Are Reuters Confused About RAW and JPEG?

I happen to shoot more JPEG than RAW. Because I am not a Pro and do not have to worry (as much) about picture integrity. See, RAW is the “negative” — the original, if you please. And the camera applies some processing to the RAW data captured to generate a JPEG version in-camera. The JPEG version is less accurate than the RAW, and is therefore of much smaller size. Today’s cameras produce astounding JPEGs, so, for my amateur needs, RAW is not necessary. But, pros need to preserve picture integrity and RAW allows them to do that. If they ever need to prove that their pictures reflect “reality,” they simply submit the RAW file for inspection.

I am an amateur photographer. Photography is a hobby. I don’t care about saving thousands of RAW files onto my hard drive. It’s not the processing time that bothers me. After all, you can carefully apply the adjustments you want to one picture in a set, then quickly apply these adjustments to all the pictures in the same set. Takes no time. But, I am an amateur, not a pro, and shoot RAW only when I know it’s a difficult scene that will require more than “minimal processing.”

The reasons Reuters give for not accepting a picture generated from RAW does not quite make sense. Whether it is generated in-camera or out of camera, the JPEG is generated from the RAW. All the other stuff Reuters ask for: minimal processing, etc. — that’s up to them. They’re the buyer, they make the rules. But the one about banning JPEG that are generated from RAW will go down in photography history as one of the most unnecessary ever put out. Because whether you’re processing the RAW or JPEG, you’re processing.

I don’t know if Reuters still have a pro photo staff to ensure photographs of the highest quality and integrity. Perhaps they think that if photographers sent in JPEGs straight out of the camera, there is less chance of the photos being doctored (since they can only be “minimally processed” without being obviously processed) and them getting embarassed?

But you and I well know that if I apply a watercolor filter and snap a picture in JPEG, that does not reflect reality. Or, what if I use filters to change the color of the sunset? Double exposure? Clever multiple exposures? JPEGs straight out of the camera can unfortunately also be doctored in-camera.

If Reuters want to ensure they publish photos of the higest integrity and quality, they will need qualified photographers on their staff to vet them. Anything else, and they are courting disaster and embarassment, never mind, risking ridicule. All they have to say in their rules (as they already do) is “minimal processing,” and that’s quite enough. The ban of generating a JPEG from RAW is wholly unnecessary.