Reuters Issues Worldwide Ban On RAW Photos

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    I was initially perplexed by this, but I can see the point that Reuters is trying to make with its new policy. But how is that going to prevent photographers from saving edited RAW files in JPEG (or simply editing in that format)?

    “As eyewitness accounts of events covered by dedicated and responsible journalists, Reuters Pictures must reflect reality. While we aim for photography of the highest aesthetic quality, our goal is not to artistically interpret the news.”
     
  2. pxc

    pxc [H]ard as it Gets

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    The article states that Reuters doesn't want free-lance submissions "processed from RAW or CR2 files". Processed from being the operative term. It goes on to state it only wants JPEG files as taken with the camera, "with minimal processing (cropping, correcting levels, etc)".

    Nowhere does it state or imply that it wants to encourage faked or heavily processed images. The practical reason for this suggestion is because of the potential extra work it takes to work with RAW files and the potential abuse with files created from heavily tweaked RAW files.
     
  3. HighYield

    HighYield Gawd

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    Apparently Reuters is no longer interested in quality...
     
  4. Reimu

    Reimu [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well yes. That's the point. The point is to heavily discourage photogs and journalists from doing postprocessing and just take the damn camshot and send it their way.
     
  5. pxc

    pxc [H]ard as it Gets

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    Why would you say that? Virtually all Reuters pictures are relatively low resolution (print < 300lpi, web ~100dpi), meaning they're massively scaled down for use.

    Most people would be hard pressed to tell the difference between an 8MP or 16MP+ picture scaled down to 2MP or smaller for print, or 0.3MP/1.0MP for the web if it were taken in RAW or JPEG formats.
     
  6. cia1413

    cia1413 n00b

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    You are making a common mistake that i think the vast majority of people do. Pixels do NOT equal quality. a 16+mp jpeg is still a possibility. Just because it is RAW does not mean it has more pixels, just that each pixel has more information in it.

    I am not sure what they are afraid of with the RAW files, the only thing that RAW gives you is more accuracy not the magic ability to make more changes. You can drop a JPEG into Photoshop just the same as with a RAW file.
     
  7. pxc

    pxc [H]ard as it Gets

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    You're making an even bigger mistake by ignoring the posts in context. Freelancers submitting content, and having it accepted by Reuters, will generally have at least an acceptable* means of taking pictures. Using that as a base standard, what I wrote is entirely reasonable and correct. If I had posted that in the Photography subforum, I should rightfully be torn apart over it. Seriously, do you think *anyone* would imply that all cameras are equal? I wouldn't think that needs to be mentioned.

    * unless crappy quality is the only footage there is, generally the quality will be high enough to publish if accepted. I don't see any bad quality photos on reuters.com, so I'm not going to repeat what I wrote immediately above.
     
  8. pxc

    pxc [H]ard as it Gets

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    fake edit: since you're being so pedantic...

    I mean that above in the context of scaling down an 8MP or 16MP+ image (on the same camera) in RAW or JPEG format to a relatively low resolution image for web or print. Reuters generally uses ~600x400 pictures in its news stories and higher resolution versions are generally under 1MP.

    IOW, just repeating the context I set up originally that you completely ignored. I felt I had to mention it again. :rolleyes:
     
  9. HighYield

    HighYield Gawd

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    Shooting in RAW is a pain because you still need to convert to other formats for everyone else. At least with RAW as has been said above there is more information in the picture and more chance that greater detail can be pulled out or noise removed. What does it hurt to shoot RAW?
     
  10. pxc

    pxc [H]ard as it Gets

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    Click the news article and read the short rule Reuters emailed. It's really just a couple of sentences.

    They're trying to avoid things like this:

    [​IMG]

    I don't even why this is so difficult to understand. The wording is ridiculously straight-forward.
     
  11. HighYield

    HighYield Gawd

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    But you can do all of that in camera when generating the JPEG.
     
  12. cia1413

    cia1413 n00b

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    pxc, I am not sure what I have done to so offend you but, I do not understand what context you are going for at all. Even if the final display of the image is small the quality of the original makes a huge difference. I can understand that if it's going to print in a newspaper it won't matter because those prints suck anyway but I was under the impression we were talking about web stuff. As for camera quality you can take a F65, the best motion picture camera hands down, and record a shitty 422 ProRes file and it will look like shit. Your latest post shows that do indeed know what I was talking about but how is that a bad thing from a journalistic standpoint if the pictures are more impactful? Does it change the story if you have more detail in the clouds on a bright day?
     
