Are these reflections real or Photoshopped?

Started Aug 16, 2014 | Questions
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NOVCJ Regular Member • Posts: 245
Are these reflections real or Photoshopped?
1

I really like these images:

http://500px.com/photo/77254125/o-by-daniel-antunes?from=user

http://500px.com/photo/79156819/untitled-by-daniel-antunes?from=user

but was a little sceptical about the clarity of the reflections and also the 'viscosity' of the water at the edges. Is it possible to achieve these effects in Photoshop?

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AMAllan
AMAllan Veteran Member • Posts: 4,949
Re: Are these reflections real or Photoshopped?

Although that type of reflection is possible to produce in PS, I think these shots were set up by the photographer by adding water to the scene for the best effect. It took some experimenting on his part.

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fuego6
fuego6 Senior Member • Posts: 1,967
Re: Are these reflections real or Photoshopped?
6

I like them too.... I would guess that 99.999% of images are edited or modified these days... doesn't matter to me - if you like it - that's what's important.

billythek Veteran Member • Posts: 5,258
Re: Are these reflections real or Photoshopped?

If it is photoshopped, he did a good job of changing the perspective in the reflection and not just mirroring the scene.

Other than that, I expect one or more plugins were used in post processing. No problem for me, of course; I like the results.
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C Roske
C Roske Senior Member • Posts: 1,121
Re: Are these reflections real or Photoshopped?

As you said, the water on the edge looks a little "thick"

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richardplondon
richardplondon Veteran Member • Posts: 9,900
Artificial

These look to me like copied and "flipped" representations only, done up to look vaguely like reflections. Perhaps there were some real reflections in the scene which were considered not mirror-like enough, and replacements faked up in post; but I'm inclined to guess they were simply made up altogether.

Because real reflections show in a different angular perspective, than the direct view does.

For example: say you are standing 50 feet away from a person, and both your eye-point and the subject's face are 5 feet above a mirror surface. You are photographing the person's face straight-on, but photographing the reflection of that as if from a position that is 10 feet lower down (located below, instead of above, the mirror).

You therefore expect to see more of the underside of the model's chin, and less of the top of the model's head, and there'll be more vertical foreshortening, etc. Also the person will be seen very differently against the more distant background - in the reflection the head would be silhouetted higher up, against the sky, instead of being seen positioned in front of the horizon. And so on.

There's no way to turn a direct representation into a reflected representation systematically, by a 2D transform. And whenever you don't see those differential 3D changes of angle in a photo purporting to show a reflection, it looks unnatural and uncanny - however carefully done - the moment your attention is drawn to it.

Of course this kind of slightly disturbing visual effect may have been the photographer's intent here; but if so, it's IMO a rather slick, gimmicky and contrived way to make an impact.

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billythek Veteran Member • Posts: 5,258
Re: Artificial

richardplondon wrote:

These look to me like copied and "flipped" representations only, done up to look vaguely like reflections. Perhaps there were some real reflections in the scene which were considered not mirror-like enough, and replacements faked up in post; but I'm inclined to guess they were simply made up altogether.

Because real reflections show in a different angular perspective, than the direct view does.

For example: say you are standing 50 feet away from a person, and both your eye-point and the subject's face are 5 feet above a mirror surface. You are photographing the person's face straight-on, but photographing the reflection of that as if from a position that is 10 feet lower down (located below, instead of above, the mirror).

You therefore expect to see more of the underside of the model's chin, and less of the top of the model's head, and there'll be more vertical foreshortening, etc. Also the person will be seen very differently against the more distant background - in the reflection the head would be silhouetted higher up, against the sky, instead of being seen positioned in front of the horizon. And so on.

There's no way to turn a direct representation into a reflected representation systematically, by a 2D transform. And whenever you don't see those differential 3D changes of angle in a photo purporting to show a reflection, it looks unnatural and uncanny - however carefully done - the moment your attention is drawn to it.

Of course this kind of slightly disturbing visual effect may have been the photographer's intent here; but if so, it's IMO a rather slick, gimmicky and contrived way to make an impact.

Well, if he did fake it, he did a good job of faking the perspective changes with the buildings and other artificial objects.  For example, the orange shape and the suitcase in the reflection, the window corner at the top of the scene has more area in the reflection, the tops of the buildings are more visible in the reflection.  Of course, this can all be faked, if you know what you are doing, and go to the trouble.

