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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Something very odd about a book on Exposure...
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09/08/2006 10:04:05 AM · #1
I am reading Bryan Peterson's book, Understanding Exposure, which I know is a book many people have read on this site (it was reccomended to me by someone from here at least).

You will have to forgive me as I am at work and dont have the book in front of me but in one of the chapters, I think maybe on panning, it has a picture of a bear who is fishing out salmon from a creek. As part of the text description of the picture Bryan mentions how happy he was that he managed to get the bear and a clear shot of salmon actually in the water in the same shot. I really liked the shot but as I looked at it I became convinced that the 3 salmon you can clearly see are all the same salmon, cloned into the shot at least 3 times.

I just thought it was strange that Bryan didnt mention that fact in the description. I really like his books, and this doesnt change the fact that I have learned a great deal from them. It just struck me as very very odd. It sort of invalidates the point he was making about that particular picture which was that he managed to get both the bear and the fish in good focus and exposure.
09/08/2006 10:07:37 AM · #2
Quite an accusation to make, what proof can you offer?
09/08/2006 10:14:11 AM · #3
Thats actually a good point. I dont have a scanner so I really dont have rock solid proof. And thats an important distinction to make, since I certainly want to give tthe benefit of doubt. But I must have spent 30 minutes looking at the picture, there are 3 clearly visable salmon, all facing the same direction, all exactly the same size, all with the exact same lighting, reflections, and textures on thier skin. Its just seems very very improbable that they are different fish.

Considering the recent events of photojournalistic editing, I have taken more time to really look at pictures closely, and thats the thing that stuck out about this particular picture. Again, I am not saying that what he did was wrong in anyway, especially since this is not a book on photojournalism, but taking good creative pictures. In the same situation I probably would have done the same thing. I just thought it was strange that he didnt mention it.
09/08/2006 10:17:45 AM · #4
You say everything is exactly the same with the fish. Exactly can only be proven scientifically. Did you use a tape measure? Look at the image under a Loupe?

Message edited by author 2006-09-08 10:18:17.
09/08/2006 10:25:14 AM · #5
It's not uncommon for fish that are swimming to face exactly the same way...it's not even uncommon for them to actually turn in unison. Their bodies are extremely sensitive to the current flow, so their bodies automatically turn with eachother.

I would say it's probably more likely that if someone did clone one fish into three, that chances are the fish wouldn't be facing the exact same direction. The photographer would know that people would be suspicious and maybe turn one a few degrees or whatever.
09/08/2006 10:27:38 AM · #6
You could take a photo of the page and then superimpose the fish in PS to determine whether or not they are different.

If you do this, I'd like to see the image; just to satisfy the curiosity the you've piqued.
09/08/2006 10:29:39 AM · #7
Again, as I previously mentioned, I have not scanned the picture in and then overlayed each fish over the top of each other which is about all anyone could do.

I am not making anymore of a claim other than a gut feeling and experience with cloning. So take that however you wish. I believe the fish were cloned. I would also like to point out that I have been pretty clear that this is my opinion, from the original post to this one.

Also, I am not trying to DQ his picture :) after all, he is rightfully a professional photographer and knows what hes doing. Except I think he could have done a better cloning job in this specific case ;)
09/08/2006 10:30:58 AM · #8
Not many things I would ever admit to agreeing with Deapee about, but I think he is right. I know the photo you're talking about. The fish are all facing the current and getting away from the predator. They are in exact symmetrical situations - hence the look alike. Otherwise, I should think you're enjoying that book. It's hard not to learn something from it ;-)
09/08/2006 10:32:11 AM · #9
Originally posted by greatandsmall:

You could take a photo of the page and then superimpose the fish in PS to determine whether or not they are different.

If you do this, I'd like to see the image; just to satisfy the curiosity the you've piqued.


Message edited by author 2006-09-08 10:32:29.
09/08/2006 10:37:53 AM · #10
Originally posted by deapee:

It's not uncommon for fish that are swimming to face exactly the same way...it's not even uncommon for them to actually turn in unison. Their bodies are extremely sensitive to the current flow, so their bodies automatically turn with eachother.

I would say it's probably more likely that if someone did clone one fish into three, that chances are the fish wouldn't be facing the exact same direction. The photographer would know that people would be suspicious and maybe turn one a few degrees or whatever.


I totally agree with you deapee! Which is why I had to keep looking at the picture to be sure. If you look at the picture, the water appears to be boiling as the fish scramble to get away. In the picture you can only clearly see 3 fish. Each fish appears to be at a different distance, meaning appear to be higher and lower in the picture, but they are the same size. Also almost thier entire body is out of the water except for thier belly and tail, and the waterline is exactly the same for each fish. The water is being spashed around by both the fish (an let me say that its obvious there are dozesn if not hundreds in the water, only 3 are clearly visable) and the bear, but no splashes overlay the 3 fish in question. Along with what I have already mentioned, to me, those are all tell tale signs of cloning.

