More still on FAQ #1008

“Say whatever maximizes viewer trust”

— TCQ photographers can respond to viewers’ reservations by saying as much as the photographer feels is necessary to optimize viewer trust in the TCQ-qualified photo.

— Even when an “IC” is not needed, the photographer may choose to use an “ IC* “ to draw the viewer’s attention to the explanation.

Four situations in which the photographer might add an explanation:

Situation #1: The photo needs an “IC” to meet Q8, but the “IC” doesn’t sufficiently explain the photograph.

Handling of #1: The photographer attaches an “IC*” and adds further explanation (“This is an optical illusion and does not depict what it appears to depict. The balloon is not actually larger than the horse, and the balloon is not in fact lifting the horse off the ground, as the photo appears to show.”)

Situation #2: The photo needs an “IC” to meet Q8 because it was “a typically wild species photographed in less than fully wild conditions” — but the photographer wants viewers to know that the animal wasn’t as tame as a pet and wasn’t living in a zoo.

Handling of #2: The photographer attaches “IC*” and uses the explanation to tell viewers that the animal was photographed in very-near-to-wild conditions.

Situation #3: The photographer decides that a TCQ photo of star trails in the night sky does not need an “IC” because most viewers understand what causes the bright parallel streaks in the dark sky.

Handling of #3: Just to clarify what is being depicted even though no “IC” is needed, the photographer attaches an explanation stating that “The curved star trails were caused by the rotation of the earth during a one-hour-long uninterrupted exposure.”

Situation #4: The photographer decides that the TCQ photo does not need an “IC” because there’s nothing “potentially deceptive” about the photo to warrant an “IC” — but the photograph still looks so remarkable that viewers are likely to wonder if it is doctored (see #1 on this page).

Handling of #4: The photographer attaches explanation of why the photo is not deceptive and doesn’t need an “IC”: “This photo depicts exactly what it appears to depict: I took this photo from inside my kayak when I had fallen about halfway down Niagara Falls.”


Again, apart from the need to attach an “IC” in some cases, TCQ photographers have complete freedom in how they handle viewer alerts when they want viewers to trust a photograph.