I agree that the humans in the picture don't look quite right in the reflection.

Anyway, it wasn't a simple mirror job that you often see.  There was some effort put into it.

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tony brown Veteran Member • Posts: 3,873
Re: Are these reflections real or Photoshopped?

NOVCJ wrote:

I really like these images:

http://500px.com/photo/77254125/o-by-daniel-antunes?from=user

http://500px.com/photo/79156819/untitled-by-daniel-antunes?from=user

but was a little sceptical about the clarity of the reflections and also the 'viscosity' of the water at the edges. Is it possible to achieve these effects in Photoshop?

Considering the first image, the water is as flat as a perfectly ground lens - no air movement; no dirt; no insects; no paper shreds; no sweet wrappers; no grit; and the meniscus on the upper right below the pedestrian's foot would befit mercury, not water, whereas no such edge occurs top left at the water's edge. The second picture also has to thick a water edge meniscus top right and top left without corresponding roll-over distortion at top centre.

The highest quality float or plate glass mirrors would be required to get that good a reflection without any distortion. Perhaps a pool of mercury might achieve it but you never get mercury that clean without surface contamination - nor water puddles either.

You get no more revelation of the underside of her right fist than in the top image. Furthermore there is only about 1/2 a stop exposure difference between the top and lower image.

The pictures are attractive enough and well executed but not straight out of the camera for sure. I think it is ONLY possible to get this clear and distortion free effect in post processing.

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Glen Barrington
Glen Barrington Forum Pro • Posts: 16,683
Re: Artificial
1

richardplondon wrote:

Of course this kind of slightly disturbing visual effect may have been the photographer's intent here; but if so, it's IMO a rather slick, gimmicky and contrived way to make an impact.

I have no problem with slick, gimmicky, and contrived as long as it is NEW and innovative, slick, gimmicky, and contrived photos.

But in 2 weeks, we are going to see 6-8 posts a day in the beginners forum (and a few in this forum) about how to duplicate this effect.  And some dope will tell them how, or worse, tell them about some plug-in that does it with no effort and thought required of the user.  Then, in 8 months, we will be swimming (pun intended) in awful fake reflection photos.

Something needs to be done immediately!  ARRRGH!

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richardplondon
richardplondon Veteran Member • Posts: 9,900
Re: Artificial

I have no problem with slick, gimmicky, and contrived as long as it is NEW and innovative, slick, gimmicky, and contrived photos.

But in 2 weeks, we are going to see 6-8 posts a day in the beginners forum (and a few in this forum) about how to duplicate this effect.

Oh, by the way - do you have any idea how I can make a whole photo be in black and white, except for just (say) a bunch of flowers, still showing in full colour?

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Glen Barrington
Glen Barrington Forum Pro • Posts: 16,683
Re: Artificial

richardplondon wrote:

I have no problem with slick, gimmicky, and contrived as long as it is NEW and innovative, slick, gimmicky, and contrived photos.

But in 2 weeks, we are going to see 6-8 posts a day in the beginners forum (and a few in this forum) about how to duplicate this effect.

Oh, by the way - do you have any idea how I can make a whole photo be in black and white, except for just (say) a bunch of flowers, still showing in full colour?

I'm ashamed to say, I do . . .

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richardplondon
richardplondon Veteran Member • Posts: 9,900
Re: Artificial

For example, the orange shape and the suitcase in the reflection, the window corner at the top of the scene has more area in the reflection, the tops of the buildings are more visible in the reflection. Of course, this can all be faked, if you know what you are doing, and go to the trouble.

I agree that the humans in the picture don't look quite right in the reflection.

I do agree that effort has been put in, to move some of the image areas around in the reflection, and that does help - it is better done, than this effect often is.

But (say) in particular, that semicircular arch is a straight flip and that is unfortunately so obvious and dominant, as to fatally undermine the illusion.

Of course it's all too easy to pick holes in the success of somebody else's attempt. But IMO this class of photo based trickery has sort-of invited that in the first place.

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Mark K W Senior Member • Posts: 1,507
Re: if it is artificial, how is it done??

richardplondon wrote:

These look to me like copied and "flipped" representations only, done up to look vaguely like reflections. Perhaps there were some real reflections in the scene which were considered not mirror-like enough, and replacements faked up in post; but I'm inclined to guess they were simply made up altogether.