  13. dgz

    dgz [H]ardness Supreme

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    You can't be serious. Of course it changes the story.

    Their job is to REPORT on the things happening, not relaying their own interpretations.
     
  14. Gorankar

    Gorankar [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Journalists have been reporting their own interpretation for as long as there have been journalists.
    This is a small step to reduce this on the photojournalism side of things. I applaud them for at least appearing to try.
     
  15. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Are either of those pictures truthful?

    Do either of them represent what a human eye would see?

    It seems that their biggest public argument is "speed". Which is unfortunate.

    Here are their official rules for photogs.

     
  16. griffinhart

    griffinhart [H]ard|Gawd

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    What makes it difficult to understand is that this demonstrates nothing. It's easy to understand that they want un-manipulated photos. What's hard to understand is why JPEG instead of RAW. JPEGS are, by the nature of digital photography already manipulated. RAW is nothing more than raw data from the camera sensor. There is nothing inherent about JPGs that makes them more honest than RAW.

    When editing a raw format, you load the raw data, which converts it to a photo that can be edited. Changes are made and then a new file is saved in whatever format is needed. RAW formats are not one of these. At least not in any software I have used.

    They use Lightroom as an example here. Lightroom does not modify the actual RAW file. I can open lightroom, make those changes as shown. But then, if I were to go to the actual raw file, copy it and open it the changes would not be there. An actual RAW file is more difficult to tamper with than a JPG.

    Changes to raw images in any software I have used are made to supporting files, and not the original RAW. You can't save as RAW in Photoshop either.
     
  17. jimmyb

    jimmyb 2[H]4U

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    It is possible to save into a raw format, but I don't think that's the concern.

    Since neither Reuters or the photographers are going to be manipulating the photo, there is no need for them to take or provide photos anything other than the jpg. Since raw formats require additional processing, it is actually more work to take them in that format.
     
  18. Chaos Machine

    Chaos Machine Gawd

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    I wouldn't say that shooting in RAW is a pain in the ass for that reasons. First, most cameras that can shoot RAW can concurrently shoot jpeg. Second programs like adobe lightroom or the raw processing software that comes with your camera makes conversion trivial. The main reasons for me why raw is a pain in the ass is the cameras don't have big enough buffers for continuous shooting at high fps and needing to spend extra money on large and very fast SD cards. It's still worth it due to all the extra information you get in the image. Plus the jpeg image processors on some cameras suck.
     
  19. Weenis

    Weenis I said WEENIS, not...

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    The point of raw is you can choose to adjust exposure and other values that the camera was set to apply to the image at the point of capture. This means that the image sensor's unmanipulated data is available. You can retain more accuracy and fix incorrect exposure settings that would otherwise be impossible with JPEG.

    There is no reason why they wouldn't want the RAW files other than size/laziness/speed of upload etc.

    If they didn't trust the photographers adjustments to the image to make it represent what was shot, they shouldn't be using the image. The photographer knows what it looked like, their job should be to bring the RAW file up to what they saw.

    If they don't trust the photographer because of crazy unrealistic edits, cool. But requiring JPEG is not going to have any bearing on that what so ever.
     
  20. delsydsoftware

    delsydsoftware [H]Lite

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    I guarantee that the real reason for this has nothing to do with quality or photo manipulation. I bet they want a seamless backend for uploading pics, so that editors can just quickly sort through photos from a web back end. JPEGs would make that simple. Right now, they are probably having to do a lot of processing, whereas a web back end could be as simple as click the picture and give it a thumbs up/thumbs down.

    A raw file is always going to be better when it comes to full-size prints, given the amount of data you have to work with. But, regular journalism photography is less about getting a balanced histogram and more about making sure the subject is clear and in focus. You won't see National Geographic adopt this policy anytime soon.
     
  21. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    From the sounds of it, the images were always submitted as a more manageable file size....meaning Reuters always received a JPG as submitted by the photogs.

    What Reuters is saying now is the image must ORIGINATE as a JPEG. Meaning the image must have come into existence as a JPEG and nothing else. This is where it becomes more confusing. There has to be a reason why they are saying it must originate as JPEG, and I think they are not fully conveying their thought process or reasoning.
     
  22. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    This is ridiculous.

    You may only get one shot of something that only happens once.

    Do you really want to lose that picture because your camera decided it just needed to randomly over or under expose something right then?

