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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:08 pm 
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
I think the hoopla! about Virtual Reality has confused many.
I own a graphic design studio, among other things. You can hide a lot of evils behind a bit of Photoshopping. It's doing, but it's doing without many of the constraints of other doings.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 5:12 pm 
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Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
I have been swimming through this thread for some time. Parts of it are very deep and mirky.
Will... et. al.
Are you actively serious. If I understand what I am reading you are suggesting that the creation of a virtual bonsai using photoshop is the same thing as creating a real bonsai?
I am not the brightest light bulb on the porch, particularly when compared to some of the obvious intellectual thoughts I am reading in this thread. Lord knows I am all in favor of a little serious thought on any topic,
..... but real bonsai the same thing as virtual bonsai.
Wake up people and smell the coffee.
Randy


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 5:18 pm 
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Location: Michigan USA
Randy,
The point is that with all the "photo contests" in magazines and on the Internet, are you so sure you could tell the difference? Could you tell If I added a little more foliage or made it a little more green? Could you tell if I added a branch in a otherwise bare spot?
If you can't tell the difference, then they are indeed the same thing for all intents and purposes.
In this day and age photo doctoring is a major concern in many areas and with relatively inexpensive software a talented individual could doctor a photo so well that only a trained expert could tell it wasn't real.
How would you like to see a "doctored" photo win an on-line contest and what chance does that leave the actual, true to form, bonsai?

Will


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 Post subject: One is easier
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 5:41 pm 
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Location: Huntersville, NC USA
I consider virtual bonsai a tool. It has its appeal as a way to express one's self, but overall it is just another form of media to hone skills of the real thing. Real, living bonsai cannot be equaled with anything else. To have the same attributes present as those in a picture requires much more skill and that skill has to be accompanied by patience and the ability to provide adequate care for a living thing.

A representative analogy is stock car racing. There are many forms of simulated driving media available. Some are kid's video games which are not very realistic, computer software with very realistic requirements, and specialized simulators that come as close to the real thing as is possible with current technology. NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. is well known for his private video game setup where he spends many hours "playing" NASCAR simulation. Still, it is not real. When he is in a real Nextel Cup race at Lowe's Motor Speedway twenty miles away from his home, he is doing the REAL thing. A blown motor is not repaired by a few keystrokes, a bad start is not erased by hitting the "restart race" cursor, and a hard wreck is not ended with you getting up and going to the fridge for another beer.

Virtual technology cannot compare to real bonsai. 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. And that is what interests me. I will continue to use virtual/photoshop technology as a learning aid, but it will never exceed my desire to work with live material. I am sure I will be in good company.
John


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 Post subject: Re: One is easier
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 5:50 pm 
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Location: Michigan USA
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.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 7:18 pm 
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Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
My minor area of study in college was photography and so I like to think that I have a somewhat more sensitive eye for the way things appear visually than does the average man on the street.

You are probably familiar with a man known as "The Magician." Masahiko Kimura was like a tidal wave hitting the American shores when he first appeared on the bonsai scene many moons ago. That's why I was somewhat amused when his first book was published in English about 15 or 20 years ago.

It got rave reviews and deserved them because it got a lot of us to rethinking our artistic concepts about bonsai. But the other thing that impressed me about Mr. Kimura book was the way he very deliberately had it photographed.

Raw unstyled material was photographed under flat, indirect, non-defining lighting. The image provided an accurate rendition of the subject but did nothing to enhance it. Kind of like the photo the department of motor vehicles puts on your licence. However, Mr. Kimura finished styling the tree, he always made sure the photo in the book post styling was made using seamless backdrops and very well position accent lights. Kind of like having a formal portrait made. The tree looked spotless.

My point... you can do anything with a photo and that's even before you get it into photoshop. I remember sometime later seeing a Kimura video in which he photographed his finished trees floating in a sea of smoke and mist. Kimura is good, not only at bonsai, but as a marketer, promoter and in many other ways that the average man on the street will never realize. Anyway... back to the point at hand.

In order to make a virtual bonsai photo you would have to begin with a photograph of real bonsai... correct?

In order to make a bonsai, all I need is a seed... and a little time.
To be fair, I will give you a photo of a seed and we will see who makes out the best in the end.

In the last analysis, you can restore a classic car to mint condition in the real world or in a virtual photograph.... but you cannot get into the photograph on a Sunday morning and drive it to Waffle House for breakfast.

Randy
PS... I miss all the little smiley faces I used to be able to click on over at Bonsai Talk.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 7:22 pm 
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Good points Randy, we are in agreement on many things.

Will


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 5:22 am 
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
I can live without the smileys, I'm proud to say. I find the use of smileys and AOLSpeak detract from discussions, rather than enhancing them. They're fine for teenagers.


Last edited by Hector Johnson on Sun Feb 05, 2006 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 8:46 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA
Randy Clark wrote:
PS... I miss all the little smiley faces I used to be able to click on over at Bonsai Talk.

I realize that tonal punctuation can be useful on the internet, and I've used my share of emoticons ("smileys") in internet discussion. But my writing would be clearer, more elegant, and far less sophomoric if I'd break myself of this unappealing habit.
Thus when we founded the Art of Bonsai project, we made a deliberate decision to remove the emoticons from the forum, in the interest of promoting well-crafted prose instead of the usual internet fusion of 1337-speak and text-messaging shorthand.
Best regards,
Carl


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 9:59 am 
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I agree with you Carl, it seems that the emoticons leave a bit of room for a lot of double intender where you can say almost any foul, outrageous, mean and nasty thing you want as long as you follow it up with a bunch of smiley faces or grinning Christmas trees.
At least here you can disagree without it getting personal, and calling forth the dogs of personal destruction. This may not be the place for posting this but I could not find another?


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 12:05 pm 
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Carl Bergstrom wrote:
Thus when we founded the Art of Bonsai project, we made a deliberate decision to remove the emoticons from the forum, in the interest of promoting well-crafted prose instead of the usual internet fusion of 1337-speak and text-messaging shorthand.

Hindsight being 20/20, this has proved to be a wise decision.
This article shines a new light now that AoB is partnering with Bonsai Today with the currently underway Photo Contest. It brings to mind the common rule in these contests, no photo editing allowed except for the usual contrast/brightness adjustments.

Will


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