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Aquascaping Contest Scandal

glasscanvasart

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I imagine that Amano would have passed judgement on the cheating without delay. Maybe I’ve misread his character, but I don’t believe he was too cautious or considered, more like a man with conviction.

I don’t think I’ll enter IAPLC 2021, because of the spineless response, but in the long run I’ll probably end up entering the competition in the future. I don’t think there is really a substitute to the IAPLC. The EAPLC isn’t anywhere near as competitive and I wouldn’t go anywhere near anything endorsed by the CCP, so the CIPS is ruled out for me. My aspirations align best with the IAPLC and I really admire its competitors, so I guess I will put up with the dishonest judging criteria and spineless response.
 
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finniche

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I have read this discussion with great interest and learned a lot from it. Last year I participated in contests for the first time and plan to continue to do so in 2021. I operate on a very modest level but still this kinda contrived nature of one picture, and a small byte size one, summarizing the whole process and the end result has troubled me.

At the same time I like the idea of capturing the aquascape in one single shot and optimizing your scape for the photo but this also seems like a limiting factor for the possibilities of expression.

I don´t know if anyone else noticed the inspiring and encouraging FB post of Josh Sim that George Farmer shared on the first day of this year. While embracing the idea of enjoying ones hobby and not stressing it too much, Josh Sim also mentioned he had in the past edited fish to prefect postion in his contest pictures. I admire Mr Sim greatly and his achievements are undeniable and this information does not change that a bit. It just leaves me pondering the nature of the contest scene and the contradictions within.

The subdued reactions and the overall silence in broader aquascaping platforms like FB and IG regarding the latest contest scandal does not help. I have been surprised and disappointed about that.

Also has me thinking if there could be some new way of approaching this, new type of competition, as has been suggested here, that would encourage, inspire and move the scene forward in a different way. Competion of journals, maybe?
 

Tim Harrison

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I think the discussion thus far concluded that the IAPLC and ADA's decision on this is primarily driven by business, sadly. It was interesting to hear Steven Chong's point of view, he was effectively in the IAPLC's corner, but in the end even he admitted as much.
 

rebel

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I admire Mr Sim greatly and his achievements are undeniable and this information does not change that a bit.
Wow so now they are coming out of the woods.... :) This to me sounds like cheating. Why anyone would cheat while doing a hobby is beyond me.

Drain the swamp and build a planted tank with the water.

The subdued reactions and the overall silence in broader aquascaping platforms like FB and IG regarding the latest contest scandal does not help.
I hope you realize that in those platforms, what you see is tailored to your world. You may not see the outrage depending on how the algorithm thinks of you.
 

mort

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As someone who knows nothing about the contest can I ask is it anonymous? Or are entrants known when they are judged?
 

Nuno Gomes

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The pictures are supposed to be judged without a name attached to keep things fair, if that's actually how it goes...I have no idea.
 

finniche

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AGA announced the results of their 2020 competition last Sunday. They also made their stance to photo manipulation quite clear by disqualifying 13 entries in different categories. 13 out of 590 entries altogether make for a roughly 2 percent. This probably shows the extent of these practices accurately.

Some of the judges also pleaded against cheating in their written comments. The reasons for disqualification were pointed out with the published photos, sometimes along with original positive feedback from the judges unaware of the cheating( I would imagine this to be the case). This method of dealing with the issue seems quite effective to me.

In my opinion AGA deserves high praise for this move.

As for the anonymity: in AGA´s case some of the entries in their competition have been public with the author´s name since IAPLC announced their results so at least with some scapes in some competitions there is no guarenteed anonymity.
 

Tim Harrison

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That's some consolation at least, and some indication that this whole affair has been taken seriously elsewhere with something of a positive outcome.
 

glasscanvasart

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Anonymity should never be a problem for good respected judges
No, but it rules out bias in the final rankings, which are sometimes contentious.

It’s a shame to see that Josh has cheated, though I don’t know if it was in a high ranking layout, and it‘s not as peverse as Albert editing in fish, plants and hardscape. I really do value Josh’s honesty, especially as no one knew until he shared this. I’m still bitter that the IAPLC hasn’t taken action and that Albert hasn’t taken ownership his mistake. For those who apologise and admit their mistake I won’t bear a grudge and ‘he who casts the first stone’ and all that.
 

Tim Harrison

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Mooner

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The only way to get around it is by asking for the raw files from the camera... Checking the metadata in the file it will reveal any kind of altering, all 3th party software will leaf footprints in the metadata.
The only away around this is to suspend all these contests until they can be held in public/in person again.
 

rebel

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Buying photoshop is more expensive than actually getting a tank and doing the scape. :)

Gimp is better value/suited for IAPLC manipulation.
 

rebel

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I won’t bear a grudge and ‘he who casts the first stone’ and all that.
The 100s who cheated and got away with it should thank you and thank photoshop. But then those people have a sense of design though. There is some skill involved. Maybe they should be hired by the instagram aquascapers who edit the hell our of their scapes and increase the saturation to 300%.
 

George Farmer

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The 100s who cheated and got away with it should thank you and thank photoshop. But then those people have a sense of design though. There is some skill involved. Maybe they should be hired by the instagram aquascapers who edit the hell our of their scapes and increase the saturation to 300%.
I only boost to 278%
 

rebel

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I only boost to 278%
While you remain a pillar of integrity, the same cannot be said for the shills on instagram out to make a few (hundred thousand) bucks by working 30 minutes per week. :)
 

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