc orange passion) at 300 par under t5s it turnes all pink and teal/green
 
OP
Battlecorals

Battlecorals

Aquaculturist
View Badges
Joined
Oct 15, 2009
Messages
4,411
Reaction score
6,320
Location
Wisconsin
A lot of great points. It would be nice if there was a method to know exactly what's going on when a photo is processed. Many have white balance down to a science in the actual camera settings. Myself, I've never been able to accomplish that therefore more editing has to take place in processing. With 20k or bluer lighting there no way not to edit either through the camera or one of many programs.
I think it's safe to say that if it looks too good to be true then it probably is. Just use common sense and all will be fine. If anyone ever has question about my photos feel free to call me out and I will gladly take a phone picture with and without flash as I have many times in the past.

Well said Gary. Thanks for posting. I have the best luck fixing WB shooting in RAW and fixing in post, But you are right man there are plenty of tricks out there, and ultimately you nailed it if you ask me. Even if you know nothing about photography, It's a safe bet to say that if it looks too good to be true... and we all know the rest.
 

roryb24

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
721
Reaction score
35
Location
Wichita Falls,Tx
I think @Reef Pets Nailed it! If it looks too good to be true it probably is. If you don't trust it or still have questions contact the seller and ask for an unedited phone picture. Granted with all the phone apps they can still edit the picture but at least you can try to get another source/picture of the coral and make a decision based on that. This is nothing new though. People have been editing coral photos and jacking the price up on them for along time. You can pretty much tell what is going on you can look at the blue wash of the rocks or frag plugs or even the egg crate. You can tell when a picture is over worked. I understand when people edit to make the photo look more like it does in their tank/ to their eye when looking at it In person, the line is crossed when they edit photos of colors to make colors that don't exist in that piece appear and charge more money knowing that the consumer is getting screwed over and paying for a piece that doesn't even look like the piece for sale. I like when companies show pictures of corals under more than one color temp it shows you what the piece will look like without being 20 or 22k blue washed neon craziness.
 

akitareefer

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
376
Reaction score
66
Location
Rochester NY
The photoshop debate is silly. All professional photographers edit their photos. When it comes to coral photography it's hard, cameras are not designed to shoot under blue lights. Either orangish filters or wb must be used **they are the exact same thing except wb it's done digitally. Most of the time the colors have to be manually adjusted afterwards using Lightroom, filters aren't perfect.

Here's the big issue. Most people are using lighting that goes beyond 20k. That's when you get the saturated rainbow effect. Do you expect your vendors to swap out t5 bulbs or replace their Reefbrite with 10k every time they take a photo? It doesn't happen. The worst part is these saturated photos (due to lighting) sell like hot cakes. As a lfs owner I rarely post photos beyond 20k but when I do people get all excited. The market is asking for crazy photos. Anyone that has to increase saturation isn't doing it right, your camera and filter do that for you.

Your corals will never look as good as the pictures no matter what lighting. I think posting some side by side shots of 12k vs royal blue would be helpful to unsuspecting potential buyers. I know what the coral will look like under whites but not everyone can. If you want those saturated colors at home turn the blues up and wear orange sunglasses.

And lastly on the topic of acros. They take time to color up. I see all these posts about ugly brown wd's nubs, give them time, tlc and shoot under Royal blue with a filter... It will be the same thing
OP color progression
ImageUploadedByREEF2REEF1458930122.304555.jpg

ImageUploadedByREEF2REEF1458930140.547212.jpg



I've included a cellphone shot plus gel filter unedited. Why does it look photoshopped? Lighting+gel filter!!
ImageUploadedByREEF2REEF1458930199.934226.jpg
 

ChristopherKriens

Unknown Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 25, 2013
Messages
617
Reaction score
832
Location
Minnesota
When it comes to coral photography it's hard, cameras are not designed to shoot under blue lights. Either orangish filters or wb must be used **they are the exact same thing except wb it's done digitally..
These are slightly different and it's probably important to note. A yellow barrier filter is selectively reducing reflected blue light; a color that is actually in the scene and visible to the eye.

White balance is simply shifting the "white" tone along the yellow-blue path. The important difference is that one maintains the relative tonal relationship between all of the colors in an image, and the other does not.

Either can be abused of course.
 

volivier

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Messages
342
Reaction score
46
Location
Missouri
Please, the point is to inform buyers that this can happen so you aren't surprised when you buy some extreme colored coral and get it home under MH and T5 or LED combo and its green instead of purple and pink for example....THAT isn't lights or acclimation but some serious editing. If you can get that crazy coral color, then please....tell us the % or color of bulbs combo that is needed to get that color....

Personally I appreciate the information on how things can be edited, of course we realize some is done, but there is a balance.

I've bought from Adam at Battlecorals a couple times and never in our discussions of coral for sale, and yes we talked about coral he doesn't sell, has he put down another vendor to me.
 

cobergas

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 4, 2013
Messages
144
Reaction score
144
Location
United States
So what about this.... You go to a show you see all the corals under only one spectrum, blue only. If a vendor at the show turns any white on even a hint some other vendor whines. I personally replicate exactly what you would see at a show and nothing more. I do not fool with post. Just put the correct camera in my hands that the wb will shoot true to the eye.

The only person I know that still sells coral under a mh light at a show is Tyree. Still rocking the mh without any led supplement.
 

Can you run a a successful reef long term without some type of reactor and media?

  • Yes

    Votes: 59 71.1%
  • No

    Votes: 11 13.3%
  • Not sure

    Votes: 13 15.7%

Online statistics

Members online
520
Guests online
2,203
Total visitors
2,723
Lotus Reef
CWT Aquatics - Acrylic Sumps, Tanks, and More!
Top