The 'camera don't lie" is a commonly held 'fact'.
Those who have been to the movies will know how wrong this can be, with the spectacular effects seen in some many. With the advent of digital photography, such trickery is becoming much easier for more people, those who have the need or imagination.
Orchid photography plays an important part in orchid growing, especially the orchid awards system, recording plants and flowers that have been selected as species. In the past transparencies have been used to provide a lasting record of those flowers, as this media gave the most accurate reporduciton. If duplicated they can be altered, but as most are processed by professional laboratories, most people would not do this.
Colour prints, now more widely lised, do not have the same colour accuracy. The quality of processing is not so good, and with the printing machines colour changes are easily achieved where there is a desire and a good (or poor) operator. also, different photographic emulsions can vary in their ability to record accurate colour; mauve in particular can cause problems for many.
Digital camers, usually suplied with colour enhancement software for use on a computer, are totally unreliable
as far as colorur reproduciton is concerned, because of the ease changes to the image can be made even by those
with minimal equipment.
If the original image includes a image of a standard colour card, with known controlled colours, then the reproduced image can be adjusted back to very near the original image, and this is what may have to be introduced to ensure integrity of the syspem and reliablity in the reference material.
Next tilme you see a spectacular colour image of a flower, you need to ask yourself 'is it genuine?'.
Examples have also occurred in this country where plants have been judegd in venues where the existing artificial light has been far removed from producing a 'natural' light spectrum. One shwo had the main exhibition hall with lignts almost totally lacking 'red' light, wilth the result that any plant with a red colour came out 'magnificantly' dark, but that is not the only show where lighting has 'confused' the colour judging process. Colour is a very important part of the judging process, with this making up some 30% of the final score in most systems. A large number of people seem to be unaware of the significance of the quality of light on perceived colour, but with many different light sources now available, there is a need for a greater appreciaiton of this element, expecially where flower colour is still considered so improtant. Remember, it is the quality of light, not the quantity that we are discussing here. There are natural spectrum lights available which will give a 'true' colour; most vidio and photographic lights fall into this category, and especially for final judging, perhaps sugh lighting needs to be used.
Remember, what you think you see may not really be what you see!!
I do not wish to suggest that there is dishonesty in the judging system or by photographers and owners, but people do need to be aware of what can be done, and with photography of awarded plants so important, there is a need to know some of the issues involved.
The changes to the images in the following examples are in some cases extreme - but more subtle changes are harder to detect and can also produce desirable results if you want to 'improve' the original image. All the changes to the cattelya image took only a few seconds each to complete.
It is appropriate to note that what has been done here is not sophisticated trickery, but things that can be done by most readily and cheeply available photo manipulation packages using digitilised images (direct from digital camera or scanned images).
Site established 9th May 1998