More on FAQ #784

784. Does TCQ allow for the limited dynamic range of photographs compared to the human eye?

Yes, of course TCQ allows for the limits of photographs’ dynamic range, especially in single-exposure photographs. (As noted in #1505, “combining exposures to increase dynamic range is never, ever necessary to meet the Trust Checklist.”)

Respected international news agencies acknowledge that the range of brightness (from light to dark) that photographs can portray is often less than what humans can see.

Thus those news organizations’ standards — and TCQ — allow for photographs’ frequent inability to depict detail in the brightest and darkest areas of the photograph.

Silhouettes — with no details in dark areas — can qualify as TCQ, just as blown-out skies can qualify as TCQ.

Consider, for example, how many TCQ-eligible ways there are to photograph during daylight hours the inside of a basic room with an exterior window.

A photographer would have a huge variety of TCQ-compatible options for depicting the scene.

Whether using just a single exposure or combining multiple exposures for HDR reasons,

• the photographer could leave the room unlit or light it in a wide variety of ways;

• the photographer could expose for the room (letting the window view blow out);

• the photographer could expose for the view out the window (letting the room interior go largely to black); or

• the photographer could use HDR to expose for both the interior and the view out the window (as always, the result has to meet Q7).

See also these Key entries:

brightness relationships

burning and dodging

highlights and shadows