This page is an entry in the Key.

What is a “minor” change?
What is a “major” change?

No distinction is made on this website between “minor” and “major” changes to non-“light”-related aspects of depicted in photographs, because the technical behaviors of photographs follow no such distinctions.

A photograph either meets the Trust Checklist or it does not. Period.

The word “minor” often reflects “wishful thinking”

Creators of “doctored photographs that look undoctored” are often eager to play down how radically the photograph has been changed.

That’s because the viewer will think more highly of the photographer if the viewer believes the photographer has successfully met “the biggest challenge in 21st century photography.”

But after the exposure has ended,

. . . depictions of things that photographers are likely to characterize as “minor” (e.g., a discarded cigarette butt, a piece of litter, an overhead power line)

. . . are no more likely than are a “major” things (e.g., a house, a car) to disappear, move, appear, become more out of focus, reshape themselves, or resize themselves.

So viewers should be skeptical when the photographer says, “This photograph was only changed in a few minor ways” without providing any specifics.

As one photographer quipped, “If I do it to my own photographs, it’s a ‘minor’ change, but if another photographer does it to his, it’s a ‘major’ change.”

It’s not just about the subject

Furthermore, as with things, no distinction is made on this website between “minor” and “major” degrees of post-exposure changes.

• For example, to move the depiction of something in a photograph by “just a pixel or two” disqualifies the result from TCQ just as surely as moving it to the opposite end of the photograph would disqualify it.

• For another example, to resize something within a photograph “just a teeny bit” disqualifies the result from TCQ just as surely as would a radical enlargement or shrinking. (That includes the moon!)

When it comes to changes, the definition of “minor” too often varies between photographers and viewers for the term to be of any practical use.

A change that the photographer is eager to characterize as “minor” might be considered “major” by viewers if they found out about it.