One other thing to mention, he wrote the first version of this book before the advent of digital photography. Its very likely that the picture in question was taken on film and developed by Bryan himself. It therefore stands to reason that the cloning could have been done in the darkroom during developing of the print, and that the picture was never processed in PS.
09/08/2006 10:39:38 AM · #11
hrmm...I really want to see this picture for myself. Is this a common book at the book stores?
09/08/2006 10:43:31 AM · #12
Not sure, hes got several pictures from the book on his website, just not that particular one :(

Im seeing if I can find it somewhere else.

Also, if I am wrong, I will gladly admit it so! I have no problem being proven wrong on this issue!
09/08/2006 10:46:25 AM · #13
Why not just take a picture of it as suggested?
09/08/2006 10:47:19 AM · #14
I will try that as well, thats a good idea actually. It will be after I get home from work tho.
09/08/2006 10:47:22 AM · #15
Originally posted by routerguy666:

Why not just take a picture of it as suggested?


Thank you! I was starting to wonder if I had my invisibility shield on;)
09/08/2006 10:50:25 AM · #16
No I saw it :D, since I didnt have access to PS or the picture in question while at work there wasnt much I could do about it at the moment. But I will when I get home... first thing!
09/08/2006 10:57:21 AM · #17
As soon as I see a post by "greatandsmall" I just skip to the next post.

She's WAY over my head most of the time. ;-P
09/08/2006 11:12:09 AM · #18
Originally posted by modurn:

Bryan mentions how happy he was that he managed to get the bear and a clear shot of salmon actually in the water in the same shot. I really liked the shot but as I looked at it I became convinced that the 3 salmon you can clearly see are all the same salmon, cloned into the shot at least 3 times.



This is on page 83. If you look at the eyes you'll find a difference. Numbering left to right, fish1 is a different size than fish 2, it's slight but it's there. What I found peculiar was at 1/60 of a second the fish were sharp but the bear had motion blur. Until I realized the fish were swimming upstream and may have been almost stationary with respect to the camera. As someone else mentioned this shot was probably made with film as the book originally came out before the widespread use of digital cameras. I can recommend this book and another by the same author: "Learning to see creatively."
09/08/2006 11:18:34 AM · #19
Bryan (Peterson) was working still mainly in film when that book was published. As far as I know, he gives photo choices to his publisher, who then makes the final choices. I'm not totally sure about this, but I remember asking once how this worked, and him saying something along this line, including that he usually tries to make landscape and portrait orientation photos of the same subjects (when applicable) and that he was sometimes surprised at the choices by his publisher (or editor or whatever he/she is called).

Also, he's got a great eye for detail, I really doubt he would stoop to cloning in copies of fish. The editor maybe, but I really, really, really doubt it, and I doubt it would get by Bryan.

Message edited by author 2006-09-08 11:19:28.
09/08/2006 11:46:38 AM · #20
He praised the editor in the author introduction more than is usual in books. Adding fish to an image would be time consuming for little benefit - especially when he has a large body of work to draw on anyway.
09/10/2006 10:59:04 AM · #21
Here are the pics in question

image 1
image 2
image 3


Message edited by ursula - edited large images to links.
09/10/2006 11:06:20 AM · #22
In the bottom two photos the fish that is showing looks like two different fish....not a clone. The only fact I'm going on is that the fish in the bottom frame seems to have his eyeball dead center. The fish in the shot above him seems to have his eyeball looking "back"...IMO.
09/10/2006 11:07:11 AM · #23
After looking at the pictures, I don't think they are cloned. You can see the eye angle on two of the fish differ. That's enough proof for me.
09/10/2006 11:14:39 AM · #24
What strikes me about those, is that the two fish close together look as though they could be different, but the front and back fish look like they might be clones.

I'm not actually looking at the fish to determine this, but the water around them. The front and back fish both seem to have a light blob of water under their tails about 2/3rds of the way to the rear of each fish.

Of course I haven't got a closeup of the back fish to look at, so I'm really just buying in to the general cloaning paranoia ;)
09/10/2006 11:18:01 AM · #25
Hold on a second, and take a look at fish 1 and 3.

There are what appear to be a pair of waterdrops next to each of these two fish that appear to be identical and identically oriented to each other and to the fish. The waterdrops that I am referring to are towards the tail end of the visible part of their bodies.

edit to add: that the eyes on these two fish are also looking back while fish number 2 is not.

Message edited by author 2006-09-10 11:19:36.
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