FAQ 17 - Qualification #7

“Without misrepresentation”

  • 1701. What’s the point of Q7?

    In light of Characteristic #7 of trusted photographs, Q7 ensures that the photograph doesn’t misrepresent the appearance of the scene as the camera saw it during the exposure(s).

  • 1702. Why does TCQ say that Q7 plays a “cleanup” role?

    Because Q7 mops up after the first six qualifications.

    Q7 looks at the combination of all visual effects after a photograph meets Q1 through Q6 and ensures that the final result would meet rinairs for not misrepresenting the appearance of the scene.

  • 1703. What does the phrase mean in Q7, “As the camera saw [the scene]”?

    (Q7 is here)

    Simply that the reference point for TCQ photos is the view from the camera and not from somewhere else.

    Note that Q7 specifies what the camera saw, not what the camera recorded, because they are often not the same thing.

    For more on this, see #326, #216, the Key, and see also the page on light.

  • 1704. What if “what the camera recorded” misrepresents the scene’s appearance because of normal camera imperfections?

    Things like routine lens flare, corner/edge darkening, and barrel or pincushion distortion do not disqualify a photograph from TCQ — even though they aren’t visible in the actual scene being photographed — because those effects are allowed by respected news agencies.


  • 1705. With so many things that cause photographs to “misrepresent” the scene depicted (as per #1704 above), how does TCQ decide which of those things are allowable that is, not destructive to viewer trust vs. which of those things are disqualified because they reduce viewer trust?

    In a word, rinairs.

    Considering all of the things that keep photographs from “perfectly representing” the scene depicted, it is natural to ask which things are “misrepresentative” in a way that disqualifies them from Q7.

    The answer is that “misrepresentation” in TCQ photographs is always judged by the information-reportage standards of respected international news agencies.

    There’s no need to “reinvent the wheel” for the decisions described in question #1705 — not when the world’s largest providers of trusted photographs have dealt with the same issues countless times every day for many decades.

  • 1706. But why does Q7 use the standards of “respected international news agencies” to assess misrepresentation and not some other standard?

    (Q7 is here)

    Because there are no other photographic “non-misrepresentation” standards that are anywhere near as well-known and respected all around the world. Nothing is even close.

  • 1707. Why does Q7 specify that it applies to the appearance of the scene “as it was during the exposures(s)”?

    (Q7 is here)

    Because photographers often want to doctor a photo so that it looks the way it would have looked if they had photographed it “just little bit earlier” or “just a little bit later.”

    Of course, wishful thinking doesn’t matter when it comes to TCQ. As it says on the Trust page, TCQ is not about “what the photographer wishes the camera had seen.”

    A TCQ photograph is about what the scene looked like during the exposure, not about what it “might have” looked like at some other time.

    Common alibis that don’t cut it with TCQ.

    See also the page on def|pen.

  • 1708. Is it true that ANY photograph can be made to meet Q7 if it is left as recorded and then undergoes only the Allowable Changes linked from Q2?

    (TCQ’s Allowable Changes; Q7 is here)

    Yes, that is true unless the photograph was recorded in a way that made it TCQ-ineligible from the start; then it cannot be made eligible for TCQ no matter what is done to it.

    Needless to say, any photograph has to meet all 9 qualifications of the Trust Checklist to qualify for the “Guaranteed TCQ” label.

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