Aquascaping Contest Scandal

mort

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This has become a norm in the modern culture now. It's completely normal to use beautify filters and bend hips/waists and bump up biceps/abs.

Music is now being adjusted note by note on the computers including microtonal adjustments.

It's natural that it will spill over to the other forms of visual arts.

What is laughable is that some people believe these to be true and don't realise that it is just a representation of the original.

Unfortunately it goes the other way to and people just don't believe what they see. I saw some amazing wildlife photography of weird creatures and all the comments just moaned about it being photoshopped when they were genuine photos.

It's sad that people are either to sceptical or feel the need to cheat.
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
I saw some amazing wildlife photography
Same applies there, there have been suggestions that some photographs are not exactly <"what they purport to be">.

I must admit I find the whole idea of wildlife photography (and aquascaping etc) as a competitive processes, a long with medals at <"Gardening shows"> etc. bizarre.

cheers Darrel
 

mort

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One of the photos was a butterfly, Greta oto, an amazing looking creature that no one believed was real. Nature is far more creative than man however.
 
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Paulo Soares

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Evening friends,
As i came across to this post... i swear i was not surprised.
We are all in this hobbie for "quite a while" to believe in some tanks we´ve been seeing.
I never agree with the contests rules as they leave in my point of view "windows" to this kind of matter.

Many pictures doesn´t look natural. Look opaque.. lack of brightness.. little shiny.. not the green we know, not natural and others we see light in just some parts of the tank and we start wonder how the hell that light come from.. the usage of mirrors to create special effects.. and many other things. All this kind of tricks distort and distracts us from the reality or in fact to the real tank.

Even the the way pictures are cut i do not agree. They should show the tank.

Also i think the judges regardless the efforts made by the person in creating and maintaining the tank.
Is very said to see a tank with simple trunk wood upside down and few moss around wining or being classified in top 100 ... cause this kind of tank is made on one purpose. Contests! Take a "worked" picture and Voila!

Just take a look into this link.

https://www.adana.co.jp/en/contents/iaplc/2017/index.html

For me.. what is shown in most of this tanks are far away from their natural state.

Also.. people who own stores should not be allowed to participate in contests. It´s not a fair "fight" ;) Does not motivate to many to participate.
Best compliments to you all.
 
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lilirose

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Also.. people who own stores should not be allowed to participate in contests. It´s not a fair "fight" ;) Does not motivate to many to participate.

Wouldn't it be great if there were different categories: a "pro" category for those who do this for a living, and a "hobbyist" category for ordinary folk who just do it for fun.
 

PARAGUAY

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Wouldn't it be great if there were different categories: a "pro" category for those who do this for a living, and a "hobbyist" category for ordinary folk who just do it for fun.
Be quite difficult l think as many pro scapers have other jobs to supplement their incomes. And hobbyists love to compete against the best.Think there might be a case for having a separate contest for dioramas as they do seem to split opinion but in the IAPLC think it would sort of detract from Grand Prize Winners. Think @mort as the best idea of a video of the entry and maybe each country have their own checking committee say from ADA retailers?
 

howanic

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Well they have access to unlimited hardscape, plants and fish! :)
I don't really agree that store owners should not be allowed to participate. Anyone with a limitless budget has limitless access.
Also, you could give me identical hardscape, plants and fish to those of the grand prize winners and my tank would still end up resembling a ditch.
I should think owning a fish store makes these things more easily accessible, but I don't think it gives them any real advantage. Certainly not enough to ban them.
 
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there was one with a
Be quite difficult l think as many pro scapers have other jobs to supplement their incomes. And hobbyists love to compete against the best.Think there might be a case for having a separate contest for dioramas as they do seem to split opinion but in the IAPLC think it would sort of detract from Grand Prize Winners. Think @mort as the best idea of a video of the entry and maybe each country have their own checking committee say from ADA retailers?
Apparently something like that happens with a lot of allotments, person a has to see person b pick the produce and seals a box after so much cheating

Most comps ask for the unedited version to accompany the submitted image to see just how much touching up has been needed, so times it's lens flare or a bit of marine snow that's cloned out, but there are still winning images that personally I think are staged. Like the seahorse with a cotten bud, that won a competition. Dead easy to get a sea horse to attach to something, but happening across one in the water column at the right focal length and a bud still with so much fluff on, I'm not so sure.
 

sparkyweasel

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Wouldn't it be great if there were different categories: a "pro" category for those who do this for a living, and a "hobbyist" category for ordinary folk who just do it for fun.
And perhaps a novice class for people who have never won a contest (top ten or whatever) and maybe a budget class too.
 