Because real reflections show in a different angular perspective, than the direct view does.

For example: say you are standing 50 feet away from a person, and both your eye-point and the subject's face are 5 feet above a mirror surface. You are photographing the person's face straight-on, but photographing the reflection of that as if from a position that is 10 feet lower down (located below, instead of above, the mirror).

You therefore expect to see more of the underside of the model's chin, and less of the top of the model's head, and there'll be more vertical foreshortening, etc. Also the person will be seen very differently against the more distant background - in the reflection the head would be silhouetted higher up, against the sky, instead of being seen positioned in front of the horizon. And so on.

There's no way to turn a direct representation into a reflected representation systematically, by a 2D transform. And whenever you don't see those differential 3D changes of angle in a photo purporting to show a reflection, it looks unnatural and uncanny - however carefully done - the moment your attention is drawn to it.

These images do show 3D shifted alignment. Look very carefully as annotated by me below (and I have looked at several of his similar images and they show similar 3D perspective to the reflections). He has done some tidy-up of antennas, etc., on the sky line and not in the reflection, but look at the detail 3D relative references inside my red circles. It is clearly not a simple 2D reflection.

Of course this kind of slightly disturbing visual effect may have been the photographer's intent here; but if so, it's IMO a rather slick, gimmicky and contrived way to make an impact.

How is it done then, taking into account these 3D relative shifts?

I agree it all looks somewhat false and CGI, but I wonder if it is a real reflection made by some liquid he has poured to a surface he has just swept clean, and then he has both touched up e.g. the real sky, as well as emphasised the reflected surface luminosity and clarity/sharpness. Other of his images are also showing that the water is suitably translucent. Also the images all have a very early morning still and day is just starting feel. So - on balance I think he gets up early in the still morning, pours or finds real still liquid on a clean surface, and then tidies it up and emphasises it in post-production.

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richardplondon
richardplondon Veteran Member • Posts: 9,900
Re: if it is artificial, how is it done??
1

How is it done then, taking into account these 3D relative shifts?

By moving around parts of the image that go into the reflection.

I agree it all looks somewhat false and CGI, but I wonder if it is a real reflection made by some liquid he has poured to a surface he has just swept clean, and then he has both touched up e.g. the real sky, as well as emphasised the reflected surface luminosity and clarity/sharpness. Other of his images are also showing that the water is suitably translucent. Also the images all have a very early morning still and day is just starting feel. So - on balance I think he gets up early in the still morning, pours or finds real still liquid on a clean surface, and then tidies it up and emphasises it in post-production.

No. The reflection of the arch can be flipped, transformed a little vertically, and both edges of its curved underside made to overlay those of the real arch perfectly (I've made this experiment). This is impossible in 3D terms, except for two images both produced from the exact same viewpoint. A reflection would have a different virtual viewpoint from where the perspective would have been significantly different.

Other images show many similar effects - throughout. It's not morally reprehensible or dishonest, or anything like that of course - but let's be clear about the nature of these images. The reflections are a trick effect.

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Toermalijn
Toermalijn Forum Pro • Posts: 13,603
Re: if it is artificial, how is it done??

richardplondon wrote:

How is it done then, taking into account these 3D relative shifts?

By moving around parts of the image that go into the reflection.

I agree it all looks somewhat false and CGI, but I wonder if it is a real reflection made by some liquid he has poured to a surface he has just swept clean, and then he has both touched up e.g. the real sky, as well as emphasised the reflected surface luminosity and clarity/sharpness. Other of his images are also showing that the water is suitably translucent. Also the images all have a very early morning still and day is just starting feel. So - on balance I think he gets up early in the still morning, pours or finds real still liquid on a clean surface, and then tidies it up and emphasises it in post-production.

No. The reflection of the arch can be flipped, transformed a little vertically, and both edges of its curved underside made to overlay those of the real arch perfectly (I've made this experiment). This is impossible in 3D terms, except for two images both produced from the exact same viewpoint. A reflection would have a different virtual viewpoint from where the perspective would have been significantly different.

Other images show many similar effects - throughout. It's not morally reprehensible or dishonest, or anything like that of course - but let's be clear about the nature of these images. The reflections are a trick effect.

Certainly seems that way.

Mark K W Senior Member • Posts: 1,507
Re: if it is artificial, how is it done??

richardplondon wrote:

How is it done then, taking into account these 3D relative shifts?

