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Are These Caloceras & Echiceras Ammonites Images Altered?


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Hi, I just got these two from eBay:

Caloceras Johnstoni (Blue Lias, Somerset - UK)

eBay pic:

post-10857-0-87888900-1361988897_thumb.jpg

Real specimen under halogen light:

post-10857-0-35263900-1361989172_thumb.jpg

Real specimen under normal white light:

post-10857-0-74974100-1361989198_thumb.jpg

Echioceras Raricostatum (Jurassic Coast, Charmouth - UK)

eBay pic:

post-10857-0-83880200-1361988805_thumb.jpg

Real specimen under halogen light:

post-10857-0-24312100-1361988889_thumb.jpg

The eBay pics and the real actual ones look a little different, the colors & iridescent just don't seem to be as vibrant and glowwy. From the pics I uploaded, do u think the original eBay pics have been altered to make them look better than they seem? Or is it because my light condition wasn't right? Would exposing them to natural sunlight give better iridescent?

Just in case u were wondering, I didn't get upset or felt conned or anything, I still love the two specimens - I think they look really nice in my collection. Just wanted to know out of curiosity, that's all :)

Edited by AJ Plai
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Terry Dactyll

Good question....

Firstly the Caloceras....These are beautiful irridescent ammonites that refract the light to give off a full range of colours greens, golds and reds... I would imagine the ebay seller has angled the piece gradually under a light source and then taken a few photos to chose the best one or two that do the fossil justice... I think they look best in natural sunlight coming through the window although under your lighting it looks a great specimen...

the Echioceras....This will eventually in a few years begin to go a yellow powdery colour with pyrite decay... dont keep it near anything containing pyrite would be my opinion....What the sellers often do to make them sparkle and more saleable is rub them with a soft brass wire brush and some of the brass sticks to the harder iron pyrite fossils which makes it look more golden and attractive...

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Steve has said exactly what I was going to say but I will add that I have seen the seller’s auctions before and they do not seem to have been treated, so do watch out it will start to fall apart sometime.

Regards,



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Thx for the replies and the tips.

So how should I maintain and treat the specimen with to keep it's gold shine long-lasting? As far as I know, exposure to water or humidity is a no no for one of these pyrite ammonites, but other than that, I am pretty clueless.

Thx again.

Edited by AJ Plai
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The ebay Caloceras photos may just as easily have been enhanced after the fact using image editing software. Just enough to make it them little more eye-catching. I don't blame him though, if that's what he did, I know iridescence is hard to capture with a camera, but he might have gone just a bit beyond reality.

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Hello, I have observed your posts to the forum and you are obviously amassing an impressive group of varied fossil material. I wish you continued success in your acquisitions.

Regarding the Caloceras, in my opinion it is a lovely example of a wonderfully beautiful type of fossil. Below is a photo I recently posted to another topic. The shot was taken to show off the printed card, but you can see the fossil pretty well. The light thrown off these pieces, like that of opal, is extremely difficult to photograph with any accuracy. The pieces I have are lit by a fairly dim, ceiling, incandescent fixture. It may be my imagination, but they often appear different when I pass by. That is, with varying intensities of iridescence. Perhaps it is the changing value of the indirect light from the windows. I have seen it opined that these are best displayed under halogen spots. I have never tried this, as I find them very beautiful as they are.

post-8873-0-82732500-1362005950_thumb.jpg

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There are websites that will analyse photos for alterations.

Things get very technical and I don't really know what I am talking about... but

try http://fotoforensics.com.

I submitted the first ebay image to see what it looks like:

http://fotoforensics.com/analysis.php?id=8d2d21513ceacd86f766d22c0d05f89abf968042.19892&fmt=ela

And then as a comparison submitted your second image:

http://fotoforensics.com/analysis.php?id=fa74e7e442f9b2c1a476e5a148a11c860d0277b6.669922&fmt=ela

Your image comes back quite large.

The sold black areas indicate degradation of the image.

You can see that the black back ground has been enhanced (made solid black).

The indications are that the ebay photo has been saved several times. These alterations includes saves for resizing and cropping the image.

I think that the ammonites colours have been only marginally corrected.

If I was putting an image up on ebay I would colour correct, crop and resize the image with out even thinking about it.

Maybe we could have a competition to find the most faked image on ebay.

  • I found this Informative 1
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Without having gotten into it in depth, that is an interesting site - thanks for posting it!

I was not trying to say that the colors in those ammo photos are artificial - they certainly are colorful in-hand (except for my Psiloceras which is more pearly than colorful) - but glad to see I was right about these being somewhat enhanced. And again, I would not blame the seller, given how hard it is to photo iridescence, but I have seen this type of ammo in person and something about those photos looked slightly exaggerated.

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Take a look at this:

Trouble with Pyrite - By Fred Clouter

Regards,

Very good to know, thx for sharing :)

Hello, I have observed your posts to the forum and you are obviously amassing an impressive group of varied fossil material. I wish you continued success in your acquisitions.

Regarding the Caloceras, in my opinion it is a lovely example of a wonderfully beautiful type of fossil. Below is a photo I recently posted to another topic. The shot was taken to show off the printed card, but you can see the fossil pretty well. The light thrown off these pieces, like that of opal, is extremely difficult to photograph with any accuracy. The pieces I have are lit by a fairly dim, ceiling, incandescent fixture. It may be my imagination, but they often appear different when I pass by. That is, with varying intensities of iridescence. Perhaps it is the changing value of the indirect light from the windows. I have seen it opined that these are best displayed under halogen spots. I have never tried this, as I find them very beautiful as they are.

Thx Snolly50 :) Yours one looks very nice also. I find that even under shadow, it still gives out a very nice iridescent - the green and blue hues seem to show up making the piece looks like a different specimen under different light conditions and viewing angles. It's probably this particular features that draw me to these kind of ammonites the most - truly a wonder of nature.

Phossiker:

That's a very neat website!! Will definitely play around with it. Thx!

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These two photos are the same ammonite on the same day in the same room under the same light from a different angle.There are quite a few noticable differences and these ammonites don't have near the iridenscence that yours have AJ. In your picturesI like the colors in the more green picture just as much as the other one with what seems to be a better mix of color. What a beautiful rock that is.

Ed

post-10180-0-25946700-1362089348_thumb.jpg

post-10180-0-16785100-1362089365_thumb.jpg

Edited by Mr_ed
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Photographing prismatic iridescence accurately is functionally impossible; the best to hope for is a series that represents the range of color and intensity well.

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Looking at the rest of the picture ...the e-bay picture that is.. the grey has a hue of red to it on my screen and that make me think that they may have shone the light trrough colored glass to light up the fossil. Just guessing.

Ed

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I get that same effect just by taking pics indoors under incandescent light - my camera seems to exaggerate that by making everything pink or orange-red. When I take pics in natural light the colors look normal.

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