More on FAQ #1503

1503. Will the public trust news photographs that are made by combining exposures?

Yes, absolutely. Most people don’t realize it, but the public already trusts news photographs that are made by combining exposures—

— because news organizations already are publishing spot-news photographs made by ordinary citizens with their smartphones (and smartphones combine exposures far more often than users — or viewers — are aware).

And now for something completely different:

What TCQ has done that no one else has is establish clear limits to ensure that when photographers combine exposures using any camera (including the high-end cameras that news photographers use)—

— the result is no less trustworthy than the results that typically come out of a smartphone that combines photos.

Why was that so hard to do?

Because there are lot of manipulations that can be done with dedicated (traditional) cameras and computer programs like Photoshop that cannot be done within the typical smartphone.

Phrased another way, there are a lot more ways to make photos less trustworthy once you take them out of the camera and put them onto a computer.

One of the biggest challenges that TCQ faced is minimizing how “device-specific” any allowable manipulation is, so that the same rules will apply to all TCQ photographers regardless of what kind of camera they use.

It would have been much easier

. . . to write TCQ to apply only to smartphone cameras, or only to a traditional-camera-to-Photoshop workflow, but making TCQ apply to both presented some significant hurdles to overcome.

For example, as it says on #6 of this page, “Smartphones typically limit how extreme the built-in manipulations can be before the slider gets to the end of the bar, but those limits disappear when using a program like Photoshop on a computer.”

Why does TCQ allow for combining exposures when respected international news agencies have not traditionally allowed it?





















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