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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

faking "before" pics

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  #1  
Old 09-19-2006, 09:45 PM
coffee coffee is offline
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faking "before" pics

hi, i'm not a new member, but this is my first time posting.
i do retouching, and restoration and webdesign, part time but my day job (well... actually night job) is as an editorial photo editor. Part of my job is to make sure there is absolutely no manipulation to any of the images that come in, so when i stumbled across a freelance photog's website i was absolutely horrified to find that he had totally faked his "before" restoration pic. He put a fake rip on it and actually scrawled the word "DOG" using a blurred brush tool at like full opacity and then had the nerve to write in the caption that "this is a photo that was torn and defaced that i totally restored" then he showed the after photo (which was really the before photo, before he "digitally defaced" it).

anyway, i wrote him an email telling him how dishonorable and dishonest it was to fake your "before" pic but he didn't respond. My question to the group is... How common is it for people to fake their "before" pics? This is not the first "before/after" i've seen where i've wondered to myself "did they just desaturate a color image and then use the original as the colorized after?" or "did they add a ton of noise, saturation levels, and brightness/contrast to create the before? and then use the original as the after?" i've seen it done on foreign restoration sites a LOT, but this is the most BLATANT misrepresentation i've EVER seen and it was out of Florida, not some some third world country known for internet scams.
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Old 09-20-2006, 05:14 AM
Cassidy Cassidy is offline
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Well I'd think a lack of true skill and misrepresentation is going to be found out sooner rather than later.......

......And bad news travels much faster than good news!
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Old 09-20-2006, 06:26 AM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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I've also seen quite a few sites that appear to have "faked" the before images. It's usually easy to spot, as the rest of their work does not match the skill level indicated in the faked images.

On the other hand, someone accused me of faking it (I haven't.) In particular, I received a comment to one of my images, similar to your comment
Quote:
"did they just desaturate a color image and then use the original as the colorized after?"
, in my "colorings" gallery. Obviously, that person made a snap judgement.

My point being, sometimes, although it may appear faked, it isn't.

Faked?
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Old 09-20-2006, 09:59 AM
Pam Pam is offline
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That's a great testament to how good you are, Vikki. If I came across your images, unmarked and without description, I'd say, "No, no, no!. Don't convert to b+w, keep those gorgeous colors!"

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Pam (a big Vikki Hansen fan)
http://www.pbase.com/pam_r
'art is working on something 'til you like it...then leaving it that way'
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Old 09-20-2006, 01:08 PM
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NancyJ NancyJ is offline
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to be fair Vikki, its easy to see why people would assume that it was faked, its a little 'too good'. Which I know is a bizarre concept but if your work is too good then people will think its fake. A lot of your work is 'too good'.
We're a cynical species but you never go far wrong with 'if it looks too good to be true it probably is'.
Your work is probably the best colouring I've ever seen, in fact I'd go so far as to say you're probably one of the best in the world - your patience and attention to detail is what makes your work unbelievable - most people find it hard to believe anyone would go to so much trouble.
Given that you are probably one of the best in the world - it would be nice to see a little tutorial on your methods (not so subtle nudge in the direction of the tutorials forum) - there are many different ways to colourise a photo, it would be interesting to see your preference.
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Old 09-21-2006, 05:40 AM
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blue dog blue dog is offline
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Never thought of it...they won't last long.

Vicki, I agree with everything NancyJ said. You are the best I've ever seen.
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Old 09-21-2006, 03:59 PM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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Wow, thank you all for such a great compliment!
I could write a tutorial, but then I'd have to kill you all...

Seriously, I use a method that's been online for ages. I always recommend this method, as from my experience coloring, it gives the best results. Most other methods require a lot more work and don't produce the results for all the effort involved. The link below has a tutorial for the technique.
Learning this technique, or any of the other methods, is only half the battle. Knowing what colors to use is a whole other thing. In order to get good at this, you need to study color images and then mimick the color on the b&w, in every little, last detail.

One last thing, the only way to learn and improve is to seek critiques from individuals who are in the know, and then follow their advice.

Here's that link:
http://www.worth1000.com/tutorial.asp?sid=161015
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  #8  
Old 09-21-2006, 04:05 PM
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NancyJ NancyJ is offline
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Its interesting to hear your views on the technique.
I prefer curves to get the flat colours down - I find its quicker, easier and more reliable.
I then use the primary colouring technique on top to add depth and natural colour variation.
You must have the patience of a saint to do it all by that method.
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  #9  
Old 09-21-2006, 04:17 PM
Pam Pam is offline
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"You must have the patience of a saint to do it all by that method."

Truly. I can't imagine. It's tedious enough for me to create toning curves for my b+w images. Maybe that's why I stay away from coloring. That, and it really takes an artist's hand..and eye.

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Pam
http://www.pbase.com/pam_r
'art is working on something 'til you like it...then leaving it that way'
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  #10  
Old 09-21-2006, 04:29 PM
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HannibalVector HannibalVector is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coffee
My question to the group is... How common is it for people to fake their "before" pics?
Did you see this thread? :
http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/wor...ouch-scam.html
Too bad they removed the gallery!

So Coffee, you're a professional with a trained eye. That's good, we need more people like you to keep our profession pure.
Please do me a favour and give my gallery below a genuine check, so we get that out of the way.
Oh no wait, do Vikki's first, because she actually has been accused faking it.
Vikki, you're gallery looks great, excelent work!

Wouldn't it be a great idea if there was something like a labour union or something that checks retouchers? If they pass the test they then get a genuine comfirmation logo or something that they can put on their website, so customers will know that they are dealing with real professionals.

Last edited by HannibalVector; 09-21-2006 at 05:28 PM.
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