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Critique of IAPLC 2015

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by Solcielo lawrencia, Aug 30, 2015.

  1. Solcielo lawrencia

    Solcielo lawrencia Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Here are some of my critiques in no particular order:

    I was expecting very good compositions, artistically speaking. But nothing really caught my eye. There was a tendency to add too much which over-complicated things. In other words, they looked too busy and distracting. However, it seemed like this contributes to a higher score. Keeping it simple would make it look much more visually appealing.

    Some things just have to go: moss trees. No more moss trees. I'm sick of moss trees. They are so difficult to do right but almost always, they look like moss growing on the tops of twigs. They are also difficult to maintain, and according to the rules, should lose points (but most likely don't.)

    Photo-editing isn't allowed, but there were many obvious ones. If they can't edit a photo so that it doesn't look edited, just disqualify them. Bad photo editing is distracting and a violation of the rule. If you don't enforce this rule, don't have this rule. I'm tempted to enter an entirely edited photo of a non-existing aquascape just to prove a point.

    Plant selection was the biggest problem in a lot of arrangements. There seems to be a tendency to use more plants than are necessary. As a result, the plants didn't complement well and contributed to the visual distraction. Also, some arrangements could have used more plants because the hardscape was too noticeable.

    Last major critique, I know this isn't a photo contest but there were a number of works which would have benefited from skilled photography. Photography is not about taking a photo. Photography is about using and manipulating light. By carefully manipulating light, you create an atmosphere, an impression, a mood. You can also highlight or hide certain features. These can help tell the story of the aquascape and can even contribute to a higher score. Flat lighting, where the entire tank is lit evenly from above, highlights everything. If there are features that are poor, this kind of lighting will make it obvious.
     
    John N. likes this.
  2. Ed Villagracia

    Ed Villagracia Active Aquascaper

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    i think the grand winner from japan presented the best scape this year 2015 IAPLC.
    meaning new idea. never been seen before in my opinion.

    [Some things just have to go: moss trees. No more moss trees. I'm sick of moss trees. They are so difficult to do right but almost always, they look like moss growing on the tops of twigs. They are also difficult to maintain, and according to the rules, should lose points (but most likely don't.)]

    sorry to contradict you about the moss tree. knowing ADA being innovative with nature aquarium
    the moss tree will stay and will always be part of every tank aquascape. i believe it is one way to express scenery out there.
    have no idea [iaplc] about :according to the rules, should lose points (but most likely don't.)]

    skills in photography is a must. for 3-years i am using DSLR during final photo but i don't understand why despite of tank
    being considered as highlight [using 4pcs PL55watts in my 40gallons] it appeared not well lighted. a little distance,
    moving forward or backward of the tripod changes the appearance of image registered after photo upload.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
  3. Solcielo lawrencia

    Solcielo lawrencia Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Here's the results in case anyone missed the presentation:
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
    Ed Villagracia likes this.
  4. Solcielo lawrencia

    Solcielo lawrencia Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I think it was a very good arrangement, too, but the composition wasn't the best. It doesn't look very innovative but it has good depth perspective. And it's a good photo.

    Moss trees just don't look good. Even if it's a diorama scape, it still doesn't look realistic. That's the issue i have with moss trees, it looks fake. And moss trees don't fit the long-term maintenance rule because they are difficult to maintain.

    What ISO, aperture, and shutter speed are you using? In order to take a good photo, you need at least one high-wattage strobe light and reflectors. To add accent lighting, you'll need extra strobe lights. Using the overhead aquarium lighting is often insufficient.

    In general, diorama scapes need a single-point light source, not flat lighting.
     
    Ed Villagracia likes this.
  5. Ed Villagracia

    Ed Villagracia Active Aquascaper

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    with regards to dslr cam setting i will just ask my son [using his cam] to follow ADA's advice for cam setting.
    while working with the final photo, i normally work alone. i am lucky if either one of my two sons help me :LOL:

    you have mentioned that one of my scape was a Diorama no idea really with the term not until you mentioned
    in my thread. thanks for that.

    i must agree using most tree in that particular scape of mine is a mess. i should contented with hair grass [upper part]
    and, maybe HC as forground.

    kindly explain "In general, diorama scapes need a single-point light source, not flat lighting."
    do i have to put or additional light for back lighting?

    been joining IAPLC contest for 6-years but still so many things for me to learn more.

    thank you(y)



     
    keithgh likes this.
  6. Solcielo lawrencia

    Solcielo lawrencia Aspiring Aquascaper

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    You're welcome.

    The reason for a single-point light source is to create the impression of the sun shining into the tank. The additional lighting depends on where you place the "sun". If the sun is shining from the back, then backlighting may not be necessary since light is already there. If it's shining from the front, then the back may be too dark so backlighting may be necessary. This all depends on the arrangement. Lighting should be adjusted accordingly. This is mostly trial and error.

    If using multiple light sources, there must be one main light and all others less intense. Otherwise, the extra lights may create cross shadows, where one object casts two or more shadows. This looks really bad.
     

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