Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2015/11/19

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Subject: [Leica] Reuters bans RAW
From: boulanger.croissant at (Peter Klein)
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2015 18:58:11 -0800
References: <> <>

I understand that most spot-news photographers are already shooting JPG for
speed reasons. But Reuters' corporate spin is that the policy will ensure
honest photographs that "reflect reality."  And Reuters has said that they
will check (probably the EXIF, by computer) to insure that all photos
submitted came from in-camera JPGs, and not have been developed from RAW.
So there's more than just a "smaller files are faster" push here.

But it's B.S. Unless Reuters insists on checksum-generating cameras, the
people who really want to fake photos still will. Most of us on this list
know how easy it is to edit EXIF data.  So what this policy is saying to
photographers is "We don't trust you. So we'll make a policy that will take
away standard tools of the trade, and convince ourselves and the public
that this solves the problem, even though it doesn't."

You know how the corporate world often works.  A Big Powerful Executive
announces that he or she has solved a problem by his ground-breaking new
policy. He/she may not know anything about what he is proposing. It may
wreak havoc with the little people who actually do the work, but "theirs is
not to reason why."  They can be brought into line by compliance training
plus a few examples of draconian discipline or summary dismissal. The next
thing you know, other executives, who want to appear as Big and Powerful as
the first one, play copycat. All the big guys get their big bonuses for
having taken decisive action to solve a problem. Word spreads through the
industry that this policy is a good thing to do.  And by the time news of
the damage caused filters up the chain of command, it will be blamed on
something else, on someone else lower in rank, or the messenger will be

Dodging and burning are usually not a dishonest altering reality. They are
a way of making the photo better resemble what the human eye saw, with its
ability to scan and see both highlights and shadows.  They have been an
important tool in photography for over a century.  I don't think that
option should be taken away from photographers and editors. Having a RAW
option is important for high-contrast situations--such as low-latitude
deserts in bright daylight. Regrettably, there are going to be a lot more
news photos coming from such locations. Also, with all of the mixed light
sources photographers have to deal with, being able to use different white
balance settings on different part of the photo is important.

Mark mentions National Geographic.  Well, faked wildlife photos have caused
some scandals recently. And NG is now owned by Rupert Murdoch, (supposedly)
a news guy. So this policy could very well be adopted by National
Geographic one of these days.  I just hope that magazine and
"editorial" photographers don't end up having this policy shoved down their
throats as well.


On Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 11:15 AM, Mark Rabiner <mark at>

> "?Speed is also very important to us. We have therefore asked our
> photographers to skip labor and time consuming processes to get our
> pictures
> to our clients faster.?"
> 'The bulk of the people sending in stuff to Rueters and AP are Rueters and
> AP photographers who have never shot RAW in their lives but have been
> hitting deadlines measured in minutes and seconds and sending off their
> shots moments after taking them usually in a crowd of other photographers
> all flashing their flashes. They are not shooting for their shots to be
> enduring, they are not shooting quality work they seem to never have their
> flash not on their cameras and never seem to turn them off.  Its this
> mornings new flash.
> I think if this was more about magazine work where your deadline is a week
> away and its like National Geographic or something of some real enduring
> quality than this would be way more of a travesty than it is.
> On 11/19/15 10:16 AM, "Tina Manley" <images at> wrote:
> > I think most of their shooters already use jpeg only just for speed.
> Some
> > take both RAW and jpeg - the jpeg to submit and the RAW to work on later
> > for themselves.  Makes sense, but I would never shoot jpeg only.
> >
> > Tina
> >
> > On Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 1:35 AM, Peter Klein <
> boulanger.croissant at>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> <
> >>
> >>
> >> #more-191527
> >>>
> >>
> >> I thought this was a hoax, but evidently not. It sounds like this
> decision
> >> was made by an executive type with no technical knowledge of
> photography. I
> >> guess dodging and burning are now the enemy of truth.  But if
> photographers
> >> are still allowed to crop and adjust levels, how is it going to stop
> >> dishonest photoshopping? Is Reuters going to only allow the use of
> cameras
> >> that generate JPG checksums, with all cropping and levels editing done
> in
> >> camera?
> >>
> >> Prepare for a lot of badly-exposed backlit, side-lit and
> >> sunlight-with-black-shadows pictures, I guess.
> >>
> >> --Peter
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Leica Users Group.
> >> See for more information
> >>
> >
> >
> --
> Mark William Rabiner
> Photographer
> _______________________________________________
> Leica Users Group.
> See for more information

Replies: Reply from mark at (Mark Rabiner) ([Leica] Reuters bans RAW)
Reply from mark at (Mark Rabiner) ([Leica] (SPAM: ?) Re: Reuters bans RAW)
In reply to: Message from images at (Tina Manley) ([Leica] Reuters bans RAW)
Message from mark at (Mark Rabiner) ([Leica] Reuters bans RAW)