    Yes, RAW images can be creatively processed, but that's not their greatest value. Their greatest value is in being a fail safe, knowing that you might just be able to rescue a picture you would otherwise have lost.

    Whoever made this decision is a freaking moron.
     
  23. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I'd just continue taking pictures in RAW format and just remove the evidence of it from the EXIF tags.
     
  24. BB Gun

    BB Gun [H]ard|Gawd

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    ^Exactly, I mean, how the fuck are they going to tell? Meta Data is easily edited.

    What they really should say is "RAW submissions only, no jpeg/tiff/png/etc"

    Then let their editors determine what is acceptable "editing" in the raw development software.

    BB
     
  25. jojo69

    jojo69 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    that word...




    oh, never mind
     
  26. nilepez

    nilepez [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That's a red herring. The proper solution is to send a processed jpg and the original raw file. Sending a jpeg does nothing, because you can adjust the hell out of it in photoshop (and a lot morethan youcan in raw processors)

    who's to say which of those is more accurate. Camera cannot capture the dynamic range of the eye. My guess is the 2nd image has a more accurate representation of the sky, while the fauna is probably a bit over saturated.

    Furthermore, a cameras can do HDR and vibrant adjustments automatically. I get what they're going for, but I don't think it's at least as subject to abuse as modifying a raw file. And again, images out of the camera are often wrong.
     
  27. nilepez

    nilepez [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That would definitely be unethical. I disagree with the rule, but it's their rules. nothing prevents you from shooting JPG + RAW
     
  28. michalrz

    michalrz 2[H]4U

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    Well, sounds inline with what camera manufacturers are doing - fewer and fewer SLRs in the lower end have RAW support.
    I have used RAW solely for the last 8 years. Did it on my Nikon D50, Panasonic FZ30 and I'm still doing it with success with a cheap Canon A470 driven by CHDK.
    It's a BS policy. You have a right to overdo on post-processing. Theirs is the task of figuring out which is 'natural' and which is not. When you submit photos to contests, the only prohibited stuff is LOCAL modifications. Like adding a shadow, pasting an object in, colouring objects. You are allowed any GLOBAL corrections you want, such as saturation, contrast and the like.
    Policies like this cater to 'professional' photographers who have expensive cameras capable of spitting out JPEGs which look awesome due to... post processing done by the camera's processor.
    RAW lets you bypass the camera's shortcuts and tricks which it uses to maintain a high rate of shooting, keep the images small so enough fit on the card.
    Photography is not shallow. It does not come down to vibrance, highlights reconstruction or whatever.
    To me, photography is using whatever you can master to achieve the best (most interesting) image. And let's be real for a second - anyone who has ever shot in JPEG+RAW mode will agree with me that even if you simply convert the RAW file (I use RAW Therapee) to JPEG without moving any sliders you'll still get a much better image than the JPEG created by the camera's CPU.
     
  29. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Let me reiterate.

    If they don't want artistic renditions, then just say so. It's easy to pick them out and reject them if people submit them anyway.

    The main motivation for using RAW in journalistic photography is to avoid exposure problems.

    You know, your camera picked up on that bright background, and adjusted the exposure so that it looks perfect, but what you were actually trying to take a picture of is hopelessly dark and can't be seen.

    Something like this:
    http://www.ulearn.photography/lessons\20-ProblemSolving\original\under-exposed.jpg

    You might say, "But they are professional photographers, this should never happen to them". Well, we can't all be ken Rockwell, the Chuck Norris of Photography. The truth is, especially in hectic newsqworthy situations where you are rushing to get that shot, you may only have a split second to take it, (there many be an angry mob, or natural disaster, or something) and in situations like those people like mistakes, professional or not.

    In many cases, no problem. You look at the little screen on the back of your DSLR , readjust settings and take a second picture. No big deal. But sometimes you don't have the several seconds it takes to do this, and might miss that newsworthy thing you were trying to get a shot of, or that perfect moment that describes the situation better than a thousand words can.

    If you took that picture in RAW, it's a snap. You can adjust the exposure anywhere up or down ~2 stops to save the picture. You may get a little noise or some bad highlights as a result,but once scaled down to web/newspaper viewing size it's not noticeable anyway.

    If you took that picture in jpeg, it's lost. It can't be recovered.You might try, but it will likely look absolutely awful. All that extra data that the eye can't see, that clever algorithms can reprocess to save your picture, has been discarded to save space.