Tim Harrison

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I think the only way around this is a systems akin to the Dutch model, where you get periodic visits from a team of judges. Direct judging of the actual scape, not some fantasy photoshop image, would soon sort the wheat from the chaff. It'd be interesting to see how many east asian dioramas featured in the top 27 if this were the case... Very few would be my guess....
 

zozo

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I believe in today's digital era there is no professional photographer around anymore that doesn't fiddle around with Photoshop. :) And in the aquascaping contests, every single picture looks perfect... I find it hard to believe that all contestants are not only very skilled top-level aquascapers but also skilled top-level equipped photographers.

I rather believe the majority of them call in a professional photographer (befriended or not - that's irrelevant) for the photoshoot. Then the photographer comes back with his best shot at a later date and the aquascaper likely is unaware of the magic done to make the picture look so good.

Since the first day i looked at the pictures of the AS contests (a few years now) I always kinda had the feeling and doubt. Am I looking at a picture or an aquascaping contest? It always stood out to me, that at least 90% of all entries had too perfect pictures.
 

Luketendo

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I believe in today's digital era there is no professional photographer around anymore that doesn't fiddle around with Photoshop. :) And in the aquascaping contests, every single picture looks perfect... I find it hard to believe that all contestants are not only very skilled top-level aquascapers but also skilled top-level equipped photographers.

I rather believe the majority of them call in a professional photographer (befriended or not - that's irrelevant) for the photoshoot. Then the photographer comes back with his best shot at a later date and the aquascaper likely is unaware of the magic done to make the picture look so good.

Since the first day i looked at the pictures of the AS contests (a few years now) I always kinda had the feeling and doubt. Am I looking at a picture or an aquascaping contest? It always stood out to me, that at least 90% of all entries had too perfect pictures.

There's a bit of a difference between adjusting the contrast and brightness sliders vs copying and pasting your fish though. I thought that these contests asked for RAW photo files to be kept so quite suprised that ADA did not ask for and check these from the winning entries.
 

zozo

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There's a bit of a difference between adjusting the contrast and brightness sliders vs copying and pasting your fish though. I thought that these contests asked for RAW photo files to be kept so quite suprised that ADA did not ask for and check these from the winning entries.

Off course we all agree to that... Still, it's a matter of faith this is respected and all to it.

It's just the perfection in the pictures and what I know photoshop can do makes me doubt it a bit... 100 entries perfect scapes and 95 have perfect pictures? The best of both worlds, aquascaping and photography!?

But that's my, once bitten twice shy, personality. :) Made me live by the rule, it's good to trust but it's better to check. Then I don't really do in believing too much if I can't. :) The benefit of the doubt goes a long way.

I doubt the picture, not the aquascap(er).
 

rebel

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A single (or even multiple) cheating events shouldn't discredit the whole art or even the whole competition though. I still believe that the art itself speaks for itself. Credit where it's due.
 

Wolf6

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Be quite difficult l think as many pro scapers have other jobs to supplement their incomes. And hobbyists love to compete against the best.Think there might be a case for having a separate contest for dioramas as they do seem to split opinion but in the IAPLC think it would sort of detract from Grand Prize Winners. Think @mort as the best idea of a video of the entry and maybe each country have their own checking committee say from ADA retailers?
I do believe the diorama's and fantasy scenes should get their own catagory. Impressive as they sometimes are, they are all about the hardscape construction and not about making a natural scene. Of course sometimes the edges of these catagories would blur into eachother, but then its up to the creator to decide for which category they will apply. Ah yes, my perfect world where its all simple ;)
 

rebel

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I am not convinced about the use of the word 'natural' in the case of even normal nature style. Most of the plants are found in nature but some are not found submerged (some are only emersed) and together with species from all over the world. I think we are stretching the word natural..... Natural systems often contain much more algae and don't have foreign fish swimming in harmony. 99% natural systems are murky.
 

Kezzab

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I think this is true. A 'nature scape' is just another style. Also when was the last time you saw a one of these and thought wow that's novel not seen that before? Beautiful, etc but been done before.
Good to see people pushing and trying new stuff, even if some of it not to.my taste.
 

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