Reuters Post-Processing Guidelines

This post on the Reuters blog detailing guidelines for the journalistic use of Photoshop is a good read for anyone interested in the issues surrounding digital photography, post-processing, and journalistic integrity. The brief takeaway:

ALLOWED:

Cropping
Adjustment of Levels to histogram limits
Minor colour correction
Sharpening at 300%, 0.3, 0
Careful use of lasso tool
Subtle use of burn tool
Adjustment of highlights and shadows
Eye dropper to check/set gray

NOT ALLOWED:

Additions or deletions to image
Cloning & Healing tool (except dust)
Airbrush, brush, paint
Selective area sharpening
Excessive lightening/darkening
Excessive colour tone change
Auto levels
Blurring
Eraser tool
Quick Mask
In-camera sharpening
In-camera saturation styles

I find the inclusion of in-camera settings on the ban list interesting, it’s a point that’s brought up often: what’s the real difference between increasing saturation in post versus setting the camera parameters to +2 saturation? These are strict interpretations that might surprise some “purists” who think that as long as the camera captures it, it must be real.

The sections on set up/staged photos and controlled environments are good reads too.

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