More on FAQ #712
712. With regard to “surface flaws,” is there any scenario in which various blemishes, freckles, scratches, wrinkles, graffiti, dirt etc. that are part of the scene could be removed without disqualifying the photograph from TCQ?
No. The resulting photograph could not qualify as TCQ, regardless of how “minor” the photographer may judge those flaws on the subject to be.
Except for the side effects of TCQ’s Allowable Changes, any alterations to depictions of surface flaws that ARE part of the scene photographed always disqualify the photograph from Q2 (and thus from TCQ).
Category #3 of the Allowables is clear:
The allowance for fixing “surface flaws” applies only to things that are NOT part of the scene depicted.
For any “surface flaws” that ARE part of the scene depicted, everything described in Q2 applies (no adding, deleting, moving, replacing, resizing, blurring, or reshaping).
That’s true regardless of how much the photographer may wish the undesirable things weren’t depicted in the photo: the depiction of a pimple, freckle, tattoo, or wrinkle on skin*; reflections on a portrait subject’s eyeglasses*; a piece of lint on a portrait subject’s shirt or sweater*; the depiction of a scratch, flaw, or piece of dirt or litter in the scene; the depiction of graffiti; or any other aspects in the scene.
*That’s why “portraiture” is on the list of subjects not well suited to TCQ