By moving around parts of the image that go into the reflection.

I agree it all looks somewhat false and CGI, but I wonder if it is a real reflection made by some liquid he has poured to a surface he has just swept clean, and then he has both touched up e.g. the real sky, as well as emphasised the reflected surface luminosity and clarity/sharpness. Other of his images are also showing that the water is suitably translucent. Also the images all have a very early morning still and day is just starting feel. So - on balance I think he gets up early in the still morning, pours or finds real still liquid on a clean surface, and then tidies it up and emphasises it in post-production.

No. The reflection of the arch can be flipped, transformed a little vertically, and both edges of its curved underside made to overlay those of the real arch perfectly (I've made this experiment). This is impossible in 3D terms, except for two images both produced from the exact same viewpoint. A reflection would have a different virtual viewpoint from where the perspective would have been significantly different.

The shifts are much more complex than 2D transforms… look very very carefully at each one inside my circles - it's not macro shifts of a warped archway, it is down in the very very detailed relative alignment of creases in the clothing vs the lines in the tiles behind, the head relative to the aircon, etc., etc..

There are many examples like that in the detail of this image and his others. Things are moving relative to each other between the real and reflection. It would be such complex masking and transformations to make it all work using a 2D graphical bitmap tool like Photoshop (or any other 2D renderer). Whatever has happened has been 3D, and could only be done with 3D re-rendering (or reaillty!) in my view. That is why I do not get how he has done it.

Other images show many similar effects - throughout. It's not morally reprehensible or dishonest, or anything like that of course - but let's be clear about the nature of these images. The reflections are a trick effect.

Yes - I agree that… my question is more HOW it's done because the 3D relative positional transforms are there on the micro-level.

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Mark K W Senior Member • Posts: 1,507
Re: if it is artificial, how is it done??

Mark K W wrote:

richardplondon wrote:

How is it done then, taking into account these 3D relative shifts?

By moving around parts of the image that go into the reflection.

I agree it all looks somewhat false and CGI, but I wonder if it is a real reflection made by some liquid he has poured to a surface he has just swept clean, and then he has both touched up e.g. the real sky, as well as emphasised the reflected surface luminosity and clarity/sharpness. Other of his images are also showing that the water is suitably translucent. Also the images all have a very early morning still and day is just starting feel. So - on balance I think he gets up early in the still morning, pours or finds real still liquid on a clean surface, and then tidies it up and emphasises it in post-production.

No. The reflection of the arch can be flipped, transformed a little vertically, and both edges of its curved underside made to overlay those of the real arch perfectly (I've made this experiment). This is impossible in 3D terms, except for two images both produced from the exact same viewpoint. A reflection would have a different virtual viewpoint from where the perspective would have been significantly different.

The shifts are much more complex than 2D transforms… look very very carefully at each one inside my circles - it's not macro shifts of a warped archway, it is down in the very very detailed relative alignment of creases in the clothing vs the lines in the tiles behind, the head relative to the aircon, etc., etc..

There are many examples like that in the detail of this image and his others. Things are moving relative to each other between the real and reflection. It would be such complex masking and transformations to make it all work using a 2D graphical bitmap tool like Photoshop (or any other 2D renderer). Whatever has happened has been 3D, and could only be done with 3D re-rendering (or reaillty!) in my view. That is why I do not get how he has done it.

Other images show many similar effects - throughout. It's not morally reprehensible or dishonest, or anything like that of course - but let's be clear about the nature of these images. The reflections are a trick effect.

Yes - I agree that… my question is more HOW it's done because the 3D relative positional transforms are there on the micro-level.

E.g. could it be two cameras vertically displaced by a small distance and fired at the same time, and then overlay blended in a 2D tool like Photoshop to create a false reflection onto another rendered pool-shape? That kind of thing…

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Tom Axford Senior Member • Posts: 2,805
The reflection is real!
1

In my opinion it is ludicrous to think that the reflection has been created in Photoshop.

The change in parallax is so complicated to simulate that it simply wouldn't be worth the effort!

However, there may have been some Photoshopping to brighten the reflection, etc.

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Steve Bingham
Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 23,512
Photoshopped

Photoshopped - but great job!

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Steve Bingham
Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 23,512
Re: Artificial

Straight out of the camera or photoshopped? My wife took this with her little Sony Cybershot.

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