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Photoshopping diamond videos and pictures

Jacobsmom

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 10, 2016
Messages
2
I have read posts here for years but have never posted before. Just offering food for thought for PSers and to strengthen the case for why you should never purchase a diamond site unseen. I am a photographer, well that is I own a DSLR, but until recently haven't done much with it except take above average pictures of my family. I was laid off a few months ago and have really gone down the rabbit hole with my photography equipment and software.

Last year I purchased an OEC from a popular old cut vendor. The stone is very pretty, but I was disappointed in the stones performance, particularly the lack of perceived color flashes IRL compared to the videos.

It has dawned on me recently that the images may have been photoshopped. Boosting color saturations to make colors appear more intense or raising exposures to camouflage a diamonds body color are two easy photoshop methods that come to mind.

I guess there's no crime in this really. I mean every beautiful photograph is a manipulation of reality through the use of equipment and these days especially software. I do feel a little duped though and also a little dumb for not thinking of this sooner.

All the seasoned PSers here have warned us newbies so many times that when shopping for OECs it is mandatory to see them in person before making a purchase. You do really need to judge with your own eyes.
 

Ariadne_Theia

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Messages
284
If you are talking about videos with lots of fire and flashes of color; keep in mind the vendor knows exactly what environment to put it in to get maximum rainbows. I have an OEC myself and at first I wasn't seeing those rainbow lights that I had seen in videos and the pictures of some skilled PSers but I discovered 2 lighting environments that make my diamond go nuts. One is the oft discussed dappled lighting under a tree on a sunny day. Also I discovered that when the sun comes through my window and I close the vertical blinds - wowzers! Also, I would email the vendor and ask them what the lighting for the video was and where you should go to duplicate it. Also, in the sun my OEC looks very very white (which may be the environment the pictures were taken in) but in the car or in less bright lighting my OEC definitely looks more creamy (or ya know yellow-y). Don't give up on your diamond yet.
 

ElizabethR

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 19, 2011
Messages
313
Thanks for that Jacob'smom, I was wondering myself as the stones I've ordered sparkled in online videos, but not when I actually got them.
And they didn't have any color flashes at all. I have an ideal cut round (H VS) and it sparkles in most lights. Shopping for a new diamond has become a very disappointing process.
 

Jacobsmom

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 10, 2016
Messages
2
Hi Ariande,

I have viewed my diamond in lots of different light and you’re right it does perform best under very specific lighting conditions. For mine, in natural light it’s under a tree on a sunny day, or in artificial light it’s the whole foods produce dept. lol
Even at its best though my OEC’s performance IRL doesn’t come close to the vendor’s videos and pics. I do see some color flashes, sometimes, but in the vendor’s videos the colors are very vivid and intense. Unfortunately my diamond just does not appear that way IRL.

At the time of my purchase it was winter and there was a long string of dreary grey days that I thought were the reason I wasn’t seeing the same performance, but over the last year and a half of experimenting I’ve come to realize that I get only perceived white light return in nearly all light conditions. I find myself disappointed because I was admittedly suckered in by the gorgeous colorful videos and thought it was going to flash me colors all the time.

Without going off in the weeds I do feel that there is a strong possibility of some photo/video manipulation going on whether it’s intentional or unintentional. As I mentioned before it's very easy to tweak software settings that make colors appear more saturated. Another possibility is the use of special lenses that enhance certain colors. Or there is the fact that after light has passed through a lens and is recorded, although close, the image will never be exactly how light will appear when perceived by the human eye.

In any case, I posted this to share my buyer’s remorse in the hope that other PSers will be more careful shopping than I was.
 

marymm

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
4,099
Well, to clarify, most of the time the advice from seasoned PSers is that the purchaser needs to see as many OECs as possible with her own eyes before committing to one... and usually that does involving purchasing a stone and having it sent to you for inspection while still in the return period. For most buyers, it would be quite difficult to find a beautiful vintage OEC in your hometown, let alone more than one, so buying OECs online from reputable vendor with solid "no questions asked" return policies is usually the best way to go. While sometimes the first OEC someone buys is the one that sings to her, more often it does take several purchases/returns before the buyer finds the right OEC for her.

And while I do not believe that reputable PS vendors of old-cuts photo-shop their wares, it is ubiquitous on eBay and other sites. Most of the PS vendors of OECS offer an array of photos in various lighting conditions, although a few offer only a single still and perhaps a video unless you inquire further.

Sorry you are disappointed in your stone, but as with any purchase of any kind of gemstone, diamond or otherwise, online or bricks-and-mortar, during the return period it is always wise to inspect the stone in all the lighting conditions on your own environment to see if the stone measures up to your expectations.
 
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