Enhanced pictures on online sites

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Domingo Lantigua, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. Domingo Lantigua

    Domingo Lantigua New Member

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    (Using my Andy Rooney Voice)
    Have you noticed some retailers enhancing their pics to make the figuring pop more. I mean I love my new DGT, but in the original pics on the website, the grain is way more enhanced than in real life. I will not say who, since I'm a gentleman and gentlemen never tell;)
     
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  2. ]-[@n$0Ma☩!©

    ]-[@n$0Ma☩!© Fungi Monkey

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    Every digital camera will enhance the image it captures to some degree. Every professional photographer I know will do some level of post-processing to photos. So I don't think the issue is the enhancement of the photo, per se. I think the issue is whether or not the seller posted misleading photos. That's not cool.

    I always ask sellers to provide additional photos, in differing light, of any guitar considered for purchase. A cell-phone photo inside (with flash and without flash) as well as a few outside photos (in shade and in direct sunlight) usually tells the whole story. Any reputable seller will provide these photos upon request.
     
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  3. Joesnewmatch

    Joesnewmatch Semi-Special Guitarist

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    I also ask for phone pics. Seeing the real life, non-glam shot has killed some otherwise appealing deals.
     
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  4. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

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    +1 to Hans’ comments. In my experience, the difference is in lighting technique...light temperature and saturation. Those that have a sizable light box can position the guitar’s grain is at its optimal angle. Most tops, because of sanding/finishing techniques, can have varying grain definition at different angles, so focusing on he best one makes sense. I wouldn’t call that unrealistic. If you want your friends to see what made you buy it, put a light box on your wall!
     
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  5. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I agree with Hans that if folks are especially concerned about appearance, it's smart to ask the seller to take a few pics in different lighting. My guitars, especially the Northern Lights guitar, look noticeably different in every light. I doubt dealers are trying to mislead when showing a guitar to the buying public in its best light, but heck, there's no reason not to ask for more pics before buying.

    On a different note (you see what I did there), when Jack Gretz has a guitar in stock that I'm interested in, he sends me clips of the guitar with an amp I am familiar with, so I can hear what it sounds like.

    I figure it this way: Whatever your priorities are, if you're spending thousands of dollars on a piece of equipment, it's a good idea to learn as much as you can about it before you plunk down the cash.
     
  6. docteurseb

    docteurseb New Member

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    If it's the one in your profile pic it's easy enough to know where it came from (if like me you spend way too much time checking guitars online).

    I don't think they necessarily enhance pictures all that much beyond some extremely good/strong studio lighting they use, and a bit of extra saturation/contrast/micro-contrast.
    Take your guitar outside in direct sunlight with the orientation that maximizes grain pop and it'll probably look like their pic.

    The only guitar with figured top that looked better in person in indoor lighting than it did on a website with studio light was a Private Stock in Northern Lights, I had to stare at the guitar for couple minutes after opening the case...
     
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  7. stratlanta

    stratlanta How do brushstroke birds fly?

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    As a former semi-serious-amateur-photography-hobbiest (haha!) this is actually something I’ve given a lot of thought to.

    In general I think what’s happening is that most retailers have gotten really good at photographing guitars. It’s actually very tricky and, particularly in the last couple of years, I’ve seen them drastically improve the quality of their photographs through lighting and positioning mainly.

    What most of them are now presenting are images reflecting the ideal or maximized version of a guitar. I don’t think this is misrepresentation but it is the best that the guitar will look, in perfect light and at a perfect angle.

    With that said, the retailer that produced the image in your profile is one of the two or three extremes that I’ve seen out there. It seems to me that they are bumping up black points, contrast, color temperature, etc. The irony is that I find most of their images really unappealing. And for the sake of transparency, I like that shop and have bought multiple guitars from them. But I definitely take their images with a strong grain of salt. The guitar I got from them recently actually looked so much better in person than the cartoonish version they had posted - I was pleasantly surprised. Knowing them though, I still don’t feel as if they are intentionally misleading.

    It’s a super competitive business and everyone is now competing for “eyeballs” in the online space. I’m actually surprised there aren’t more extreme versions of this going on.

    When I sell pieces I try really hard to actually show them in a very realistic view. I learned this the hard way when a guy returned a guitar to me because he felt it was “more red than brown”. I went back and looked at the pics I posted right next to the guitar and, while I still felt it was ticky-tack, I could see where he was coming from. Lesson learned on my part.
     
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  8. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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    What those guys said. My PS has never looked as good as it does in the pics @Brian G took. None of my pics come close because of the lighting.
     
  9. Domingo Lantigua

    Domingo Lantigua New Member

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    I didn't get it from the retailer, I got it off a private sale.. But looking around I found it on the retailers site. So I knew what I was getting, is just that it just looks really over enhanced. Maybe they'll start putting one of those Insta filters on guitars now, make them all look like 10 top PS's
     
  10. docteurseb

    docteurseb New Member

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    Case in point I just took these of a Warmoth VIP with and without flash, on a smartphone. No enhancements, beyond the stock processing/rendering of the phone.

    Left matches better what I see indoors with indirect sunlight.
    I wouldn't buy the left one, but I could get tempted by the right one.
    [​IMG]


    Here's an older pic in direct sunlight, and I didn't make a lot of enhancement as the grass doesn't look saturated. With just a bit of extra saturation and micro-contrast this would look even more insane:
    [​IMG]
     
  11. 11top

    11top Cousin Eddie's cousin

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    I just took this selfie with flash:

    [​IMG]

    Some say the flash enhanced my image, but I can’t really see any difference.
     
    #11 11top, Feb 17, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
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  12. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

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    With all of those guitars, you’d think you could afford a razor.
     
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  13. 11top

    11top Cousin Eddie's cousin

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    or a mask.
     
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  14. Tucson Thump

    Tucson Thump Mint Heavy Relic

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    I would imagine some people may fix the images as they would for their dating site account.
     
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  15. 11top

    11top Cousin Eddie's cousin

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    wide angle?
     
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  16. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    Giggle!
     
  17. DarthNoid

    DarthNoid New Member

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    Guitar Center has some pretty terrible stock photos. Virtually every other retailer has more vibrant photos where the finish shines
     
  18. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open - Eared

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    Most photographers (at least folks who own Mac Photos) will enhance photos if they know how. Their iPhones may not provide stellar imagery, but then again, the photo software used on Macs isn't exactly PhotoShop. Yet, without the amazing effects that PS has, Mac Photos will enhance an image adequately so that it makes a previously complex or lifeless image tighten up focus and draw attention to the item itself, even creating a vignette with shadows and darkening around the edges (my preferred manner of editing).

    It's comparable to posting an image of someone patting a dog. What about the image are you trying to draw attention to? The dog smiling? The hand? Both? The immediate background? Good photo editing is necessary to focus on the subject in question so the viewer is drawn in and can identify what you're trying to convey with the image.

    If some noise reduction, image sharpening or definition will improve the image, why not? Your eyes close up are likely better than what the camera will capture, and if not, why the issue? Photo editing is designed to reveal not only beauty but imperfections as well. Just so you're not using PS to cover up any imperfections, which would be false representation.

    Women spend inordinate money on cosmetics that cover up imperfections so they will look more beautiful to you. A camera and photo editing can be both a blessing and a curse, but its important that what you see is what you get, not something that was enhanced to remove imperfections, like cosmetics do. (And yes, your wife or GF will thank you when you say that she has natural beauty...)
     
  19. Tucson Thump

    Tucson Thump Mint Heavy Relic

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    Likely built in on Tinder
     
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