IRCC rules

What I know is based on what I read on their website, which you probably did as well. Before making such restrictions, I’m sure they had a discussion among themselves. One thing I know is that the competition juries were fed up with the massive alteration of nature photographs, such as copying and pasting different skies, seas, and so on… I believe that, as is customary, norms emerge as a result of excess.

But I am really not sure their rules will eliminate only what we could name “faked pictures”, but what I am sure is if they succeed they will become rich and it sounds like normal way of using raws won’t be alowed by them (who ???).
Maybe I should go back to polaroid.

And what do you think about that they refused to give the “formula” they use to judge if an image is ok or faked ?
I asked them and they responded “they can’t share those informations” !
Transparency should be the rule for an initiative that claims to be moral. No ?

The IRCC documents give many information but not all. Criteria about the RBG channels are clear. But there is no information explaining if transformation such as cloning, deleting, blurring, replacing are totally prohibited or acceptable in certain cases.

First : what is called a not corrected rgb image ?
Raw is not rgb image. You have to convert it to get one, and every demosaiceur gives a different result.
So why don’t they want to respond when asked to them how they define it ? They have to, to make their “measure of autenticity”. So why do they respond “they can’t share this information” ?
A little bit opaque, don’t you think ?

Second : they have choosen some photographer that they decided are their reference for establish their standard. WOAAWWW ! So they are god and ask other to conform to choice THEY have done ?

No, doesn’t sound fair to me.
And I think we have enough QR codes sticked on our forehead for the time beeing.

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Next, IRCC will ask photographers to attach a colour checker to the bird that you want to capture in flight. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


Ahahha Excellent :joy:

Dear Gaogao

You are correct… such information are missing in my perspective, however they have not explained it because it is simply forbidden…

But, you are correct that this is a closed control with no transparency; however, the purpose is to organize ourselves in order to provide alternatives and attempt to open the dialogue.

It is difficult, even impossible, to find the information on the IRCC web site but they are there. I don’t think there is anything confidential and any intention to restrict the access. I think they are photographers professional or enthusiasts but not very clear about how to manage a web site and certification documentations. And it may not be a big operation to. I am writing a tuto, a practical approach of the certification, it will be ready in about a month. But it is a lot of digging to really understand the details, avoid miss understanding and defining practical guide lines.

Bit by bit, the bird makes his nest …

First transparent move would be to give a way to test images for free and without giving original raws to, to, to who ?
This wouldn’t prove this is good, but this would be a first step.
Would like to know how they consider kind of picture I do. But wouldn’t like to pay and give them my raws for that.

It reminds me (ok, not the same thing, but I like transparency) some place linked to an other photo software wich I won’t name, allowing to share images between users, hiding in their clauses that this implies assignment of copyright.
Or a free picture conversion online tool that hides the same thing in its clauses too.

Ok. Maybe not exactly the same thing. Maybe.
But I hardly accept that they invest an artistic field this way.

So they could end up deciding who can’t and who is allowed to participate in certain exhibitions ?
This seems very far from manipulation prevention for me.

I don’t think measuring differences of colors and values from an hypothetical true rgb opaquely demosaiced from raw can efficiently and fairly reach this goal.

So what is this ?

Do this in a journalistic context, maybe, but not in an artistic field with this opaque and doubtful mathematical way of judging !

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This is what they do with the free 50 credits you get when you sign up… you get to test 5 photos.

Dear GaoGao
in fact there is a lot of data in the FAQ…

It seems you’ve forgotten half my sentence.
Don’t I have to give them my raws ? which I’m not ready to do at all.

They should give a piece of open source software to download for testing, and this will be transparent.
Would like to know you would argue against that.

I read a long part of it, and this is what leads me to that conclusion.
I saw, they coat their speech with many moral values, but truth is :
No more than x% difference on any rgbv value between final photography and an hypothetical true not faked rgb demosaiced raw in a way they refuse to explain (they responded me they can’t share this information) means absolutly nothing reliable to make a judgement.
And, ok, I make the jump : doesn’t this resonate with some actual political rhetoric about controling what can and can’t be said, and that more control has to be set up on everything ?

Would really be the only way to go, don’t you think ? :rage:

But yes, try to build their nest. Only hope you won’t succeed.

With know algorithms and a large enough photobase it is possible to extract an “unprocessced” RGB-JPG version with well know caracteristics and to compare it with the processed JPG. The disctinct results of various algorithms in reading the 12bits or 14bits ADU values from the RAW and interpolating the colors will not give such different rendering than the mean of the RGB colors of a given image are too disemblable to be usable, or the algorithm, giving visibly inacurate results, must be disqualified. I have nothing to do with IRCC business, this is not an opinion, this is technology and science.
The evaluation of a photo by the IRCC is based on statistics from post processing values found in a large sample of professionnal photos, it is not arbitrary guessing estimates. The IRCC process certainly needs better technical explanations, their documentation is poor, their web site is a mess, the process is certainly perfectible, but at least they are trying something. It is better than just complaining in photo contest about fake, over processed impossible photos and crying about how so unfair it is.

