#28 in a series of background explanations

Convincing the viewer
and increasing “transparency”
Why do viewers need convincing?

  • A. Accountability

    Photographers who post “Guaranteed TCQ” photos on social media may also want to put the same photos in a more reliably credible context so that viewers feel they can better hold the photographer accountable.

    The easiest solution is creating a monosite — a website dedicated to a single person (like a photographer) who has primary control over its content.

    It is easy and inexpensive (free, even) to create such a site, although the TCQ photographer should ensure that the website stays active and alive (see #3 here)

    Advantages of monosites for TCQ photographers

  • B. Showing “supporting images”

    It can be in the TCQ photographer’s interest to save not only the original of the image that is put before viewers but also to save other, related images.

    It is assumed that anyone who applies the “Guaranteed TCQ” label to photographs knows the value of keeping an unaltered original of every photograph and only working on — and showing to viewers — copies of that original image.

    The originals can be valuable to all photographers for technical reasons and additionally to TCQ photographers for “proof” reasons.

    But it can be in the TCQ photographer’s interest to also save other, related images and not merely the original of the image that is put before viewers.

    Most “impressive photographs” are not the result of a photographer trooping off to a distant location, pulling the camera out of the bag at just the right moment, snapping a single photo, and then packing up and going home.

    Instead, most advanced photographers take a number of photos (from which a “best” one is later selected). Those “neighboring frames” can help make the case for applying the “Guaranteed TCQ” label.

    For example, unless or until VUOs become common, eventually the expectation could become routine that finalists in “undoctored” categories of photo contests can submit various supporting images in addition to their main contest entry.

    More on showing “supporting images”

  • C. Providing “supporting data”

    In many cases publishing the camera settings may not be relevant regarding viewer “trust,” but for some kinds of photos those numbers may be helpful.

    To cite an example of “non-relevant” supporting data, if someone photographs an animal in a zoo and presents it as being in the wild, publishing the complete list of camera and lens settings won’t make the photo any less deceptive.

    • Nonetheless, for any photographers who are trying to demonstrate “transparency” to viewers, there is never any harm in publishing camera settings and equipment details. In many cases such data could be helpful to viewers who are scrutinizing a “Guaranteed TCQ” labeled photograph to see if the photo was indeed made with the setup that the photographer claims it was made with.

    • With photographs taken outdoors, if the photographer can supply the exact date/time and GPS location of the photograph, then independent corroboration of the weather and lighting depicted may be possible.


See also the FAQ on “proof”