    The funny thing is this is nothing new. Photographers have been adjusting exposure after the fact during the film development process as long as cameras have existed. Why should this change now?

    Again, I can understand that they don't want heavily processed artistic shots, but then just say that, and reject them. They stand out like a sore thumb anyway.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2015
  30. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Ho lee shiit.

    That example picture was way larger than I expected, my apologies.
     
  31. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I didn't even see the girl at first, I thought you just like to take pictures of door hinges.....:cool:
     
  32. michalrz

    michalrz 2[H]4U

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    I too thought this was hinge photography :D

    And I agree with Zarathustra's point as well.

    The images start off as RAW whether you like it or not. It's sensor data. There aren't even any pixels yet, just data from each sensor 'dot' which is designed to capture a particular colour.

    So, to form a pixel, an algorythm is in place to analyze a group of dots (usually it's something like Green-Red-Green-Blue due to the eye's sensitivity to Green) and decide on a given colour or mixture of colours for a particular pixel.

    Jpeg gives you, say, 8 bits of data per pixel. Those 8 bits have to contain all basic hues. With RAW photography you get 8 bits of each individual colour per pixel!
    The camera always rounds down the image. It literally shits on its own pictures by applying aggresive compression.

    To elaborate on what Z said about exposure - I'm posting my examples proving his theory.

    The image on the left is a JPEG as produced by the camera. The image on the right is a RAW of the same shot, converted (without tweaking) to JPEG. I'd say the camera JPEG is the one looking unnatural with its heavy green tint and burned out highlights. The one on the right looks more natural to me. And it has more detail salvaged in the highlights.
    [​IMG]
    how do i print screen

    Example two - exposure. This is a random out of focus pitch black photo. Left-most is a JPEG produced by the camera. The center one is the JPEG with bumped gamma to expose any leftover data.
    The right-most is a RAW file, non-tweaked - no sliders were touched in either demos.

    [​IMG]
    free photo upload

    RAW is the 'right' one in photography IMHO. It's the equivalent of a negative. It's what the sensor saw. RAW is not magic, it's not cheating, you just get more data than from a JPEG that has been hastily produced in-camera.
     
  33. CreepyUncleGoogle

    CreepyUncleGoogle [H]ardness Supreme

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    Nope! No more exposure is allowed! That's not safe for work after all.
     
  34. michalrz

    michalrz 2[H]4U

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    Yes let us hide our sinful bodies in RGB(#000000).

    Especially men.

    Feminism says women can occupy the entire spectrum up to RGB(#FFFFFF).

    And I applaud that.
     
  35. CreepyUncleGoogle

    CreepyUncleGoogle [H]ardness Supreme

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    All over the world there are feminists that are swooning over your post. :)
     
  36. nilepez

    nilepez [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Really? What DSLRs (with interchangeable lenses) lack RAW support? Only my P/S cameras lack Raw support.

    Pretty sure that PJ has always had far stricter standards than everyone else. That said, I'd think that Saturation, contrast and even dialing back highlights would be allowed. Of course the best Press togs probably nail most of their shots.
    Gonna hae to check out this RAW Therapee. Thanks for the heads up.
     
  37. nilepez

    nilepez [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I guess it really depends on how they shoot. My gut says they shoot Shutter priority and they may even use Auto ISO in some situations. I assume they don't shoot manual
     
  38. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    True, but even with in camera metering, the camera can sometimes get confused, and give you a perfectly exposed blue sunny sky, and leave that important historical handshake in the foreground too dark to see. :p
     
  39. Red Squirrel

    Red Squirrel [H]ardForum Junkie

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    How can they know a jpg comes from a raw file? I imagine if there is any info that gets stored into the jpg there is probably a way to strip it out, or just take a screen shot and paste into a program and resave it. (hard to do with high res images I guess unless you have a super high res monitor)

    Also you can still do some adjustments on jpg like brightness/contrast anyway.
     
  40. nilepez

    nilepez [H]ardForum Junkie

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    If you took the image, then you now, but to my eye, either green could be right. The same with the blurred highlights. Looking at the hinges themselves, they both look subjectively about the same in the highlight areas. And let's face it, if this end sup in a paper, the quality will be so low and the colors will undoubtedly shift.

    I'm generally on your side, but the press togs I know already shoot jpeg. Where this becomes a bigger issue is those shooting concerts, where nailing the exposure is challenging and the camera is often a poor judge of the actual image (esp red and blue lights on skin)