More on FAQ #214

214. What’s wrong with asking the question, “Is it real or is it Photoshop?”

There are two main problems with that question: the word “real” and the word “Photoshop.” (The other words are fine.)

1. Problem #1 is using the word “real” as a synonym for undoctored, non-combined photographs (or to single out any other kind of photo).

That’s because every photograph that exists is “real,” regardless of its appearance. And no photograph can ever be completely equal to “reality” (although many people use the word “realistic” as a synonym for “undoctored-looking”).

Should the term “TCQ” be used instead of “real”?

2. Problem #2 is using the word “Photoshop” as a synonym for doctored photographs.

Almost all of the most-widely trusted news photographs of our time are processed using Photoshop or a similar editing program to adjust things like contrast and color balance.

For more, see the Key entry on Photoshop.


















“Photoshop” is a registered trademark of Adobe Systems Inc.