More on Why there is TCQ #2

“The photography world has never effectively addressed the public’s skepticism.”

  • Responses to public skepticism

    In the past 40 years there have been numerous failed responses to public skepticism brought about by digital manipulation.

    Five of the more popular approaches are described below.

    (None of these approaches proved to be effective to any notable degree. That’s why TCQ was created.)

  • • Click or tap on boxes to open/close •

  • 1. Try to convince the public that “photography is dead”

    Reality check:

    While the public’s belief that “Photographs never lie” did finally die (about 150 years after it should have died, as it was never true), photography itself is very alive and very well.

    More photographs are taken every year than the year before, and that trend shows no sign of slowing.

  • 2. Try to convince photographers to declare when a photograph has been doctored

    Reality check:

    There are several major problems with this approach, even though two democracies have made it a law.

  • 3. Try to convince people that they shouldn’t trust ANY photographs

    Reality check:

    Expecting people to not even trust photos that they themselves took is not realistic.

    Once proponents of #3 say, “Well, I didn’t mean that people should mistrust ALL photographs!” then they are in agreement with TCQ’s perspective: “Some photographs are more trustworthy than others; the challenge is identifying which are which.”

  • 4. Try to convince people that “It doesn’t matter” whether a photograph is doctored or undoctored if it is not in a “news” setting

    Reality check:

    This approach is favored by photographers who want their doctored “non-news” photographs trusted as much as undoctored photographs are.

    But the public isn’t buying it (“Photographers cannot perform any manipulations they want to a photograph and expect viewers to trust it”). See the top section of the Home page and see questions #510-511 and #213-216.

  • 5. Try to explain to viewers of each photograph which manipulations were and were not done to that particular photograph

    Reality check:

    Most viewers have no idea which manipulations do and do not reduce trustworthiness.

    Photographers’ explanations can quickly become complicated, awkward, and desperate-sounding and it takes a lot of words* to explain even the most basic manipulations.

    *TCQ lets photographers tell viewers 9 things using only 2 words: “Guaranteed” and “TCQ.”