This page is an entry in the Key.

scratches
removing depictions of

It’s very simple:

• If the scratch was NOT part of the scene that was photographed — for example, a scratch on the sensor or on the film — its removal is one of TCQ’s Allowable Changes and does not disqualify the photo from Q2.

• If the lint being removed WAS part of the scene depicted — for example, a scratch on a car or a tabletop — then removal of its depiction does disqualify the photo from Q2 and from TCQ.

The same principles apply to lint removal and other “surface” flaws