The Blue Dragon

Odeleite River, Portugal
photo by Steve Richards

Like all photos subjected to the armchair criticism of internet trolls and experts, this one has been accused of being fake.

In response to skeptics, the photographer Steve Richards writes:

For the record, it IS a photograph, of a real place, that I took on our flight from Cardiff to Faro.
The blue colour is from the water reflecting the sky and the white flecks are of course the clouds. The striking colours are thanks to running the original picture through Topaz Adjust 4.
Not that the above information will help anyone convinced that it’s fake, but at least it allows me the opportunity to set the record straight for anyone willing to read this text.
So what is Topaz Adjust 4? It's a "Photoshop plug-in [that] effortlessly creates stunning single-image HDR photos that POP with dynamic color, detail and exposure". Which means it does stuff like this:

From the Topaz Adjust website

Perhaps not the visual equivalent to Auto-Tune in this instance and you can definitely see how the colours and definition were punched up in the photo. In spite of being 'photoshopped' however the colours that were enhanced were already there and the river actually looks like a dragon. I think even without the enhancement it would be a stunning photo. I'd like to see the before and after.  



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