John Dixon wrote:
It was asked earlier if someone could pick a virtual attempt from the real thing in a photo on the web. Well, I might be able to. But in its presence I will be able to pick it 100% of the time.
There would be no virtual bonsai to compare to in person, this would be easy.
Again, the point is that while looking at a screen or a picture there is no sure way to tell if it has been altered unless you are a trained professional and even they admit that it is getting harder and harder to tell.
Bonsai in person will never change, only the on-line or photo contests will ever be subject to virtual fraud.
Using a virtual as a tool for design is a valuable technique and should be encouraged however, those who may use the virtuals to represent an actual bonsai in non-live contests is indeed something to be concerned with.