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July 28, 2012
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And then I threw up a little. by robbobert And then I threw up a little. by robbobert
OK time for some vent art. Or whatever. I'll try not to make this a wall of text.

Glowing eyes. There's an epidemic of this going on right now in the wildlife section of deviantart, and I see a lot of the photography groups I am a part of (particularly those with "high standards" for quality of submissions) accepting these photos into their galleries.

I am not exactly a purist anymore when it comes to photography -- I recognize that tools like Photoshop exist and are absolutely there to be used -- but I cannot stand seeing nature/wildlife photos made artificial, be they from zoos or the wild, especially because a lot of them are actually good shots.

I made a similar post to this in the past, but my views have since hardened. So, while I backed off a bit previously for fear of offending, I think I just need to get my feelings on the matter out and let the feathers fly where they may. So here's the thing:

Animals' eyes do not glow, plain and simple.

If you have an animal in cloudy light or shade and their eyes are lit up like the fire of a thousand suns because you abused the dodge/saturation tools, you are removing everything redeemable from your photos. From being nature photography, it loses 1) its natural qualities, 2) its photographic qualities, and 3) its artistic value. What you have instead is a template that you have drawn on and caricatured. Nature photography becomes ______ ___________. It's poor photography, it's poor technique, and whether or not it catches peoples' eyes, it is poor artistry.

How do you fix this problem? Well, I'll be the first to admit that this stupid little submission probably isn't going to change any minds or alter the course of deviantart history, but for those interested, the problem is easy to fix. While editing, just ask yourself, "does this look natural?" If the answer is no, tone back whatever you just did until it changes. The eye for editing has to be developed just the same as the eye for photography, so it takes a bit of practice, but given some time, it's totally doable.

Also, I've watermarked this picture so that NOBODY STEALS MY AWESOME ARTZ. But that's a rant for a different day. :O
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:iconquaddie:
quaddie Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012
So very true,natural doesnt seem to be popular ...
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:iconnb-photoart:
NB-PhotoArt Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I couldn't agree more with you!
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:icondeeotter:
DeeOtter Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Huh. I haven't seen more glowy eyes pop up in the DA world, but I've seen a lot of unatural/super saturated eyes. I don't think I've ever seen a jaguar with super bright emerald eyes, or a baby critter with super bright sapphire blue eyes.
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:iconrobbobert:
robbobert Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Yeah, I guess I kind of lump them all together into the same bulk category of "omg what is wrong with that animal's eyes?" And I think I know the exact baby critter with sapphire blue eyes you're talking about... Hmm... :p

Nice photography in your gallery by the way. Some of your bird photography makes me absolutely green with envy. Super bright emerald green. :)
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:icondeeotter:
DeeOtter Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I did some playing around with color changes, selective color and cross processing while taking photoshop classes in school (all I can say is, meh.) I'm perfectly happy seeing the critters with their natural eye and fur colors.

Thanks. It's a love hate thing with the bird photography. There's some instances where they're super cooperative and others where it's just a giant pain with a lot of frustration.
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:iconrobbobert:
robbobert Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I hear ya. Birds can be really painful to photograph. They have the habit of moving the second you get the focus and exposure right so that you have to start all over again. Anyways, I forgot to press the watch button when I was in your gallery last night, so I went ahead and took care of it now. ;) Keep up the great work.
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:icondeeotter:
DeeOtter Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Makes it all the worthwhile if you can manage to get the shot I think.

Thanks!
Checked out your gallery as well. You have a lot of great shots and it looks like you've been around the place from the different zoo shots.
And very jealous of the titmouse shots. Only place I've managed to find them has been around the Grand Canyon so far.
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:iconsnaphappy101:
snaphappy101 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
wow, those eyes! O.O great photo :)
but yeah, people often do do that in their animal photos, often to make the pic more eye catchy and appealing to the viewers and it does often bother me when it looks too unnatural.
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:iconrobbobert:
robbobert Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I figure that's what it is a lot of the time. Given that there is such a high volume of wildlife photos coming in on a daily basis, people do that to grab peoples' attention from the thumbnail previews. It's irritatingly successful too... :steaming:
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:iconsnaphappy101:
snaphappy101 Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
yeah, it is so very true.
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