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Thread: Is it Real, or is it ... "Counterfeit"?

  1. #1
    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    Default Is it Real, or is it ... "Counterfeit"?

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    This Golden-cheeked Warbler was photographed in texas Hill Country with the Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens, the 1.4X II TC, and the EOS-1D MIII. ISO 400. Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/400 sec. at f/8.

    I am posting this with a question of my own after reading Fabs' related post here:

    http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php?t=34461&goto=newpost

    Is this image right out of the camera? Was something taken away (aside from cropping)? Was something added? (If yes, can you spot any telltale signs?)

    It will be interested to see the responses. I will post the original so all can see for themselves :) :) :)

    Feel free also to comment on the image as well. Don't be shy.
    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions; we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.

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  2. #2
    Lifetime Member Jay Gould's Avatar
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    "It don't matter to me..............!" ;)

    It is a beautiful image whether "real" or "unreal digital art", Artie.

    If it is "unreal digital art" I am looking forward to learning how to create these artistic presentations.

    Thanks for sharing; I too am looking forward to the responses of the more qualified. :)

    Cheers,

  3. #3
    Dave Barnes
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    Default Adjusted wing

    I do not understand the DOF here. The Feathers go from sharp to soft at the connection of the near wing to the body/neck ?

    Having looked at it again I think the near wing was added in later.
    Last edited by Dave Barnes; 04-28-2009 at 08:03 AM. Reason: Adding to comment

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    I can see some kind of cloning lines or something off in the foliage so my guess is fake

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    I think the head was added in, it looks way sharper than any thing else, and things that are on the same plane don't looks sharp where they should be. My guess anyways.

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    I guess you were at the Murphy ranch.. he is a real nice guy !
    I am not part of the pixel police squad if it looks good then it looks good.

    Lou

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    Forum Participant Joe Senzatimore's Avatar
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    I too think the head was cloned in.

  8. #8
    Ken Watkins
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    Initially I thought it was Ok, right species and right habitat, no noticable cloning. Having looked again albeit at up to 400%, there appears to be far to regular straight edge at the top of the head where it joins the wing.

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    I wouldn't bet my paycheck, but I'm going to say it has been manipulated.

    There seems to be a bit of a repeating pattern at the lower left arrow.

    Then again, there is a dust bunny or oof gnat at the right arrow, so maybe it is untouched.

    My other thought is that the BG has been blurred around the subject to make it stand out more. Maybe even with a plugin like Bokeh.

    It is all really a guess though.

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    Now that you mention it, I think I can see a line from the point where the black stripe dips down that looks like the front portion of the head was added. I'll be waiting anxiously for the revelation!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Watkins View Post
    Initially I thought it was Ok, right species and right habitat, no noticable cloning. Having looked again albeit at up to 400%, there appears to be far to regular straight edge at the top of the head where it joins the wing.

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    I am not sure of what could've been done, either way I like it, it has great light, action, pose, detail, colors, perch and BG, a bit more room on top would be nice IMO though. Congratulations Artie!

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    Default Is it real?

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    Well just casually looking at the image the most obvious change looks to be the addition of a small section at the bottom of the image - it is possible to see a horizontal line across the image. The image also appears to show some work at the top of the neck which appears to be too flat, possibly indicating the addition of the rear wing, but my feeling is the wing is genuine, so I don't know about the neck. There may also be some change to the breast area which seems too tidy and "rounded" but may well be original.

    My feeling is that only the addition is to the bottom of the image, the rest may well be original.

  13. #13
    c.w. moynihan
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    agree, it appears canvas was added at the bottom along with the cloning in of the juniper. Counterfit ? No as the juniper would have been there had the bird been framed in the viewfinder differently.

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    Avian Moderator Stu Bowie's Avatar
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    What I dont see as natural is where the near wing joins around the neck/head area.

  15. #15
    Brian Wong
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    Hi Artie!

    Beautiful bird and l really like the colorful composition.

    If I had to guess, at shutter speed of 1/400 could give a nice wing blur but possibly some motion in the head at the time of the flutter. There is an extremely (looking at electron microscope) faint halo around the beak, plus the horizontal line behind the head as already mentioned ... so I am going to guess that a frame or two with a sharper motionless head was composited in?
    Another guess is that perhaps the leg was covered by part of the plant?
    Also as mentioned, maybe some canvas added to the bottom?

