This page is an entry in the Key.

“Photoshop is routinely used to make photographs more trustworthy.”


Photoshop (the noun) is a popular software program used to edit both TCQ and non-TCQ photographs.

Photoshop® is produced by (and trademarked by) Adobe Systems, Inc.

Photoshop is the best-known photo-editing software program on the market today (there are numerous others). It is probably the most widely used such program among professional photographers and in the publishing world.

The most common myth about Photoshop among the general public is that its use is limited to doctoring photographs—i.e., that Photoshop is only used to produce photographs that would not meet the Trust Checklist.

Indeed, “Photoshop” has become a verb in popular usage to signify “doctoring” photos (“He couldn’t be there for the group photo, so they just Photoshopped his head into the photo later”).

But except for the one quoted example in italics above, this website never uses the word “Photoshop” as a verb nor the word “Photoshopped” as a synonym for “doctored photos.”


Contrary to popular belief....

As advanced photographers know — and as this site makes clear —

1. Photoshop is routinely used to make photographs more trustworthy.

That’s because Photoshop is often employed to make “light”-related corrections so that a photograph doesn’t misrepresent the scene depicted, as per Q7. (See also Allowable Change #10.)

2. There are many ways to doctor a photograph without Photoshop (e.g., smartphone apps, other photo-editing programs).

3. It is easy to deceive viewers without doctoring a photograph (see #515).

4. The news industry proves that Photoshop isn’t used merely to doctor photographs.

Almost all of the most-widely trusted news photographs of our time — viewed by billions of people around the world every day — are made digitally and processed with Photoshop or a similar program.

See also questions #213-214.