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hello - just getting comfy with a cuppa and this months GW mag. 

i only clicked on a couple of years ago that the plant and seed mags alter their photos to make us yearn for beautiful flower filled plants that actually would never ever look like the photos (even with Monty's magic touch!).

i'm a bit gutted to see some of the same thing going on in the GW mag - or is it just my eyes?? I'm on page 13 and those violas don't look normal. 

If this is the case it's pretty disappointing. I want to see real plants. Please tell me that the images aren't touched up?  It feels a little bit like being fibbed to! 


The RHS mag The  garden,  is selling Violas. There is a picture in there of the three colours. They look like large violets with taller stems. Do hope they look like that when they arrive, otherwise I shall be sorry I ordered them.


Most published photos are 'tweaked' to enhance them, improve clarity etc - have a look at the Camera Corner thread and see some of the tweaks on there.  David K will be able to explain how more clearly than I can.  I did my photographic training in the days of dark rooms and developer. 

People used to think that photographs had veracity as opposed to paintings ... but there is no 'truth' ... photographs are created images just like paintings. 

However, there are sometimes photos that are 'over tweaked' and looking at the photo on page 13 it does look to me as if the blues have been 'turned up' a fraction too much. 

Tootles, touching up doesn't even cover it.  Add the hype that goes with those pictures and you have something really, really, REALLY special..  And at BARGAIN prices too. And be sure to HURRY.    

(If you had those (enhanced) plants in your garden they would blind you anyway) 



Surely plant catalogues  have the same constraints on descriptive licence as other advertisers. The sale of goods act should cover it. Unfortunately the sellers have the growing conditions get out I suppose.


I'd have thought Trade Descriptions Act 1968

Once took a supplier to task....a dutch sounding nursery?......for both written and visual description and got my money back.  Kept the plants, of course. Still get their catalogues 


I can understand why people selling things do it (not that I agree with it) but I'm a bit confused as to why images in an article about plants would be altered so much. Using this example, I don't think it's just the colour that has been 'tweaked', they look practically stuck on. 

I'd rather see a true image, of course taken by a professional, but with warts and all! 


But what is a 'true image'?  Thinking back - do you remember how the colours from Kodak film differed from those produced by an Ilford film - one was much yellower - think it was the Kodak. 

The pink of a rose will look very different in different kinds of light ....... on a grey day it will look bluer and on a sunny day it'll have a warmer hue. 


It's the same in the fashion industry - models with shapes unachievable for mere mortals.

I suspect magazine photographers and garden programme directors are non-gardeners and can't believe that natural plants are good enough. Hence the background music you often get in nature and gardening programmes which no more enhances a programme than canned laughter makes a comedy funnier.


Dove, I have brown tinted glasses because they make the greens greener and the blues bluer which rather stuffs my argument above


What I mean by 'true image' is one that has not been digitally enhanced such that it is beyond anything remotely resembling reality. A slightly different shade of blue from one film to another is the norm. just as people having differing eye sight is normal.

But an image that has been so heavily altered that it does not even come close to reality is, for me, misleading and not appropriate in this context.

What Mother Nature gives us, needs no camera trickery for me. I admire professional photographers and enjoy seeing their photos. A lot of that skill for some photographers is getting across the 'trueness' that reflects what most of us see.  Not a fake image of what one may think the viewer wants to see. 

Kevin E Smith

Hello everyone,

I've just spotted this thread and thought I'd join the discussion. I agree the violas look a little superimposed but, as the person who planted the pot for the shoot, I can guarantee there's been no retouching at all – honestly! We always try to ensure blooms are facing the camera, so I guess you could say they were adjusted a little, but it's really just creating a 'front' for the display at the time of shooting. I hope I've put your mind at rest!




The ones to watch out for are the catalogues, and there are several, which show several flowers all appearing at once, which could not possibly do so.  This is an insinuated lie - they don't actually say they flower together, but showing the pictures side by side give the impression they do.  Then, when new gardeners try to get the effect, it is of course not possible - and sadly, the often blame themselves  "I can't get on with this gardening stuff'.  If you like a plant in a catalogue, search engine it, use the RHS or another good reliable site to see how it really looks, when it flowers, fruits or whatever, and whether it can grow where you live.  This can save alot of heartache, to say nothing on money!!

Thanks Kevin,

thats put my mind at rest, can't wait for the delivery.

Jimmy Crawford

Yup. The get-out is that it will depend on YOUR growing conditions.

To follow on from the Viola miracle collection. Was anyone else tempted to buy and how are they doing. Mine are a dissapointment. One small purple flower between the three plants. If you have been successful please tell me how you do it.

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