Thank you, GaoGao, for such a thoughtful response. I completely agree with you. They strive to achieve something despite the fact that nothing is flawless. I’m not sure if they’ll always be there in the future, but they do their best to respond to the software’s many options. It’s worth noting that the end consequences of manipulation are frequently wonderful, which is why I believe we’re seeing more and more creative or emergent domains in the competitions.

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I have here some interrogations I would really like you to clarify. It may be a bit long but this is a very important subject that deserves full attention.

  • First little subsidiary questions :

IRCC will compare r,g,b,v values their algorythm computes from original raw, to r,g,b,v value of the final image and will allow some pourcentage of difference between those 2 sets of datas to qualify or disqualiy photographers.
can you confirm ?

which one ? if you don’t how, what is or will be the way to know ?

  • Now the core of the subject :

What is science ? This is an objective way of describing phenomenons, measuring them, and being able to reproduce them.

What are true colors ? objectively.
True colors are what we see when looking real world. They are the physiological result of a very complex eyes and brain transformation of the visible range of electromagnetic spectrum.
do you agree ? or would prefer a more subjectively qualibrated definition of colors ?

How are created colors in photography ?

  • Fisrt, a sensor records some electrical values using manufacturers choosen filters and algorythms in a raw file : here is a first subjective interpretation (manufacturer choices).
  • Second, the photographer takes the shoot. He (or his camera, preferably him, but not always) determines exposure to fit the way he wants the scene to be perceived. and more, he chooses some lightings conditions to fit the mood he wants to give to his artwork (flash and blue hour really don’t give same colors). This is a second subjective interpretation : how the photographer want’s to show the scene.
    More than that, this exposure may be wrong and may need to be adjusted in post.
  • Third, the photographer uses a software to transform, demosaice recorded raw datas, and this software adds again a level of interpretation. This is the third subjective interpretation (demosaicer developer interpretation).
  • Fourth, with the memory the photographer has from the seen scene (this should lead to understand how memory works, but we won’t) he tries with his software to manipulate those datas to fit its recollection : fourth subjective interpretation.

So photographic colors are not true, not altered scientific colors. They are at least 4 subjective level of interpretations mixed creating them.
They result in what we can call the style of the photographer.
Do you agree ?

Now how do IRCC “scientifically” measure true colors ? what is their benchmark ? This benchmark is the key.

They subjectively have selected photographers and they have statistically made what could be called an average of their style to create it. Not an average of objective, scientifical true colors, isn’t it ?
So here we are : their benchmark is an average of subjective styles that IRCC, in a peremptory way, design as objective and thrustable.
And they will compare other photographers work with what they have decide to be thrustable, pure, not faked, what ever you want to call it.

Doesn’t this pose an ethical problem for you ?

What could be argu is that there are standards to reproduce colors as accurately as possible, to match how the photographer would see them when illuminated with a calibrated light. For having right colors in printing for example.
Even there, this calibrated light pose a problem of subjectivity. But anyway, lets pretend this is an objective way that make it possible to obtain true colors.
To reproduce those (lets call them objective) colors there is only one way : record a color checher when shooting, in the same lighting condition than the shoot.
So here platypus is right :

Only objective way to go, isn’t it ?

So here it is : they use a scientifical, technological, without opinion method to compare things based on a completly subjective, not scientifical, totally opinion driven benchmark.

The only scientifical thing in there is measuring colors. But what colors ? How to scientificaly determine true colors ? How to determine scientifically a pourcentage of difference ? what is the scientifical method used to prove their algorythm will only eliminate faked shoots ? where is scientifically the limit between not faked and faked shoots ?
All that is purely subjective, no scientifical way to prove the inverse.

Lot of scientifical, technical and ethical questions without response here.

And I would finish with a sample i’d like you to consider.
I could provide an nearly completely black raw (when seen thrue any possible demosaicer) taken at native iso on my camera (won’t tell wich one, don’t want to be accused of marketing).
Big exposure problem beacause the shoot had to be taken very fast, and no time to adjust manual exposure, but I couldn’t let this shoot pass.
It results in a good final image due iso invariance of this camera.
Would IRCC disqualify me for this shoot ? Would it push me to adopt some kind of semi-auto exposure instead of manual exposure to be sure not being disqualified by them, when fast to take shoots like this one happens ?
Interresting question, isn’t it ?

I hope you will respond to those ethical questions that IRCC initiative raise.

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