This page is an entry in the Key.


“Real” is a term commonly used by the general public to characterize undoctored photographs.

“Wow, great photo! But is it real or is it Photoshop?”

However, the word “real” is never used as a synonym for “undoctored” on this website (except when referring to what the public says in the italicized question above).

Instead, photographs are referred to on this website as “TCQ” or “non-TCQ” (depending on whether they do or do not meet all nine qualifications)

— or as “undoctored” or “doctored” (when the extent of post-exposure changes is the only issue, not overall trustworthiness).

The understanding on this website is that:

• All photographs that exist are “real” (regardless of how manipulated they are).

• No photographs are equivalent to reality (regardless of how manipulated they are).

Either way, notwithstanding haranguing by postmodernists, the general public will likely continue to use the word “real” when referring to undoctored photographs.