More on FAQ #309

309. What if I like to set my photos apart from other photographers’ photos by using super-long exposures so that things are unrecognizably blurred or invisible?

Or what if I like to stand apart by applying a distinctive tonality through my unique recipe of post-exposure changes?

Then you’ll probably have to choose between making photographs that look the way you like them vs. making TCQ-qualified photos.

Advanced photographers routinely face those kinds of choices: see this brief.

TCQ allows for a remarkable diversity of styles, as evidenced by the wide variety in the 100 famous photographers list or in the “Photos of the Week” linked to the Photos page.

On the other hand, TCQ was never intended for every photographer or every photograph, so there is never any expectation that everyone should be making TCQ-qualified photographs.

What you do to your own photos is up to you

But if your personal style involves giving your photos a different look than “what the camera saw” (as judged by rinairs) then your photos will not meet Q7 and cannot qualify as TCQ.

For example, suppose you are one of 10 photographers who photographs the exact same scene from the exact same position.

If your photograph is immediately distinguishable from the other 9 because objects visible in their photos are not visible in yours — or because of your “unique recipe” of post-exposure tonal/color/contrast adjustments — it is safe to say that your photograph will not meet Q7.

But that should come as no surprise! No one can have it both ways, having their photos looking different from everyone else’s but being trusted as much as everyone else’s photos are.

Most photographers who pride themselves on a distinctive “look” are effectively acknowledging that their photographs do not depict “what the camera saw” in a way that would meet rinairs.

Again, photographers can express whatever personal preferences and “style” they want.

But no photograph, no matter how impressive it looks, can meet Q7 of the Trust Checklist if the appearance of the photograph is something other than how rinairs would interpret as being “what the camera saw.”


Whom can I ask about the effects of my post-exposure changes?