    What ever the technique, they all combined artistically to create a beautiful image!
    Last edited by Brian Wong; 04-28-2009 at 12:45 PM.

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    Nice shot, but it is memorex in my view. There is a line across the bottom to the left of the bird, which is probably due to the extension of the canvas, as noted above.

    Additionally, when first viewing the image, before reading the text, I was puzzled by the DOF as well. The head is exceptionally clear, whereas nothing else really is. A little of the juniper is close, but not as clear as the head. Therefore, I have to agree with those that say you chopped a head off a rival and put it on this bird. :D I also see an apparent vertical black match line at the bottom left of the head.

    As for the overall image, nice shot, but I would have cut about 1/2 the left open space and doubled the open space above the bird. The left to better balance the image and the top to open up the area a little.

    Isn't the white area a little blown out?? You're better at that then I am, but... :confused:

  17. #17
    ┴kos Lumnitzer
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    It looks akin to the photography equivalent of a silicone breast implant? :D

    Would be interested to know what and how you did this Maestro! :)

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    BPN Member Paul Lagasi's Avatar
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    I'd have to go with counterfeit, bottom right leaves look cloned, on left there's a slight straight line in leaves...head where it meets birds right wing has black, which should have been removed, shadow just doesn't look right...great job at adding head...Paul

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    Definitely the right leg has been either fixed or added, and the shadow produced by the head is not very natural.

    Wonderful post processed image.
    Beautiful warbler, that perch is great as light is.

  20. #20
    Neil Losin
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    No one has mentioned the catchlight yet. Based on the shadows, I think the catchlight was added after the capture -- the position of the catchlight in the eye doesn't match the ambient light, and the shadows look too dark for fill-flash. I'll leave the rest (e.g. whether the head belongs with the body) to others :)

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    when view on a good monitor at high resolution:
    the canvas below the feet has been masked in ( visible "cut" line and difference in exposure)
    the head or part of it has been masked in (black line across the crown)
    something has also possibly been changed on the front wing as feathers don't seem to align

    that being said - a very nice "digital image"

  22. #22
    Dave Phillips
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    all above "may" be true....OR it could be a well done front focused image to maximize head
    and some foliage sharpness

  23. #23
    Christopher C.M. Cooke
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    It looks like the bird is straddling the plant, I suspect the plant has been added in. (or not!:))

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    Congrats to Kevin who was the first to note that canvas and some ash juniper had been added below. (I was worried that the first person would spot it but 8 folks missed it..... As to all of the folks who were positive that I added the head from another frame, not so as the JPEG representing the converted RAW image shows. And the same goes for the wing depth-of-field issues. I did add a really good catch light to the eye that nobody jumped on so I will have to give myself a pat on the back for that.

    I originally deleted the image because I had clipped the feet but ranch owner Mike Murphy said that it was too good to delete so I added in the vegetation from the previous frame and--except for my sloppiness--was amazed to be able to salvage it.
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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    Here, for easier comparison, is a slightly re-worked version of the optimized TIFF without the telltale seams that Mike noted.
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  26. #26
    Neil Losin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Morris View Post
    I did add a really good catch light to the eye that nobody jumped on so I will have to give myself a pat on the back for that.
    Hey Artie :) FWIW, see post #20 above. :D What tipped me off about the catchlight is that you can tell from the shadows in the photo that the natural light is coming from pretty high over your left shoulder. This being the case, the catchlight should appear in the upper left of the bird's eye. The catchlight added in post-processing is too low and too far to the right. Funny, I didn't even notice the canvas you added, but the catchlight jumped right out at me!
    Cheers!
    Neil

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    Thanks Neil! At least is got by 19 times. I am glad that it was not the shape that tipped you off as I it has taken me quite a while to figure out how to get the shape to look natural.
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    Well, Artie, now that all has been revealed, I have to say that this really is an amazing image! Great job. Never thought to check the catch light!

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    Thanks Kevin. It was pure luck. I am not anywhere near fast enough to track those little guys when they jump from the perch. And I was stunned to see the eye and head, his very own head , so sharp.
    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions; we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.

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  30. #30
    Mike Murphy
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    Artie, that's a beautiful, and unique image, of a very special species! I'm so very glad you rescued it!

    Hope to see you back at Los Madrones next spring,

    Mike

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